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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:02 pm 
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Deuce Master

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I'm curious if any of you still get your exercise in sub-freezing temperatures and what you're wearing when you do it. I've made a lot of gains in my running over the last several months and I really want to keep it going, but am not sure how practical it is to run on roads when it has snowed, iced, or whatever other crazy weather happens. I'm willing to tough anything out, but knowing my luck I'd end up freezing the tip of my nose off or something.

Having lived in either San Diego or Tucson all my life, I have no practical experience with the kinda cold I'm getting up here in Missouri. Unfortunately, I just can't stay enthused about being a gym-rat either.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:40 pm 
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I don't run, but I do ride my bike in cool weather. If it's much below 40f I ride indoors on the trainer though.

Most of the cold weather stuff I wear is cycling specific, so probably not much help to you.

I always start with a base layer of merino wool. It's really good at keeping your temperature stable. If wool doesn't work for you, I would strongly suggest some kind of tight fitting high tech fabric. You don't want cotton, or anything that will soak up sweat, but doesnt insulate. It's a recipe for a bad day.

After that, layers of various weights, and, if it's wet or windy, some kind of a shell.

Some things to consider.

How much do you sweat?

How likely are you to stop mid run?

How long (time) do you plan to be out?

These questions are important because is you are a heavy sweater, your base layer will get wet. It's fine, with the wool you'll still be warm, but if you stop for coffee, you are going to get cold fast.

I tend to get hot quickly if I overdress, and sweat a bunch. I try to wear outer layers that are breathable or have some ventilation to keep from overheating.


I use Smartwool for my base layers, but there are plenty of other brands out there. Even Costco has some Merino base layer (tops and bottoms) for $6.99 ea when I was in there the other day.

You can get really good deals at backcountry.com. you should sign up for their email promotions for discount codes.

For outer layers ( legs) I prefer tights to loose pants. This probably matters more riding the bike (chaffing) than running, but I just can't stand the loose clothes flapping around.

I also have some thermal arm and leg warmers that I use on days where it might warm up. They can be removed and stashed in a pocket.

Lastly, have you considered a treadmill? Zwift will soon be adding smart treadmill support, which will enable automatic slope and resistance changes based on terrain. I use this on the indoor trainer a couple of times a week.

Search around on YouTube for "Zwift Treadmill" for some demonstrations.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:53 am 
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Find a gym with an indoor track if you want to run.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:34 am 
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Maybe try running on a treadmill? Running in the cold is pretty miserable.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:46 am 
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martial arts was my cardio (when I had time to do it) Hung a heavy bag and worked that; the biggest reason I don't now is just the fact that it shakes the whole house, even with the springs I've got up to shock dampen it.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:12 am 
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Deuce Master

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Midgen wrote:
How much do you sweat?

How likely are you to stop mid run?

How long (time) do you plan to be out?

Yeah, in my whole life, I've only known one person that sweats more than I do. Even at my present weight (which is normal BMI), I sweat tons. That's kinda why I was worried. I'll look into those places you mentioned. Thanks for that. Do you have to worry about anything for your face or does blood flow mostly keep you warm enough on that front?

As to what others said:
Treadmills and indoor tracks just don't keep me motivated. Part of why I like running is it's a chance to get outside, enjoy the scenery, and blast music because nobody else is around. I basically park on a guy's farm and go running out in a fairly rural area complete with harvest fields (empty right now), cows, and horses. I've never lived anywhere with four distinct seasons, so I'm trying to enjoy it. The treadmills I have access to would have a wall 3 feet in front of me and a TV greater than 45° above my head (even more neck cramps). I tried doing it last winter and I hated it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:31 pm 
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The real downside to running outside in real cold isn't sweating, it's breathing...you can always add/remove layers but that isn't going to help your raw throat and lungs

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:19 pm 
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Check your shoes.

If it is cold enough to freeze, they are probably throwing down salt, which means you'll run through salt-laced slush puddles outside. The salt will quickly ruin your footwear and if they are not waterproof it'll create all kinds of blistering on your feet.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:45 pm 
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Head and face are always good to consider. I beanie is probably adequate for the to of your head.

You can get a balaclava, or convertible neck gator that you can wrap around your face, but even cycling at 20mph I don't really find that necessary. Backcountry.com sells those things as
well.

How much of this stuff you need is going to depend on how cold it is and how long you are out in it.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:54 pm 
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I used to run all the time in cold weather in Ohio. As others have said, breathing is the most critical thing.

Also, just take it easy, and understand that you'll stay plenty warm. You really don't need more than maybe a sweatshirt and some light exercise pants, light gloves, and possibly a hat on cold days. If you're running, you'll be warm. Just go inside promptly when finished to avoid being out in the cold while all sweaty.

It will take some getting used to and some experimentation to find what cold weather gear works for you, but it's really not that bad.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:48 pm 
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20 years running outside in the winter, after about 5 minutes I'd be down to warm up pants, a T-shirt, thin gloves and a wool cap. The second I stopped I'd immediately need to throw on a jacket/sweatshirt or head inside. The face coverings can help, unless it's so cold that it starts freezing the moisture from your breath, then they can kind of suck.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:28 am 
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Timmit wrote:
20 years running outside in the winter, after about 5 minutes I'd be down to warm up pants, a T-shirt, thin gloves and a wool cap. The second I stopped I'd immediately need to throw on a jacket/sweatshirt or head inside. The face coverings can help, unless it's so cold that it starts freezing the moisture from your breath, then they can kind of suck.

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If it's THAT cold, and you don't have to be out running, don't. Do something else inside for exercise that day.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:41 pm 
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Diamondeye wrote:
Timmit wrote:
20 years running outside in the winter, after about 5 minutes I'd be down to warm up pants, a T-shirt, thin gloves and a wool cap. The second I stopped I'd immediately need to throw on a jacket/sweatshirt or head inside. The face coverings can help, unless it's so cold that it starts freezing the moisture from your breath, then they can kind of suck.

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If it's THAT cold, and you don't have to be out running, don't. Do something else inside for exercise that day.

I agree with you, unfortunately my commanders did not...I did a whole lot of sub 20 degree running over the last 20 years.

Don't miss that part of the AF at all...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:26 pm 
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Timmit wrote:
Diamondeye wrote:
Timmit wrote:
20 years running outside in the winter, after about 5 minutes I'd be down to warm up pants, a T-shirt, thin gloves and a wool cap. The second I stopped I'd immediately need to throw on a jacket/sweatshirt or head inside. The face coverings can help, unless it's so cold that it starts freezing the moisture from your breath, then they can kind of suck.

Sent from my Nexus 9 using Tapatalk


If it's THAT cold, and you don't have to be out running, don't. Do something else inside for exercise that day.

I agree with you, unfortunately my commanders did not...I did a whole lot of sub 20 degree running over the last 20 years.

Don't miss that part of the AF at all...


I had the same experience in ROTC. Fortunately, I've been in mostly hot climates since.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:53 am 
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Deuce Master

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Was all stoked to go out today and rock it in some new clothes. Nope. First snow.

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