runfreeforever

Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

What to Wear (cold weather)

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but for the end of March, it’s still freezing here. Last year I remember running outside for track practice every day, not having to worry about meets cancelled for snow and uncommonly cold weather. But not this year. We’ve been confined to running circles around the gym. We’ve been able to run outside in the ice and puddles on the trail by our school, but we’ve only had about 4 or 5 workouts on the track so far. Our first and second outdoor meets have both been cancelled – we were supposed to have one last Saturday and one tomorrow. Today was the first “warm” day of the spring – and it was still only 42 degrees. WHEN IS SPRING GONNA COME???

I always have the hardest time trying to decide what to wear when I run. I am probably one of the most indecisive people you’d ever meet. Over my spring break, we went south and went to the beach, where it was lovely and 60-70 degrees every day. I got to wear tank tops and shorts and cutoffs every day, and I never had any problems deciding what to wear. But then when I got back to this freezing cold, snowy weather, I’ve got my same old problems again, trying to pick out what to wear so I’m not sweating through all my clothes or numb from the cold. But even though I’m indecisive, here’s my list of essentials for the lingering cold weather!

BASE LAYERS:

It’s super important to have a good, warm, sweat-wicking base layers to keep you warm. Before I start, I must stress my RULE #1.) NO COTTON!!! ESPECIALLY FOR THE BASE LAYER!!!! YOU GOTTA GET THE SWEAT AWAY FROM YOUR SKIN ASAP OR YOU WILL FREEZE AND TURN NUMB AND GET HYPOTHERMIA!!!!! (okay, I might have been exaggerating a bit, or a lot, but that just shows how serious I am). Anyways. I almost always wear running tights whenever it’s chilly out. I like Nike’s Dri-FIT tights like these ones below, because they’re super comfy and warm. My pair of Nike tights are fuzzy on the inside too, which makes them even better.

Nike Pro Core II Women's Tights

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-438005/pgid-707273

Running tights, and running performance clothes in general, can get pretty pricey. Big name brands like Under Armor, Nike, Asics, etc. are good, but the running tights from Target often work just as well and don’t hurt your wallet as much. I have two pairs from Target, a thicker one and a thinner one, and they both work wonderfully for me. The tights below are $25 from Target, it’s a pretty good deal compared to the rest of the name-brand tights that range from $50-100+ !

C9 by Champion® Women's Leggings - Black Heather

http://www.target.com/p/c9-by-champion-women-s-leggings-black-heather/-/A-14232550#prodSlot=large_1_25

There’s also a wide variety of awesome patterned tights out there, I’d really like to get myself a pair one of these days! Dick’s Sporting Goods always seems to have a great variety of flashy colors and prints. I think these ones below are pretty cool!

Nike Engineered Print Women's Running Tights

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-654842/pgid-654006&cp=usns_CSE_081109_ShopzillaBizRate

After you’ve got your good running tights, a good performance shirt is always important. A shirt that wicks away sweat and keeps you dry will be your best friend, since when you’re sweaty and wet, you only get colder. Once again, the same name-brand rules apply for shirts like they do for the running tights. Here’s a few that I like:

This black Under Armor shirt is just basic. Wear it by itself, under a t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, anything. I’ve got a pretty similar C9 one from Target too.

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/womens-ua-sonic-longsleeve/pid1233503-001

On really cold days, I like the mockneck on shirts like this, especially when the wind is strong. When it starts getting warmer though, it drives my crazy.

Under Armour Women's Fitted ColdGear Mockneck Shirt - Dick's Sporting Goods

http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4288336&ppp=18&cp=4406646.4413874.12019863.12181217.12181219

I like this half-zip shirt by New Balance a lot, I think it might be my favorite shirt! Besides being cute and warm, it has reflective material on the back, and the end of the sleeves have thumb holes and can fold over like mittens.

http://www.6pm.com/new-balance-nbx-prism-half-zip~2?zfcTest=mat%3A1

Well that’s a start on my recommended cold-weather running wardrobe; I’ll finish it up next time, with sweat pants, sweat shirts, hats, and gloves!

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My New 800 Meter PR!!!!

We had our first track meet of the season two days ago on Tuesday! It was our one and only indoor meet that our team is going to this season. Indoor meets are great because you don’t freeze like you would out in this winter weather, and you don’t have things like wind or rain or snow working against you. However, the air is awfully dry and leaves you coughing for a few days at least, and the track is shorter so you have to run more laps and it can throw you off mentally during a race.

But back to my meet – I only ran the 4×800 meter relay, and I ran the first leg. Our team finished second out of 10ish varsity teams in a time of 10 minutes flat. AND I GOT A PR (Personal Record)!!!!!! 🙂 At the first meet of the season!! I am THRILLED!!! I ran a 2:35 flat according to one coach, and a 2:34.64 according to the other. I think I’m supposed to go with the 2:35 time, but even then, that’s more than two seconds faster than my best time last year in track! Yes, I feel like I should have done better. Yes, I think I could have stayed back a little during the first 700 meters instead of fighting for first then dying in the last 100 and letting a bunch of girls pass me because I had nothing left to give. Yes, I wish I wasn’t the slowest leg of my 4×8 team, but hey, I was only three and four seconds behind the second and third leg girls. I have room for improvement. I’m not done yet. It would’ve been nice to be the fastest girl out there, but I’m not there just to beat everyone else, but to beat my own personal previous race times. I’m confident that if I can get a PR on the first meet of the season, I’d better be able to keep getting more PR’s and hopefully (cross my fingers and pray!) I’ll be able to get into the lower 2:20’s and I’ll make it to the state meet in May! One meet down, many more to go, and many more opportunities for improvement!

http://www.runningrachel.com/2012/02/motivation-monday-just-run/

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Run Like a Kenyan

http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-run-like-a-kenyan/

One of the most dreaded workouts of our track season is the Kenyan Run. I’m not sure how it got its name, whether someone from Kenya does this type of run, whether someone thought it would make you run like a Kenyan, whether it uses the Kenyan style of running…I have no idea. My coach had us do a few of these last year for the first time…and since I ran super slow at my time trials, the splits she wanted me to have weren’t all that bad. For other people who actually ran good times in their time trials, though, it sucked. We did one of these three-mile runs yesterday, and while it did get tough at the end, it wasn’t unbearable. I was feeling pretty good yesterday, so that certainly made it better. The key to the Kenyan run is negative splits.

Here’s how it works:

Add a minute and a half to your fastest most recent mile time. Run one mile at this pace. For the second mile, subtract fifteen seconds from that time. Finally for the third mile, subtract fifteen more seconds. And as always, make sure you warm up and cool down sufficiently.

Negative splits are when you get faster as you go, rather than slowing down. I know that I always have a problem with this both in races and at practice. I have a tendency to start races and some workouts way too fast, slow down in the middle, then try to speed up at the end but it doesn’t always happen… That’s why negative splits and the Kenyan run are great practice so you can practice getting faster as you go rather than slowing down. In general, running negative splits in a race will be more successful than running positive splits and slowing down. If you start slower and speed up, you have more energy to really kick it in at the end and give it all you got. As long as you don’t run too slow for too long at the beginning and don’t speed up enough soon enough, this is a good strategy for some people who have a good sense of pace. On the contrary, if you start much faster than you should, then it’s easier to get worn out early and slow down way more than you should. This is what I do, and I’m sure a lot more people do this too.

One last note, last year at the state track meet, I saw a girl from a 1a school who ran the 1500, 3000, and 800. She was a ridiculously amazing distance runner and I’m pretty sure she won most, if not all of her races. She would start out every race – even the 800! – at the very back of the pack…but then she ran negative splits so she kept moving up and up throughout the whole race. By the end, she would be so far ahead of the pack that you never would have guessed that she started out at the back. Negative splits kinda suck but they work!

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