Running Outside When It’s -10°F and Living to Tell The Tale

In my last post I discussed the gear that I wear for winter runs. However, this covered my gear for New York, and Minneapolis is quite a bit colder. Horribly cold. The last two mornings have been -1°F and -8°F. Cold!

January 22, 2011 Weather Report for Minneapolis, MN

Saturday Morning: -1°F, feels like -14°F. I can hack that right? Oh wait, it's supposed to get colder during the run‽

January 23, 2011 Weather Report for Minneapolis, MN

Sunday Morning: -8°F, but at least there is no wind. Whew!

When it’s this cold I need a lot more gear. I switch to the treadmill at -10°F, so this is extreme. I wear the same base layers shown in the last post, but add a full length pair of workout pants, an extra pair of socks and gloves, a hooded sweatshirt, and most importantly, a balaclava. This usually keeps me quite warm — so warm that I sweat and sometimes get overheated. The sweat causes the creation of some interesting ice formations, as you can see from this picture I shot of myself at the end of my run this morning.

My protected face after an -8°F run

It was perfectly clear skies during my run. All that "snow" is condensation from my sweat. Awesome!

I didn’t realize until after I entered the house that I had a couple of 2 inch long icicles handing from my Balaclava. Although, I was completely aware during the run that my eyes were freezing up. Some folks might say that it’s really stupid to go running in these conditions, but if you dress appropriately you’ll be richly rewarded. Minneapolis on a cold Sunday morning is great. During my entire 4.3 mile run today I saw two other runners and one person walking a dog. I didn’t see a single car and the city was quiet. The view of St. Anthony falls was wonderful and there was no sounds other than my screw shoes crunching over the snow and ice. What a wonderful experience.

Got any tips for running in really cold weather? More specifically, got any hints to keep your eyes from freezing up?

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2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
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