As a winter storm, which the news is dubbing as "bombogenesis" or "bomb cyclone" moves across the East coast, the nearly 100,000 runners who have traveled to Florida for the marathon will need to be prepared for the colder than usual weather. I know, I know, for those of you from up north, Chicago or Canada, the fact that us southerners are belly aching over over weather in the 40s is laughable, but for those of us who only run and train in the heat, it can be an adjustment.
The weather forecast currently predicts a low of 36 on Friday, 43 on Saturday and 53 on Sunday. Given that you will be starting your morning at 3am, that makes for a pretty cold start.
The last year I ran the Walt Disney World marathon a heat wave came through and we were running in upper 80 degree temperatures by noon. What a difference this year!
When I ran the Charlotte Marathon in November, it was unseasonably cold and I had a really rough time because I wasn’t prepared. So, I want to share a few tips with you to make your cold marathon a positive one.
Top ten cold weather running tips
- Layer: Wear several moisture wicking layers so that you can shed them as you warm up. Runner’s World published a great article on the clothing to wear for each range of temperatures. Since the weather will be between 30-50 degrees, I suggest you wear a tank (such as this awesome one from Lululemon – no, I don’t receive anything for mentioning them, I just love the brand). Then wear a long-sleeved lightweight shirt over that and a jacket on top of that. For pants, I love these hyperwarm training tights from Nike. I bought these for myself for Christmas and they are my new favorite pants. As you run and warm up, you can shed the outer layers. (Pro tip: pin your number to the second layer, not your jacket, so when you shed your jacket you don’t have to repin).
- Keep your ears warm: I suggest wearing an ear warmer, but not a hat. Hats make me overheated, but the ear warmer serves double-duty by holding your hair back and keeping you warm.
- Go to Goodwill: Go to Goodwill before the race and buy an inexpensive fleece jacket, hoodie or blanket. Bring it with you to keep warm prior to the race start and then discard it at the start. Disney donates all of the clothing discarded by runners, so you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving it behind.
- Buy a space blanket: Did you know that you can buy those awesome mylar blankets that they give out after the race? I didn’t know that until I saw another runner bring one with her. You can wrap yourself in the space blanket while you are waiting for the race to start and then discard it before taking off.
- Use Handwarmers: Buy HotHands Hand Warmers to keep your hands warm while waiting for the race to start.
- Stay hydrated: Even though you are cold, you will still be sweating and will need to stay hydrated. Either bring a camelbak full of PowerAde or a fuel belt.
- Bring a hoodie for afterwards: I typically suggest not bringing a lot of items into your gear check bag, but when it’s exceptionally cold I make an exception and bring a clean, dry, warm fleece or hoodie. I already get chilled after running, even if it’s warm, so it’s important I have something dry and warm to change into.
- Consider a breathable mask: If you have allergies or if your lungs are dry. I have extreme allergies and asthma, so this is extremely helpful. It warms up the air before you breathe it in, making it a bit easier to breathe
- Get out of your sweaty clothes quick: Don’t hang around in your sweaty workout clothes, it will definitely give you the chills. Go back to your hotel room, take a shower and get changed into warm clothes soon after you run
- Drink something warm: After your race, have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to warm up. Then you’ll be ready to hit the parks!
Do you have any cold weather running tips? I’d love to hear from you!