Posts Tagged ‘Cold Weather’

Christopher Martin’s Run for Children 5k

Race time 29:54!

If you remember from my first blog post in August when I set some running goals for myself, goal #2 was to run a sub-30 minute 5k. I am proud to say that I can cross that one off the list! This past weekend at the Christopher Martin’s Run for Children 5k I finished in 29:54! My previous PR was at Jamie’s Run in Wethersfield when I ran a 30:20. So while I made it just under the wire for my goal, I did make it! Now I have to work harder to be consistent and keep my time down in future races.

A few things that I think contributed to beating my goal in this race; 1) What I eat. I don’t like to eat really early in the morning. That, however, doesn’t help me when I have an early morning race. I’ve been trying to be better about eating something, even if it’s something small, on the morning of my races. The morning of this race I had a bowl of cereal and half of a Chocolate Honey Milk. I’ve been paying close attention to how I feel during a race and how that corresponds to what I ate before the race. During a 5-miler a few weeks ago, I felt fantastic and I attribute that (at least partly) to the steak and eggs I had for breakfast that morning. 🙂

2) What I wear. For these cold races, I’ve been wearing Patagonia Capilene pants that I bought at Trailblazer and I absolutely love them. They keep my legs warm pre-race and wicks away moisture when I’m running. These are essential for me to run in the cold weather.

3) Pre-race running. I always attempt to do a solid warm-up before the race actually starts. I used to be that person who would do some stretching but not actually warm up with a jog before the race started. I always thought that I would tire myself out, but the more I run, the more I realize that warming up my legs is the most important thing I need to do before running a race.

4) Starting place. This is a personal decision for me, and is not what I would recommend for every runner. I prefer to start at the front of the pack, or as close to it as I can get. I find that when I start at the back or even in the middle, I spend more time worrying about getting around other people and not running into anyone that I don’t pay attention to my breathing or my pace. Starting at the front of the pack allows everyone who is faster than me to take off and allows me to just worry about myself, and everyone behind me can move around me. I start in the front on the right, since it’s running etiquette to move to the right if you are slowing down or walking.

5) Pacing. I used to be one of those runners who would RUN for a few minutes and then walk. And then RUN and then walk. What I found is that if I keep a steady pace then I can jog the whole time. It was important to me to find a pace that I was comfortable with so that I could finish a 5k without walking. Once I found that pace, then I could step it up slightly if I wanted to in order to push myself. In a few races I tested out different paces throughout the 5k to find what would work best for me. I tried running faster in the first mile so I would hit Mile 1 at 9 minutes or less, but found that I would be too tired in Mile 3 to run the whole thing. I tried keeping a 10 minute pace in the first 2 miles then stepping it up in Mile 3, but that wasn’t helping me get to my goal. So I went for the middle. I ran just over a 9 minute pace for the first 2 miles which gave me some leeway for the last mile. And this is what worked.

So now I have all winter to train on a treadmill to work on getting my comfortable pace to 9 minutes or less a mile. This is my goal, so that by race #1 of 2011 I can continue to beat my PR for the 5k.

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Cold Weather Running Gear

Originally posted on the Trailblazer Hub.

The cool weather is setting in and I am waiting for the day when it’s too cold to want to step out the door and go for a run. I ran a 5k a couple of weekends ago and it was a beautiful day for running, but that first chill had hit the air and I could definitely tell the difference in my lungs. Even though I grew up in Maine, I’m not a big fan of the cold weather so I’m in the market for some layers.

North Face makes a warm capri that will be great for running in the winter. Nothing is worse than running in the cold and not being able to stay loose because my muscles keep freezing up. Warm capris layered under pants will keep me toasty warm in the cold.

I generally hate wearing long sleeve shirts while running, because it keeps me warm before I start and then makes me hot when I get going. Patagonia has a great long-sleeve to keep me warm pre-run and keep me cool when I get hot.

I wear the $1.50 mittens from Target but if you’ve got to have the real deal, there are lots of running gloves to choose from. From Nike to Asics, there are plenty of styles to find the one that works best for you.

For headgear, a regular ball cap works if you aren’t worried about keeping your ears warm, a beanie or a headband works to keep the warmth in. I’ve been looking into neck gaiters recently for some extra protection. During that 5k a couple of weeks ago my biggest problem was my untrained lungs in the cold air.

So with all of the extra coverage, hopefully it will make for a not-so-cold winter running season! What’s your favorite gear for running in the cold weather?