Running in Freezing Weather: Houston Style

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I grew up in California, lived in Hawaii and now I live in Texas. Common theme? Heat. So naturally, when I began my running journey it was in warm weather. This year, Houston’s weather has been especially warm. Looking back at the season, 90 percent of my long marathon training runs have been extra sweaty. Of course, with the Chevron Houston Marathon a week away, we finally got some chilly weather. And I mean chilly. This weekend was the coldest I’ve experienced in the four years I’ve lived in Houston. But, when you have a marathon in a week, you don’t let the cold interfere with your last few days of training! So with two full days of sub 30 degree weather under my belt, I learned a few things.

  • Layer up. With lower temps that normal and a wind chill that made it feel even colder, I knew it was time to break out all the layers. I wore two thick long sleeve tops, a windbreaker, gloves, an ear warmer, neck warmer, leggings, and my base runner pants. Note: I’m obsessed with my lulu base runner pants. I usually use them as sweats to lounge/sleep in, but they’re perfect for a top layer when its freezing.

    Wearing ALL the layers!
  • Buddies are the best. When it’s colder than usual, getting out of bed is even harder. But, if you’re meeting other people for a run, you can’t wimp out. Plus, running in tough conditions is always easier with a crew than alone.
Running buddies for the win.
  • Stop for water. Fun fact. When it’s under 32, water freezes (okay, basic science). But that means water fountains freeze, too. So when it comes to staying hydrated (still important when it’s chilly), you have to get more creative. In our case, that meant stopping at Starbucks. We even got cups of hot water to warm up our hands.
  • Listen to your body. Cold weather is hard on your body, so tune in even more. Don’t try to run too fast and be okay with cutting your run a littler shorter if you’re feeling uncomfortably cold.
  • Have fun. I ran a short, four mile social run today and it was a blast! We kicked off the Revolution Studio social run through River Oaks and enjoyed great conversation. The best part? We found a random pile of snow (brought in, it definitely didn’t snow in Houston) and had a mini winter wonderland photo shoot. It’s all about the experience!

    Snow angels, duh.

Did you run in H-town this weekend? What was your experience like?

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