Yoga Journal Pose of the Day

Saturday, January 24, 2009

dressed to run

Yesterday, even though my muscles were reminding me rather crossly that I had taxed them just a little by lifting weights at the gym on Thursday, I was pretty pleased with myself. You see, it's an exhilarating thing to set yourself a scary goal. And that's what has me jazzed up.

I finally committed myself to attempting my first marathon in May (details to follow). It is an event here in Canada, so you may be wondering why I'm blogging about it on a site that is supposed to be about running in Ethiopia. I'm so glad you asked!! It may make no sense at all to say this to you, but to me, it's all about Ethiopia. Maybe not November 2009, but I plan to return to do the Great Ethiopian Run again soon. And in the meantime, I have to keep running. And without a kinda scary goal, it's way too easy for me to lose "the juice".

So, recently somebody asked me what does one wear to run in the fluctuating winter temperatures of Canada. What indeed!

Winter running is challenging because running generates a lot of heat and being overdressed and then sweating a lot can cause you to get chilled and quite cold as your clothing gets wet. Therefore, it's a bit of a guessing game at first, to figure out how to dress, to imagine how heated up you actually get once you are well into a nice long run! The worst part of a long winter run is standing about freezing in your running gear (I hate this part!!), which you must do, because you know once you start to run, you get warmed up pretty quickly!

I usually wear:

1. coolmax/dryline underwear (technical material that wicks moisture away from the skin.)

2. smart wool socks (love those!!)

3. a base layer, especially on top, form-fitting with long sleeves, like long underwear, but also of technical material that wicks moisture away. I wear the same on bottom if the temperatures start to dip below -15 degrees C.

4. thermal/breathable long-sleeved running shirt and pants, also of a material that wicks moisture away from the skin.

5. an outer shell/jacket that is wind proof and also breathable. Rarely, I add a shell on the bottom when it's very windy and very cold, eg. -25 degrees C.

6. something on my head that ranges from a headband that covers my ears, to a thin, breathable hat, to a fleecy ski hat and/or balaclava as the temperatures drop and/or the wind rises.

7. fleece/breathable gloves or mitts (my hands are always the last part of my body to warm up!)

8. my Garmin

9. my running shoes

10. my belt with pockets for ID/money/power gels and water bottle (against my body heat, the water bottle hasn't frozen yet!)

Even then, after a run, it's important to get out of the wet gear quickly and into dry stuff because even on the hottest day in the summer, I start to chill and the body needs some time to recover. A warm drink always helps.

Thinking about all that reminded me of how I used to dress for long walks in the winter time. Here is a story I wrote for my granddaughter about that, with pictures! Maybe I should follow that up with pictures of how I dress now to run, eh? I could call it "Gramma Goes for a Winter Run".

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