Coping With Cold

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | By Hal Higdon
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Got a question about running? You're in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon's Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I'm running the Miami Marathon in February. I'm on Week 10 of your training program and tomorrow calls for 18 miles. The thing is, I'm in Rhode Island, and it's suppose to be 16 degrees tomorrow. I feel like that's too cold for me. I hate the treadmill, but will suck it up if I have too. Any suggestions on how to cope with cold weather.


Actually, coping with cold weather is a lot easier than coping with warm weather, and Miami can be hot in February. You can always layer up if the temperature drops down to near zero or even under it, but there is only so much clothing you can remove when the temperature is heading upwards through the 70’s and into the 80’s and 90’s. I went to Carleton College in Minnesota, so cold weather doesn’t scare me. My record cold run was at a cross-country ski resort near the Canadian border with the thermometer bottoming out at minus-18. Actually, with a bright sun reflecting off the snow and not that much wind, it was a rather pleasant workout, much more pleasant (in my mind) than running 18 miles on a treadmill. I assume that you may be in Rhode Island only on a short visit, otherwise 16 degrees would not scare you. One of the few things in life we cannot control as runners is the weather. I would look at the cold weather as another way to appreciate the Running Experience. If we can learn how to cope with both cold and warm weather in training, we will find it easier to do so during our most  important races.

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