No Excuses!


Well, our annual late winter cold snap is upon us. We always seem to get really cold weather around late January/early February. Last night when I started my run it was -11 but felt like -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 running outside is probably about -20 C (-4 F).

Anyways, I am super lucky to live in a “balmy” part of Canada (Ha!) where it is very accessible to run outside year round. We usually only get these cold spells twice each winter and they only ever last for a week. The rest of the winter the temperature hovers between 5 C and -5 C (41 F and 23 F), which is very runnable weather I think!

All that said, I am kind of a believer of the “no excuses” philosophy when it comes to running (and exercise in general really). I mean, I know there are extreme weather conditions (both heat and cold) that we just can’t run in but for the most part I think that if we dress properly, it’s doable. For example, last night I was wearing four layers on top (a long sleeve base layer, a t-shirt because my stomach tends to get really cold, a running jacket and then a very thin windproof jacket. I also had on two pairs of pants, a toque, a neck warmer and gloves. I would never go out in that kind of weather without something to put over my nose/mouth while running. I have this buff and highly recommend it – it’s also reflective!

And lastly, if it’s really cold just bundle up and tell yourself you’ll go for 20 minutes. I bet you any money after 20 minutes you will be warm and if not well at least you got 20 minutes of movement in! I would personally rather run in extreme cold than in extreme heat or in rain (after the 2010 Portland Marathon I HATE running in rain!)

Oh, and as for anyone complaining about icy sidewalks/trails, invest in some yak traks! I have these ones and they work awesome.

No excuses πŸ™‚ Oh, and all this reminds me of this hilarious photo my friend posted on Facebook the other day!


Do you live somewhere that you can run outside year round? What is your least favourite weather to run in?Β 

19 Responses

  1. Ris says:

    I ran outside year-round when I lived in Texas (even in triple-digit heat!) but I’m a self-proclaimed wimp when it comes to cold weather. The winter months see me logging a lot more time on the treadmill, but at least I’m doing something, right? πŸ™‚

  2. Heather says:

    YUCK! I hate winter and all things that come along with it. That is one of the reasons we moved south. Winters on Lake Michigan were tough. (not that we are have spring like weather at the moment).

    I love running in the heat. I feel like I suck less and my body is looser during the run

  3. Kelly says:

    I was able to run outside most of the winter last year, but part of that is helped by the fact that I only run 2 times a week or so, so I can pick which days will be warmer ha ha. Eric and I have ran in some crazy snowstorms and considered investing in ski goggles for running, lol.

  4. Britt says:

    I got harassed pretty hard by friends and family for being outside running in our cold cold weather this week. You know what though, it really wasn’t that bad. Layers are my best friend. Sometimes, you just gotta get outside! πŸ™‚

  5. Marisa says:

    Yay The Oatmeal!!! I love that image. I wish our cold snap only lasted 1 week, and honestly normally it’s only 1-2 weeks but this winter???? OMG it is never ending. We get maybe 1-2 days per week that are in the teens fahrenheit (around -8 C) and the rest of the days we’re lucky to hit 5 F (-15C) Which wouldn’t be so bad but it’s usually around -10F (-23C) in the morning and evenings after work. I will take low 20’s F at this point. That would feel like a heat wave! But I have held out for too long running on the treadmills thinking that any day now the weather will change. It isn’t going to so I’ve admitted defeat and started running outside. It isn’t so bad….sorta. πŸ™‚

  6. Leigh says:

    Oh I wish our weather was like that! It’s been hovering around -20C (into the -30’s with the windchill) here this week, so no running outside for me. I think my limit is -20C. It’s just not that fun at that temperature! And layers are definitely key to getting out in that weather.

  7. Caroline says:

    I’ve been running outside through the winter this year, which is definitely a first! It’s pretty much solely because I have a running partner now, I’m not sure how often I would go out on my own (though I have a couple time this year, so who knows!). I think the weather that I don’t even think about running outside in is downpour rain. It’s okay if it’s raining a little.. or if it starts mid-run, but I have never started a run in the rain.

  8. LG says:

    Oh wow – GO GIRL! We have a treadmill and it gets a lot of use in the winter. I think -7 or so is my coldest outdoor running temp, but I don’t have Yak Tracks. I have been thinking about getting some but am not sure if I really care to venture into hardcore outdoor running…? If I had them, I probably would.

    I am very curious too as to whether the buff you have stays up around your face to keep the cheeks from getting too cold? That’s my other big cold-weather running hang-up. So yeah, I’ve been just like “meh” and going on the treadmill instead. But this is inspiring! :0)

  9. Nora says:

    That picture is awesome and all kinds of funny! Love it.

    I suppose I could easily run outside during our winter/snowy months. Most people here don’t shovel their sidewalks (unless they are nice and/or have a dog) so it’s kind of challenging to jump over snow mounds and whatnot but when I take Jack on walks we do it and it’s kind of fun. And I know it works my bum out better to climb snow mountains πŸ™‚ I’m not running anymore due to my joints but I love me a good walk that warms me up in the winter.

  10. Amy says:

    Why are there quotations around the word balmy? haha. I love the photo though and you’re totally right – 20 minutes is better than zero.

  11. If you can run outside year round, then technically so can I. But, my deal breakers are (1) temps below 20F (because I have sports-induced asthma, which is exacerbated by cold weather) and (2) unshoveled sidewalks (which, sadly, we have far too many of here). I wish I could move beyond #2, but I can’t. So, I wind up not doing very much running during the winter months. Yak tracks, though, are something I’ve been eyeing recently…

  12. Stephany says:

    Your cut-off for running is -4?! NEGATIVE FREAKING FOUR?! Goodness gracious. I think mine is 40 degrees. Hahaha. I am SUCH a cold weather wimp. But, to be fair, I don’t have much winter workout clothes. One pair of pants, one long-sleeved tee, gloves… annnnd that’s about it. (And since my body isn’t conditioned for cold weather, I need lots of layers if it gets under 40 degrees!)

    Thankfully, our winter has been suuuuper mild. A few low 40-degree days (maybe 10-14, at most?), but mainly staying in the 60s and 70s and it makes me very, very happy.

  13. Crystal says:

    I am totally done with winter. Done. Done. Done. I think I need to move πŸ™‚

  14. Nikki says:

    I like the no excuses philosophy too but I will admit to not always enjoying this kind of weather. And we’re even warmer than you guys!

  15. I just got jealous of your temperatures. Ha. This has been our coldest snowiest winter in like ever. I don’t remember this much snow since like 2008 but cold? Not for a very very long time. I think we hit 20 degrees once this week, none last week, and I don’t know if we will be over 0 until late afternoon tomorrow. I’m over winter. I can’t run on my road in the winter because I live on a 55 mile an hour country road and I barely like being on it in the summer but winter means no ditch/side to dive into if their are crazies. Treadmill for lyyfeeee.

  16. Lisa of Lisa's Yarns says:

    Right now I live in a climate where you can run year round easily. It would be perfect to do a spring or summer marathon as this is pretty much the optimal time to run here. But I would not say that Minneapolis is conducive to year round running. They have had days with windchills in the -30 to -50F range and that is just way too cold for me! I love running but I guess I don’t love it enough to run in crazy cold temps so I would usually run on the treadmill during the winter or do other cross training activities. For me, if it was colder than 10F I wouldn’t run outdoors, anything above that I would! I think if I had more winter weather clothing I could have ran in colder temps but I haven’t made the investment.

    My least favorite weather to run in is super cold weather. I much prefer a hot and humid 110 heat index day to the cold!!

  17. Emilie says:

    I prefer running outside infinitely over running on the treadmill. I don’t mind the cold but I am afraid of running in the dark when it is icy/snowy. I live on a main street so running on the road is a bit scary in the dark (people drive SO fast!) and running on the sidewalks is a bit dangerous because people don’t always shovel well. So right now I run on the treadmill at the gym during the week when it’s dark before/after work and always do my long run outside on the weekends. It’s been working well so far. I will probably invest in yak traks next year.

    I definitely prefer running in cold temps to running in 100+ degrees with humidity! The only upside to running in the heat is not having to deal with really narrow streets due to snow/ice.

  18. I have those yak track things for my shoes. I don’t run but I do like to go for walks. Besides, I really am going to start running so I’ll have them for next year.

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