SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 28, 2013

On The Run column: Tips for running in the cold

By Jay Kumar
Correspondent

---- — According to the calendar it’s still fall, but the temperatures lately have felt more like winter.

For those of us who refuse to run on the treadmill unless it’s absolutely necessary, dressing to run in cold weather can be tricky.

For your upper body, experts recommend wearing layers in the cold to keep heat in while allowing sweat to wick away from the body; this can be done by wearing multiple tech shirts and a jacket. But wearing too many layers can cause you to overheat and may feel restrictive, while wearing too few can result in an extremely chilled runner.

Over the years, I’ve tended to go overboard on the layers, usually driven by the initial shock of going from a warm house to the frosty outdoors. And often I’ve regretted the extra layers when I found myself sweating like crazy after the first few minutes of coldness. It’s also no fun on very windy days when strong gusts cut right through you, making that sweat feel like you just jumped into a cold shower.

I especially don’t like wearing running pants, so last winter I began running in shorts while wearing a long-sleeved tech shirt or two and possibly a knit cap and gloves. I found that after that first half-mile or so, I was warmed up and felt fine.

Of course, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you wear.

Sunday, I went for an 8-mile run in blustery 20-degree weather and when the wind was blowing, it was pretty darn chilly. My cutoff temperature for wearing shorts is 20 degrees; any colder than that and I’ll wear pants — although if the temperatures are in the teens or below, it’s probably a better idea to run indoors unless you really, really hate treadmills.

Still, every runner has different sensitivity to cold. Whereas one person may run in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt on a 32-degree day, another may bundle up in a jacket, wool hat and pants and yet another may choose to wear a singlet and shorts. Still others may stop running outside once the temperature dips below 45 degrees.

Whatever you decide to do is the right move as long as it keeps you running.

Starts and stops

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday to many, but it’s also known to runners on the North Shore for Gabe’s Run.

This year, the 6th Annual Gabe’s Run Reunion Run is tomorrow at Patton Park in South Hamilton (see accompanying story). There are three events: a Women’s 5K at 9 a.m., Men’s 5K at 9:45 and a 1-mile Kids’ Fun Run at 10:30. Visit www.gabesrun.org or contact: Jeff Pacione (Gabe’s Fund Memorial Scholarship) at 1-978-468-3224 or gabesfund@me.com for more information.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

Upcoming races

Sunday, Dec. 1

3rd Annual Chanukah Run-a-Latke Family Fun 5K, Chabad of the North Shore, 44 Burrill St., Swampscott, 10 a.m. Fun 5K timed race along the sea shore, Chanukah party with latkes and donuts. Contact: Allie Vered (North Shore Striders) at 1-804-269-6900 or allie_vered@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Dec. 5

No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Reindeer Run 5K, Cabot Street YMCA, 245 Cabot St., Beverly, 10 a.m. Contact: Andrew Walker (Greater Beverly YMCA) at 1-978-927-6855 x111 or walkera@northshoreymca.org.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Happy Holidays 2.62-mile Race and Half MerryThon, Good Harbor Beach, Thatcher Road, Gloucester, 9 a.m. Half-marathon (13.1 miles) and 2.62-mile race back to back. Contact: YuKan Sports LLC at 1-978-879-9007 or info@yukanrun.com.

Jolly Jaunt 5K, Beverly Hospital at Danvers, 480 Maple St., Danvers, 12 p.m. USATF-certified course. Race benefits Special Olympics of Massachusetts. Visit www.jollyjaunt.org for more information and to register online.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Dec. 12

No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.