Sunday, 28 December 2014

There is no such thing as bad weather

This post was inspired by C, one of my best friends and fellow runner.

SkellefteƄ was hit by a cold front a few days ago, which made temperatures plummet and snow pour down from the sky. But, seeing as this is the last weekend of the year, and weekends mean long runs, I didn't let the weather stop me. I wanted to see if my knee could cope with a proper long run to end 2014 with. One over 20km. It could, and it did. Yey!

When the temperature lies well beneath -10, a lot of things might have an impact on whether you'll survive your run how comfortable your run is going to be. Is it windy? How long are you going to be out? Are you going to be running intervals or taking it easy? How easily do you get warm? And so on. It's very easy to dress too warm and spend a miserable two hours stewing in your own sweat. Personally, I only run in a technical t-shirt and my running jacket if the temperature is around zero. I switch to long-sleeved tops if it's lower than that. I then add another layer if it drops below -10. Long johns on my legs if it's below 0.

All of this takes time. In the summer, I'm usually ready within 5 minutes, including the time it takes my Suunto to find a satellite signal. In the winter, it can take 20 minutes. Accessories are of great help. On my arms, I wear rolled-down arm warmers, because I find my jacket climbs up and leaves my wrists exposed.

On my legs, I sometimes wear leg warmers. I can easily draw them up my calves if I need to.

Last but not least, when it's below -15, I wear a balaclava under my woolly hat with holes under the nose that lets me breathe and warms up the air I inhale. Plus, it makes me look like a ninja, and that, coupled with the fact that my running style is so efficient I'm practically floating, means I am pretty much invisible. Which is strange, because people sometimes stare in my general direction, if I'm, say, running through the city centre. Huh.

A rare picture when the lens managed to capture ninja-Shaman

So, there you have it. Getting dressed for winter runs is not that hard, but it can take a bit of experimentation until you find your personal comfort level. And you can still end up looking like this:

Another rare picture, this time with added eyelash and hair frost.

Now, go out and run. There is no such thing as bad weather*.

*Well, unless it's -60 and a snowstorm or hailstones the size of oranges or monsoon rains that cause floods or +50 degrees in the shade or if you're on the surface of Venus. But I bet they're working on developing clothes for that too.

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