I don’t feel like blogging about anything serious at the moment even though there are tons of things going on in the U.S. and the world. At the moment I don’t know what to say on the current events that I feel passionate about. Therefore, I decided I would briefly write about running in Wisconsin in the Winter. If you don’t run when it is cold or snowy then you typically aren’t going to be able to run in Wisconsin December through mid-March. According to Ranulph Fiennes “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” So here is how I run in the Winter.
- Layers. It really isn’t very difficult to stay warm when run in the Winter. Once you get started your body is going to produce a lot of heat. When in doubt I like the Runners World What To Wear Guide for a general guideline of what to wear, Usually if it is above 10° I wear two technical shirts and a windbreaker. If it is colder than that I reduce a technical shirt and pull a lite fleece under the windbreaker. If it is in the negatives I add more technical shirts nd a thicker fleece. This has worked all the way down to -20° with a windchill down to -40°.
- Socks. Buy some good Merino wool socks and sock liners. I like Darn Tough Vermont socks. The ski socks are particularly nice for Winter running and they have a lifetime warranty.
Visibility. Since it gets dark pretty early around here it is difficult to run on a work day when there is full daylight. In addition to the lack of daylight the roads get more narrow throughout the Winter because of the snow berms that develop on each side of the road from the snow plows. I have been almost hit by cars a couple of times because of not being visible in these conditions. So I decided to correct that situation with some high visibility products. My RoadID bracelet offers a small amount of reflectivity but serves as my in case of emergency identification. My main reflective sources are reflective wrist and anklebands, a running strobe or two, and/or my ASICS Storm Shelter Jacket (I’m wearing it in the picture with this post). The ASICS Jacket has 3m reflective material woven throughout it and is those VERY bright.
Traction. I am a klutz so maybe it is just me but Winter can get a little slippery. Naw, this video proves it isn’t just me. Things get even worse when Spring starts to come around with its thaw during the day and refreeze at night routine. So I wear a pair of Yaktrax. They usually last a few seasons and you can find them on sale for a better buy.
I’m not able to maintain the same mileage in the Winter that I do during the rest of the year, but I able to run enough miles to maintain my base level of running fitness. Also it feels pretty hardcore to run when it is snowing heavily.