serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Posts Tagged ‘cold weather’

Christmas Gifts for Trail Runners – REI’s Cyber Monday Sale

Monday, November 29th, 2010 is having a Winter Sale that ends today, Cyber Monday.  We sifted through all the items to find the trail running gifts you want and need.  Please Mom!  Please Mom!  But I neeeeeeed it!

petzel-tikka-xp-2-led-headlamp-trail-runningPetzl Tikka XP 2 LED Headlamp (was 54.95, sale price 41.99) For trail runners that are looking for a light, durable, bright light, this is the one for you.  Don’t let the small size fool you with this headlamp.  The Petzl Tikka XP 2 headlamp has a powerful and adjustable beam with tilt head that can guide you down the trail as fast you can run it.  I guaranteed you’ll never catch up to this light, this white light reaches up to 60m out.  For those foggy nights there is a spring-assisted, flip-up diffuser lens which changes the beam shape from spotlight to area light.  It also has a red LED light positioned to the side in case your buddies are running in night vision goggles.  This light can last all night long, oh yeah, giving 160 hours of white light and 80 hours of light on the high intensity setting.  Not that it matters, you wouldn’t be able to last that long on the high intensity setting anyway.  Honey, it’s getting dark outside!

Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon Hat(was $30.00, now $20.99) Trail Runners aren’t different from anyone else, mountain-hardwear-dome-perignon-hat-trail-runningthey loose their heat through their heads too, but they don’t have to.  They can stay warm with less bulk by donning the soft Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon hat made from Polartec 200 fleece and Gore Windstopper fleece.  That’s science keeping you warm.  This hat is unique because of the fleece earband which blocks the wind and keeps your ears toasty warm.  For the egg head in your life there is a stretch fleece insert in the back of the head to give a nice fit for any mishaped head.  If you have a big head (literally) then this is the hat for you.

smartwool-midweight-wool-long-underwear-trail-runningSmartWool Midweight Wool Long Underwear(was 70.00, now 59.99) Keeping the lower extremities warm while feeling uninhibited is important to every trail runner and this long underwear allows you to have the comfort of both worlds.  The SmartWool Midweight Wool Long Underwear Bottoms offer natural stretch and breathability for when temperatures fluctuate, like before you run and during your run.  The underwear bottoms are made of 100% super-fine (like me) merino wool to help maintain your comfort in any climate.  The flatlock side-seam construction and the covered waistband prevents chafing as you move your legs back and forth down the trail.  They are easy to wash too, throw them in the washing machine and dry on cool temperature to avoid shrinkage.  We all know how bad shrinkage can be…

So take some time this Cyber Monday and get some Christmas shopping done.  I know you are at work but you can’t just jump back in after your holiday hibernation.  Take some time to ease back in, like an old man getting into a warm bath.

Running Gloves for Winter Running

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

It’s time to get in the holiday spirit and what better way than getting your favorite runner the piece or running apparel they want and need, but haven’t brought themselves to purchase yet, Running Gloves.  Runners’ heat escapes from their extremities which is why it is important to cover their hands.  Runners extremities become colder than the rest of their body because when running, blood flow is redirected to more essential body parts like the lungs and active muscles, leaving other extremities left with decreased blood flow.  Runners can solve this problem by wearing running gloves.  Running gloves are also great for wiping sweat and snot, along with providing protection from falls that are more likely to occur when running in the darkness of the winter months.  All running gloves will keep your hands warm, but there are some small differences between running glove brands:


CTG Ultralite 180s Running Gloves are great gloves that also convert into mittens when the weather gets really nasty.  They have fabric pods located on the index finger so you can easily change the song on your iPod or MP3 player.  They also have a great reflective trim for those early morning runs.  Price:  $18.75.


Brooks Vapor Dry 2 Running Gloves transfers moisture away from your hands to keep them warm as you build up a sweat.  They feature finger grips which are functional for wiping surfaces like your nose or brow.  They also come with magnets that hold the gloves together when not in use.  Price:  27.95.


Asics Thermopolis Running Gloves have a great box finger construction which provides a comfortable fit.  If you like to wipe your sweat with your thumbs then the Asics Thermopolis Running Gloves are for you with their terry surface on the thumbs.  Price:  $24.99.

adidas-ultratech-ii Running Gloves

Adidas UltraTech II Running Gloves are great for keeping your hands dry and maintaining warmth. They are made with ClimaLite performance to draw sweat away and ClimaWarm thermal insulation to retain heat.  Price:  $19.99.

Running in Cold Weather

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

As the temperature decreases I have noticed that my motivation for running has conversely decreased.  I’ll admit it, I do not like the cold.  You never hear anyone say, “I love this cold weather, I wish it was a little colder” or “I’m so happy its finally cold!  I hope it never warms up again!”  I’m not a veterinarian, but I did take a class about animals once and heard that humans are warm blooded animals.  Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is trying to make themselves feel better about their choice of area of habitation.  However, no matter how cold it is where I chose to live, I have to remind myself, “Even though I dislike the cold weather, I have running to do and goals to accomplish.”

I somehow have to motivate myself to get out there and run.  One way I do this is by comparing myself to other people.  I go to and see all of the other places in the United States that are colder than where I am and imagine that there have to be some people running in that cold weather.  However, comparing myself to normal runners only takes my motivation so far.  I need the stories of extreme runners who push their bodies outside of the realm of normal.

One of my recent motivations has been the 127 people who have completed one of the coldest races in the world, the North Pole Marathon.  This race is held at the geographic North Pole and is run entirely on 6 to 12 ft of ice on top of about 12,000 ft of Arctic Ocean.  Guinness Book of World Records ranks the race as the Northern most Marathon.  Runners set off with running shoes, trail boots, snowshoes, and trek poles with sharpened ends or rifles to ward against polar bears.   These people have completed a race that no human should be able to run.  They must have uncanny mental toughness.

I have decided to use this fact that running in the cold is 99% mental toughness and have told myself that I am running in Tahiti during the middle of the summer.  It has worked for me but I think people are becoming confused when they see me running down the street, in board shorts, no T-shirt, and arm floatys around my biceps; in the middle of winter.  I just tell them, “It’s all in the mind man.”  That alleviates their confusion.

Winter Running Tips

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Cold weather running can be a motivation killer.  Don’t let it be.  Look at it as a more extreme run.  There’s no better feeling than when people see you out running and say, “Look at that guy/girl running in this!”  Weather can turn a normal run into an extreme run, but there are still things you should do to mitigate the elements.

One thing you can do is vary the time of your run.  When it is cold out I suggest running during midday.  It’s a great way to push away from your desk, get outside, de-stress about the day, and think about what you still need to accomplish.  I do suggest showering before returning to work.  Don’t be that extreme.  Try to eat a small snack about an hour or two to get the most out of your run.  It’s a great way to break up the day.

When it is really cold outside I try to get the best work-out I can while being outside for the least amount of time possible.  Try running 400-800m intervals but make sure you stretch to prevent pulling a muscle in the cold weather.  Or you can try running up hills.  It’s a great way to keep your body warm while building your legs and lung capacity.

Lastly, make sure you are wearing the proper clothing for the weather.  You should be a slight bit cold when you first step outside because you will get warmer as you start your run.  Make sure you wear plenty of layers of thin clothing.  Try to wear a technical shirt as a base layer that “wicks” away or carries your sweat away from your body.  For your outer layers, try to wear a jacket with zippers so you can adjust accordingly during your run.

My sister-in-law suggests running on a treadmill.  My 65 year old mother suggests running inside your house.  I suggest you stop being lame, get serious, and get outside!