Monthly Archives: December 2019

Running Gear: Winter Wear

Winter running brings its own set of challenges.  From the potential for nasty weather that includes rain, snow and even ice to fewer daylight hours those winter months can be tough.  One of the toughest things to deal with can be your wardrobe. So, what running gear do you need to tackle those hard winter days?

That’s a hard question.  Some people are comfortable in shorts when it’s hovering around freezing and others throw on a puffer when temps hit 60.  Where you grew up, the weather conditions you were exposed to, what you’re used to and your DNA all play a part in what running gear you’ll want to sport.  Here are a few guidelines Team ECRP uses to help choose what to put on before heading out.running gear

Layers are your friend.  It’s easy to cool off but not so easy to warm up.  You’re better off dressing in more than you think you might need.  Zippers are a nice way to let additional air in and sleeves can always be rolled up.  Do not discount stockings or tucking in your shirt.  Stockings can keep you warm without adding weight and help wick sweat away from your hard working body.  Yes, even for the men.  Tucking in your shirt will help trap heat when you’re chilly and undoing it will let a little cool air flow when you’re warm.

Pretend it’s warmer.  Twenty degrees is a good ballpark.  If the feels like is 50 throw on what you would to walk around when it’s 70.  This accounts for the rise in core temperature associated with exercise.  Highly variable from person to person you’ll want to experiment with different set-ups until you learn what works best for your body.

Accessories like gloves, mittens, hats, ear warmers and wool socks are a must.  Blood goes away from extremities to keep working muscles going and leaves these end of the line body parts vulnerable.  Frost bite is no fun and can happen quickly.  These small running gear additions are easy to stow in pockets when you get warm. Except the socks. They also come in all kinds of fancy colors and patterns, giving you lots of ways to have fun with your gear on what might otherwise be an unexciting run.

Wind and precipitation can also throw a wrench in your running clothing plan.  Waterproof gear can trap heat while getting soaked will make you quite a bit cooler.  A headwind will likewise cool you.  When you turn around, however, the tailwind will warm you up again.  Headwinds also take more than they give.  A big headwind can slow you down almost twice as much as an equal tailwind will help you.

No matter what you wear while you run, have something dry to toss on when you’re finished.  You’ll want to get that sweaty running gear and all of the bacteria it holds sooner rather than later.  How soon?  That depends.  The human body is very adaptable.  It will adjust to any condition you repeatedly put it in if given enough time.  Even though you have those dry clothes handy, it can benefit you to stay in the sweaty ones just a tad bit longer.  This helps your body learn to deal with tougher conditions and could make your next crummy weather run a little less so.

The best way to find what works for your winter training wardrobe is to get out there.  Try different combinations of running gear on short runs.  Most importantly, training in any weather will make you ready to race in whatever conditions show up on race day.

Coach Meredith

4 Reasons to Love the Treadmill

Treadmill.  A running dirty word.  Affectionately known as the dreadmill, ask just about any runner and you’re sure to hear how much they loathe running on one.  They’re inside and they are boring.  Unfortunately treadmills get a bad wrap.  The gym staple can be both a valuable training tool and steady partner.  Here are four reasons Team ECRP (sometimes) loves their treadmills.

Safety.  Hopping on the old ‘mill can help keep you safe.  Running indoors can keep you away from potentially dangerous streets in busy or strange cities.  Especially during dark early mornings, late nights or slippery winter months having the ability to run indoors is great.  Sometimes it’s hard to beat a place where the temperature is controlled, the running surface is dry and the lights stay on.  The softer surface of a treadmill can also keep your body safe from injury.  Reduced pounding and a level belt will help protect tired tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones while staying out of the sun can help prevent skin cancer.

Weather.  There’s bad weather and then there’s bad weather.  Heading for cover every time it sprinkles or the wind picks up isn’t the best way to prep for race day but sometimes mother nature has other plans.  Hurricanes, blizzards and heat waves are all good reasons to stay inside and, maybe, away from windows.treadmill

Speed.  The last chunk of a hard workout is usually hard.  That’s the point, right?  If you really want to push yourself and work on maintaining a hard pace for longer, let the treadmill help you.  The belt won’t unintentionally slow down due to fatigue so as long as your feet keep moving, neither will you.  More time at a faster pace can contribute to faster race times and build confidence.

Hills.  Hill training can be tough for those who live in the flat lands.  Long, steady hills that are safe to run might be hard to find no matter where you are but usually a treadmill isn’t too far away.  Since incline is a feature on almost all ‘mills, put it to good use.  It’s easy to get in a killer hill session while working on both form and strength by pumping up that incline just a bit.

Coach Meredith