Cold Snap

A week ago, I decided it was too cold to go for a run. A day ago I decided this cold wasn’t letting up and it was time to face the cold.

Winnipeg is in the middle of a premature December cold snap that won’t quit. It’s overwhelming, it’s disheartening, it’s discouraging, and it’s getting old. The reality of running in Winterpeg is you’re going to have to deal with the cold. Sure, this cold this soon is awfully unwelcome. But dealing with this inexorable cold is what makes Manitobans tough, so let’s not hide inside. I’m speaking mostly for myself, as I have absolutely seen some bundled up joggers toughing the cold over the past few days.

Running in the cold can be uncomfortable when not done right. Running in the extreme cold can be dangerous if not done right.

Running Room’s Book on Running by John Stanton contains some great information about running all seasons. This link takes you to all the basics you need to know about running in really cold weather.

My top five points from the Book on Running excerpt:

  • Keep all extremities covered including ears, hands, wrists, ankles and neck. Exposed skin can get frostbite in a matter of minutes. Your respiratory area will stay warm from your breathing.
  • Apply Bodyglide or body lubricant to any exposed skin to help protect it from the wind and drying effects of the cold. I learned this the hard way and often tell people about my “chapped face” experience last year.
  • Bring cab fare, a cell phone, and ID. Accidents happen and the freezing cold is no time to be unprepared.
  • Be aware of hypothermia especially on wet or windy days. Signs of hypothermia include slurred speech, clumsy fingers and poor coordination. At the first sign, get to a warm, dry place and seek medical attention.
  • Run in small loops close to your starting point. If you find it is getting unbearable, you won’t be far away from shelter.