10 Minutes to a Warm Winter Run


All it takes is 10 minutes to develop enough body heat to make your run enjoyable.



While not officially winter yet, it is incredibly difficult to cross from the comfort of the indoor furnace to the chill or burr of the outdoor temps. Yesterday's run was avoided due to the whipping wind and freezing temperature, but while waiting for my son at the local Y, I bundled up and struck out into the cold.  

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I wore my regular shoes and socks, running tights, tank top, long sleeve shirt, light wind jacket, neck warmer, hat, gloves, sunglasses (I know it was cloudy but my glasses help block the wind from my sensitive eyes).

The first 10 minutes were cold since the wind was piercing. However, I braved it knowing that I would warm up soon.  This is the key to winter running. Braving the first 10 minutes will deliver great rewards. The body makes heat when using energy in the muscles. You become your own furnace. 


The second key is to dress in a manner that will keep just the right amount of heat around your body, not too little, not too much.  With too little clothing you won't capture the heat you generated. Too much clothing will cause overheating and sweating. Sweating sounds nice when you are cold but can ruin your run when the water cools your body. Therefore, layers and experience help in dressing for your run.

Over and over I would miss the mark on correct clothing choice when I would only look outside while in my warm house.  It would look wicked cold or not so bad causing me to overdress/underdress.  The better way of determining your winter running selection is to look at the "feels like" temperature on your weather app.  

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As you see above, the 34 degrees doesn't account for the chill of the wind.  The better temperature to dress for is the "Feels like" temp of 25 degrees.  The Minnesota wind is strong and sweeping making the wind, even more, a factor when running.

Windy Day Running Tip: Run into the wind at the start of your run, making your return trip easier and warmer with the wind at your back.

Just like you adjust to the warm temperature of the summer heat, you will adjust to the colder temperatures of the winter chill.  Give yourself two weeks of below freezing runs and you will feel like 32 degrees is a warm winter running day. In turn, you will be able to handle the 10-20 degree days of real winter running.


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Once you have your own body furnace up and running, your run becomes delightful as you can enjoy the fresh outdoor air and movement.



Shelly Binsfeld

Running Coach in Minnesota

Optimize your Hard Work in an Intelligent Way