- Have a goal: write it down, tell your friends. Boston 2014. Central park March ½ marathon, Katie’s 5k in Spring. Whatever. Pen it. Post it. Plan it. The vision and goal will get your warm cuddly ass out of bed at zero-dark-thirty when it is howling, cold and dark outside.
- Make a date: Keep a fixed schedule and meet with friends to run, 12degF this morning, -2F with windchill. Nothing competes with the challenge of letting your running buddies down by a no-show. Tuesdays, Thursdays 6am track, Sat 7am trail.
- Get your kit together the night before: Lay out your running gear, fill the coffee maker, put the mug on the counter. Every micro-step that you can do automatically when you are in the wee-hours, makes it more likely that you will get out there when you are still half asleep.
- Check the weather forecast: Pack extra clothes. Another hoodie, an extra puff jacket. A dry hat, warm gloves. As soon as you are done running, you will cool down and will look forward to piling on the layers. It is OK to look like the Michelin (wo)man after you run!
- Don’t dress to impress… no fashion shows this time of year: Feet: trail running shoes, yak trax as need (not on the track though!) gaiters if in deep snow. Legs: sometimes 2 layers, a slim fit tights layer, with a windbreaker shell. Long snowboard/ ski socks. Wool only. PhD smart wool, the best. Same on top: Wool baselayer, wool or fleece hoodie, vest, then a wind breaker outer layer. Heads: Hat for sure, then also an ear-warmer/headband. Double it up for the warm up, use the headband as a nose-cover on the windy sections, then drop it down to act as a neck gaiter as needed. Gloves: mitts outer, gloves inner. Hand warmers are generally unnecessary, but good for an emergency, or a buddy with Raynauds who is suffering. Wool undies. Honest. Ibex. Nothing more to say.
- Headlamp: Rechargeable ideally, will last the whole season.
- Give yourself a longer warm up: 2 miles /20minutes, some pickups, skipping, log-jumping, backward jogging, karaokes to mix it up.
- Give yourself some latitude to modify the workout: 12 x400’s today turned to 8 x400s, since only one lane on the track was clear and many sections still had drifting snow! Speed work combined with agility as we post-holed through sections, and hop-skip-jumped through the icy bits. It is better to cut is short as needed, than to suffer frostbite, or exposure. Be a hard-ass but not a dumb-ass!
- Have a laugh! Comparing tales of frozen snot rockets, useless frozen waterbottles, butts sticking to the icy portapotty lid, all help to weather the winter.