Coldest run yet!

I’ve ran in some pretty cold weather before. But none of those runs even compared to last night.

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Please note that “feels like” temperature. That’s – 20 F. Also please not the “wind chill” warning at the top. Brrrrr! But my run clinic happens regardless of weather, so I got myself dressed – very, very dressed – and headed out.

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I was wearing:

  • 3 pairs of pants (2 tights and one cheap outer layer from Walmart)
  • 4 top layers: long sleeve, t-shirt and 2 medium-heavy running jackets
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • Neck warmer
  • Toque

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If it wasn’t for the clinic and the fact that I don’t have access to a treadmill I probably would have bailed last night. But I got out there and I’m glad I did! Honestly? It was not that bad.

My toes were cold for the first mile or so but then they warmed up and I alternated pulling my neck warmer down around my chin and up over my nose and mouth. I also ended up taking off my fleece Olympic mittens after the first mile because I was too warm.

Last night was the coldest weather I’ve ever ran in and tonight, with a predicted windchill of – 35 C ( – 31 F), will beat last night’s run even. Plus I have 10 km (6.2 miles) to run tonight instead of just 6.5 km (4 miles). But last night gave me a huge confidence boost and I know I can do it! Plus it doesn’t hurt that I walked in the door to Eric handing me a caesar, dinner almost ready and a hot shower after which I immediately put on my coziest sweater that my Grandma knitted for me.

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I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for a spring marathon but I sure am glad this extreme cold snap is only supposed to last a week 😉 And honestly? I think I’d rather be training in cold temps (but not this cold) than the super scorching temps that come with summer training!


Question of the day: What’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever ran in?

41 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    You are seriously impressive. I hate hate HATE running the cold and I’m really trying to continue this winter but I have a feeling the treadmill will soon be in my future. The coldest weather I’ve ever run is probably in the 20s F… and I doubt I’ll ever go colder. If I was ever going to do a marathon I’d have to do a fall one, I don’t mind the heat- I mean I don’t love it either but I’d rather wake up early to try to beat it. Not much you can do about the cold!

    You are impressive. That is all.

  2. Becky says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’re hardcore. The end. Plus, with that face mask? You totally look like a ninja – love it!

  3. Heidi says:

    Omg you are tough I totally would have skipped lol Coldest I ever ran in was -8 and that was brutal! Good for you for being committed!!

  4. You are my hero.

    Because I would never do that… the treadmill is my friend and it’s still only 10 degrees here. I bitch about even having to walk three blocks to get there!

  5. Caroline says:

    Way to go! I never would have been able to do that haha. Just this weekend, I stopped snowboarding early because it was too cold. It was “only” 0 degrees. I legit can’t imagine. In general, I like running in the cold. But I think I draw the line at like 20 degrees.

  6. AshleyD says:

    Holy cow, you are impressive! The coldest run I’ve done was about 0F when I was in Canada over the New Year. The temperature was not bad at all with my layered clothes, but the wind was tearing apart my face. I’ll need to prepare for that if I never run in the freezing cold again. I guess that’s what toques are for! 🙂

  7. Crystal says:

    You. Go. Girl. That is totally awesome to see how dedicated and motivated you are to kicking some butt at this training. Very inspirational. I have probably run in temps in the teens and twenties, but never below zero! Nice job!

  8. J says:

    BRR!! It was so cold for my Saturday run, but not that cold! I am going for a lunch run today (hopefully) and it is supposed to be so windy! I can handle the snow, I just hate the wind!

  9. Ris says:

    Wow you’re hardcore. I usually opt for the treadmill once it gets to be lower than about 20 degrees F. That said, I ran a race in a blizzard last winter. It was the last race of the season in Chicago and they told us at packet pickup that it was going to happen no matter what the weather situation, so we showed up and ran even though most of the roads hadn’t been plowed yet and it was furiously snowing. Probably my worst time ever for a 5-miler but it was actually so much fun!

  10. April says:

    Holy crap. I don’t know how you do it (much less how temps actually become that low)! I stop running outside around uh… 50 degrees, but then again it’s January and next week’s forecast in South Carolina is in the 60s to low 70s. How do you not slip on the snow and ice when running?

  11. Lauren says:

    Yes! I love this post. It’s amazing how easy it is to run in any weather when you have the right gear.

    Admittedly, I haven’t been as tough (or as prepared) as you lately. I went out for a 6 mile run yesterday and just did not have enough clothes on. I knew I didn’t but I thought I could tough it out. I turned around .5 miles (meaning I only ran one mile) and got my tail to the gym.

    Winter has been SO mild here this year so I haven’t had to complete many cold runs yet. If the next two weeks hold out for me, I will have trained through the entire winter in only a thin pair of running tights. Minnesota is getting soft!

  12. Nora says:

    LOVE that sweater. it looks so comfy! I kind of want one =)

    Way to go you on getting out there and running. I was thinking of you last night every time I opened the door here to let Jack in/out and got a cold blast of air. You’re a rockstar runner, just in case you weren’t sure!

  13. Laura says:

    Awesome job! Last year we had to do a long run in -35ish (with the windchill). I could barely move from all the clothing! It just makes you a better runner…and more badass.

  14. Lindsey says:

    Amazing! Our run clinic was cancelled if it was colder than -25 with the wind, and I think the coldest run I did was -22 but in a open area so to me (I am a wimp) it felt much colder. I opted for the treadmill often after that, about -17 was my cut off.

  15. I ran last week in like -1 or something and it wasn’t awful, but I don’t know if I’m strong enough for any more than that. Its -9 here right now and Im sitting a foot away from my space heater and still wearing my coat.

  16. Anais says:

    Woohoo good job!!!!

    The coldest I’ve run in was similar to yours… and there was a frostbite warning lol! I think with windchill it was -33. Anyways I didn’t have quite as many layers as you so my stomach and thighs were burning (of cold) when I got back… layering is definitely the key!

    And I totally agree with you – I’d rather train in cold weather than scorching hot any day!! Although it is kind of nice being able to go for a run and only have to throw on a pair of capris and a t-shirt 😉

  17. Bronwyn says:

    I’ve run in maybe -10, but that’s about it. Usually I would be off from running for December/January, or only running in day early afternoon back in high school…

  18. Holly says:

    I totally would have bailed if I had to run in weather like that! It was -31 (+ windchill!) when I left for work this morning – days like today should be spent bundled up on the couch with a warm blanket and a good book! I’ve been wearing my running tights to work under my pants – they’re a lot warmer than my tights or even long underwear 😀

  19. Page says:

    Oh man, that’s so ridiculously cold. You look like you’re about to rob someone!

  20. Vanessa says:

    Wow, you are hardcore! Good job getting out there despite the cold. We’ve been feeling the frigid temps here in Winnipeg as well and I’ve been cowering in my apartment like a wimp. 😛

  21. steph anne says:

    Yeeesh! You’re brave for doing that! I would rather be snuggled up inside by the fireplace, haha.

  22. Wow, that’s impressive! It’s been really warm in DC this winter so I think the coldest I’ve felt has been 23F with a feels like of 14F. It was cold but I was fine once I started running. Though I may need to start layering tights because my upper legs were bright red for hours after I was done from the wind!

  23. Stephany says:

    You are kick ass, lady.

    Goodness. It was in the upper 40’s this past week in the morning and I opted for the gym rather than running because it’s “too cold” for me. Ha!

  24. Nicole says:

    You are officially hardcore! It really isn’t that bad when you are dressed properly, which you were! I think the coldest I have run in is -33C.

  25. I’ve done the spring marathon thing, too, and running in the extreme cold is no fun. I remember one long run that was so cold, my sweat was freezing to my face, eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hairs! After that, I decided it wasn’t worth it for me to push running in such cold temperatures.

  26. Raquelita says:

    You are tough. I own a treadmill so I don’t usually make myself go out in anything below 10F. I think the coldest temperature I’ve run in was 8F (-13 C).

  27. mandy says:

    You are seriously amazing and dedicated. For reals, yo. I cannot even imagine being outside in temperatures like that.

  28. phampants says:

    Dude, I call it quits when it hits -4C. Above that, I’ll run outside.

  29. Now THAT’S committment!

  30. Gracie says:

    1. You are so brave, I would have bailed and opted for cocoa.
    2. Ha, the coldest weather I’ve run in is probably 29 degrees F! It rarely goes below 32F here.
    3. I love that sweater, I would throw some skinny jeans on with that and wear it all over. Adore it.

  31. Heather says:

    Seriously…thats not normal cold. Good for you for doing it! I couldnt imagine running with ANYTHING on my face like that.

  32. Wendy says:

    Good stuff, you’re rocking the cold weather workouts like a champ! I don’t really run outdoors, but I have played football out in the snow at -30 to -35 (the husband beats me though, and played in the -40s). Dressing well is really 90% of it though, I walk to work and had to pull out the snow pants for our lovely feels like -45 this week, maybe ridiculous and mostly unfashionable, but who cares! I was warm!

  33. Melissa says:

    WOW girl, that is just nuts!! Amazing job to you for running in those crazy cold temps. I don’t know about you guys, but over here in Montreal we had the most WICKED wind-storm overnight (up to 90km an hour wind!) so I was definitely cozied up in bed. But seriously, I love your motivation to run and to train, I hope that one day I can find motivation for some aspect of fitness the way you do 🙂

  34. I am a total wimp when it comes to winter running. I think the coldest temps i have ran in are maybe 0 degrees? Although I did do a valentine’s day 5k in conditions similar to what you ran in – and it was HORRIBLE. I didn’t have the right clothing on so it was a terrible, painful run!!!

  35. I think -10 might have been the coldest … maybe a little warmer than that. I hate the cold.

  36. Ashley says:

    This is making me extra grateful that I’ve been running in 60-70 degree F temps here in California. You’re a trooper!

  37. Jess says:

    Ummmm hot dam that is cold!!! You are brave for getting out there and going to your run clinic!!!

    Hey question for you about that, is it something you paid for or is it something your local running store offers for free. I’m looking into a couple of different options and just trying to get a feel for the benefits other people get out of paid/unpaid run groups.

    • MissAmber says:

      I’m doing it through the Running Room and it’s a paid clinic. But it was only $80 for an 18-week program – 3 group runs a week – which I think is totally reasonable. That’s a lot less than a gym membership would cost me.

      I’ve done free groups in the past too but honestly I feel much more committed to this group since I paid for it! I’ve been getting a lot of questions about running groups lately so I think I’ll do a post on it soon.

  38. Kyria says:

    Yowza. That’s cold!

    When I lived in Iowa I ran a couple times in the same weather that you are running in, but I decided that I would rather sweat it out on the treadmill, even for the longer runs. Right now it has been in the 20s (F) and I agree with you on the fact that once you start running, it is not that bad. It’s the beforehand that sucks!

  39. […] -17. By the end the temperature was up to a feels like of -14 C (7 F). Yet it’s still not the coldest weather I’ve ever ran in. But I don’t think I’m as hardcore as I was two years ago anymore. My new cut off for […]