How to go for a run at 0 degrees

Not only am I new to the idea of running as a form of physical training (rather than as a last-ditch method to catch a tight flight connection), I am new to dressing for comfort in cold weather while running, necessary knowledge to have when training for a cold-weather race. Last night provided the perfect opportunity for gear testing: Low, low single digits dropping into the negative single digits.

Step 1: Never start a run without taking advantage of an opportunity to test some new, preferably slightly ridiculous cold-weather strategy, such as ways to keep water from freezing solid. Taping a Camelback bladder to your skin can work, as long as you're not opposed to carrying around a cold, sloshing water baby.

Step 2: If you are using a more traditional method for protecting water and gear, such as a wedging a backpack inside of a coat, make sure you can actually fit your coat around all of the crap you want to wear and/or bring with you.

Step 3: Don't forget the loose final pieces such as gloves, hat and headlamp. Don't worry that you look like you're about to go deep-sea diving. In a way, this is essentially what you are doing.

Step 4: After warming up by running through the city streets, don ice creepers for the run up the mountain. If you are a mitten user, it is preferable to practice this step a few times before you go out into the Arctic cold.

Step 5: Be sure to look around and enjoy the views. After all, you could be inside a warm building, jogging on a treadmill as you sip herbal tea and watch "Dancing With The Stars."

Step 6: Run, run, run. Don't stop running. This is crucial for circulation since you are only wearing running shoes and a single pair of socks in order to avoid blisters (and even then, if you are new to running, you may still manage to return home with bloody socks from toenails that you forgot to clip because, well, you're new to running.)

Step 7: Don't make the mistake of believing you're done after you've descended the mountain. After all, you still have three miles of cool-down (way down) before you return to the safety of home. Note: This is a surprisingly long way when you don't have wheels.

Step 8: Relish in the fact you spent two hours and 15 minutes braving the elements, which is actually much more fun than simply exercising. Vow never ever to bother with treadmills or trainers again, and begin plotting tomorrow's run.


  1. I like winter running not sure about that much time at sub-zero but I always like an hour with light gear

  2. For the Susitna are you going to pull a sled?

  3. Awesome! I've always hated running on treadmills, especially when we have such a beautiful planet to go out and enjoy.

    Of course, my run today in Florida was in 75 degree weather... so its easy for me to say!

  4. Uni-Tom11:38 PM

    God you guys deserve each other.

  5. Anonymous12:44 AM

    Oh, Jill, that was a thoroughly entertaining read! The run preparation photos are amusing.

  6. Long-time reader, first time poster. This is awesome! If I ever decide to exit my warm house during winter to brave the elements in the name of fitness, I'll keep your tips in mind. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Helen3:35 AM

    Just love this blog!!!!!

  8. Winter has always been my favorite time to run and never indoors. I bike all summer and autumn then start running again when the snow flies. Totally backwards from most people's thinking.

    Of course I won't be running for two hours. I guess I'll have to work my way into it:)

  9. Excellent advice!

    Can't believe people would rather exercise indoors. I can't do it. Never have been able to do it.

    Oh well, it's a beautiful sunny day out here. Time to head out for a bike ride. It's also 12F degrees. Looking forward to getting out!

  10. It doesn't matter how well I clip the toenails, I still end up with bloody feet - injinji socks have been a lifesaver!

    You guys are pretty crazy :)

  11. Super awesome! I am interested in hearing how the taped-to-body camelback worked out. I don't think I'll be doing that... talk about chafing.

  12. Holy cow. My wife runs about 5 miles every morning....albeit inside:-)

    Looking at your and Beat are truly made for each other.

  13. You two look so HAPPY! I am glad for you both and keep it up!

  14. Anonymous3:41 PM

    You probably know about this, but here's a KTUU story about Anchorage's Skinny Raven Sports using screws to make ice gripping running shoes.


  15. Looks like crazy fun. Much better then "moving" indoors and going nowhere.

  16. I love it. WI has the same conditions for running. I love how when it is zero out, your hat and gloves and jersey freeze (just as your picture attests) and there is extra motivation to just keep running. I love it when despite the weather, you ultimately get hot enough to take off your gloves! Outside exercise is the best!

  17. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Looks like I forgot to paste the link:,0,6557202.story

    If it gets stripped off, Google:

    skinny raven ktuu


  18. Hil and I were in Missoula over the holiday weekend and went out for a short snow run in the Jumbo Saddle area on Friday after it had warmed up a touch. Running in the snow and cold is pretty novel and fun for us, being from the L.A. area. Nice to visit that beautiful place. Run/Ride on… Jonah

  19. Check.. All of the above. I just have to remind myself that when you say "below zero" you mean Farenheit! Nutter. Beautiful nutter.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Another crash

My night on the PCT