Winter Outdoor Workouts

Aging Up - "This business about aging is a sore point with me. People seem to think that because you get to a certain age, you should act in a certain manner.  I never did it when I was young, I'll be damned if I'm going to do it when I'm getting older.  If I finish the Ironman, and I'm an Ironman, then I can die happily."    Jimmy Stokes (yes, Ironman Finisher, when interviewed before his first and only iron distance attempt)

 "There are some men (and women) for whom the unattainable has a special attraction.  Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric, at worst, mad..." -Walt Unsworth

In my world, they call such people...Triathletes!

Happy New Year

Yes, You Can Workout Outside in January

This is the time of year when many folks, the non-believers as it were, think we're nuts.  "What, you're going outside to run in this kind of weather, why you must be ______ ."  Fill in the blank with the word you've heard most recently.

We typically spend the Christmas holidays in Chicago and on Christmas Eve, when our 25 year old son went out for a morning run, at 0 as in z-e-r-o degrees, grandma was after him like flies on flypaper. "How about this wool hat? Those gloves couldn't be thick enough.  Would you like this scarf?" Etc.  And she meant well.  But with a little trial and error, you can still run outdoors providing the footing is safe and visibility OK.  In the car vs runner arena, the car still wins.

Toe box blocked from the wind with duct tape.

It's been said that you heat up 10-15 degrees once you get going so that's in your corner and a friend tells me "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear."  Many of us have other issues like Raynauds Syndrome which you can compensate for or a cold/flu which you cannot and should wait till completely healed before out of doors exercise.  I didn't mention that men can get frostbite of their private parts if they don't make allowances for it with their gear.  Take it from the voice of experience, "It hurts big time!" says one local athlete.  Avoidance is best.

Knowing the expected weather as accurately as you can before you open the door is important.  Chemical hand and toe warmers are absolutely essential for some of us and learning the number and make up of your clothing layers makes the next run even easier.  Thinking "would a turtle neck or scarf be important today?  Gloves or mittens? A running waist belt with your cell phone just in case you get in a jam and need some help will probably never be needed, but that one time......

There are those who live in the country who feel it important to give their proposed running route on very cold or snowy days and an approximate time they expect to be back home to a friend or relative.  I can't say that's a bad idea at all.  It might also be a time when you take one more step ensuring your visibility.  How about a bright yellow outer layer or strobe light on the back of your belt.  Since you're already moving, most folks I see use the light in the non-strobe mode.  (Makes me think about those little kids you see at the mall or the airport where every time they take a step there's a flash of light from their shoes.  Wish they had them when I was little.)

Biking is the same but the relative "wind chill" and lack of toe motion need to be accounted for.  Shoe covers, booties, balaclavas, mittens with hand warmers and a reminder that although your thirst drive on cold days is pretty low, you can still get dehydrated.  Water bottles can freeze so a couple bucks in that waist belt for a pit stop at 7-11 for the beverage of your choice usually works.  Lastly, being ultra careful and attendant to your road surface, black ice, and cars that may have difficulty seeing you put you on the offensive for winter.

But if you still have questions, head back to your local running shoe specialty shop.  Probably not your generic sporting goods store.  But you don't buy your running shoes at a sporting goods store anyway.  Most likely the run shoe store sales team is made up of runners - who've had their outdoor exercise for the day already - and would be only too happy to discuss cold hands and feet ,wool socks, mittens, caps and the like.  It's runners talking about running.  Doing the thing they like second best.

So, from the Post family to yours, Happy New Year, happy and successful training, and here's to a (hopefully) injury free 2018.

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