Welcome to the inaugural column of the Fredericksburg Running Examiner. This column has focused on the Raleigh, NC area over the past two years, but a recent move means a new column.
The intention is to inspire everyone from the first time runner to the lifelong marathoner. The goal is help people get moving and to respect all movement, no matter the distance or pace.
With a change of scenery comes a change of climate. Four hours north means colder, more challenging running conditions. Just this morning, the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania area awoke to two to three inches of snow, temps remaining below freezing, and more snow predicted tomorrow. How can outside runners keep their schedules in a season with temps consistently in the twenties?
Preparation is the key.
While there is a host of running related products to purchase, they aren’t always affordable or even exceptional. Once you start running in the low twenties and the Weather Channel tells you that it “feels like seventeen”, your best bet is to dig through the closet.
Start with gloves. Most runners have a sleek pair of Performance or Livestrong gloves, but at those temps, warm and dry are the key. Any pair in the closet will do as long as they aren’t made of a fabric that absorbs liquids.
Headgear. Many runners shy away from headgear completely, while a few go specifically with ear-warmers in cold temps. Twenty and below temps mean breaking out the old school toboggan or in extreme cases, ski mask. Your ears will thank you.
Staying warm comes down to layers. Underneath, you have to wear tech gear shirts to allow for breathability. But if it feels like seventeen degrees outside, try this: get a tight fitting sweaty/hoodie. With a skull cap or toboggan on, the hoodie will sit comfortably on top, and your neck will thank you later. It might be more bulky than you are accustomed, but you will be able to persevere outside longer with the added warmth.
The most important thing is not losing your groove because of the weather. If you can go treadmill, that’s great, but some folks just have to get out, no matter the weather.
Prepare well. Dig through the closet. Stay warm.