Exercise! - problems with outdoor exercising in cold weather

09-16-2010, 05:33 PM
So a full hour (and a hot shower!) after coming back from my nightly jog, my ears still feel like they're frozen. It was about 10 degrees C when I went out, but my body quickly warmed up from the exercise. I noticed towards the end of my jog, however, that my ears were so cold that they had gone numb. They've warmed up slightly in the past hour, which has mainly resulted in them aching dully but constantly.

I've known since moving here that exercise would get increasingly trickier as the temperature dropped, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon! I'd love some advice, if you have any to offer. Should I suck it up and deal with the cold (it's not like my ears will get frostbitten at 10 degrees C, right?), should I suck it up and wear an ear band and warmer clothes all around even though this will make me uncomfortably warm during exercise, or should I just find a way to exercise inside? And if you throw your hat in with that last option, what indoor exercise would you suggest? I'd love to know how others change their exercise routines in the face of winter weather!

09-16-2010, 06:27 PM
My ears are always the first thing to freeze, and it HURTS!

I have been known to go for a run wearing ear warmers, shorts and a tank top. Do what makes you comfortable! If everything else is okay in the cold, then just cover your ears :)

09-16-2010, 06:40 PM
its always my ears and my fingers! im about ready here to bust out the mittens in the morning...still wearing shorts and a tanktop, mind you. I wouldnt go out dressed too warmly though. i think its worse being uncomfortably HOT for most of the run, then uncomfortably chilly for the first 5 minutes

09-16-2010, 06:43 PM
I've done some research about running in the cold because I want to keep running as long as possible before giving in to the weather.

What I've read says that you should start out feeling cold because you will warm up during the run. If you start out comfortable, you're going to get overly hot.

Personally I would find a hat too hot in 10C/50F but you might try it. Or maybe ear warmers or an ear band instead.

On your torso, you need layers: a long sleeve wicking shirt (I love my Wickers long sleeve undershirt!), a fleece pullover, and a waterproof windbreaking jacket. At 10C/50F, the long shirt should be enough. Add the pullover at about 5C/40F, and the jacket at 0C/30F.

Your legs don't need as much covering and you should be able to wear just shorts until 5C/40F. Below that point, wear running tights. If it's really windy and cold, pull on a pair of windproof track pants.

Wear layers of socks (an inner polypropylene pair and an outer wool pair) at 5C/40F or below.

Wear gloves when you think you need them; they're easy to take off if they get too hot.


09-16-2010, 08:47 PM
i was out this morning at 7C with just a t-shirt. 5-15C is my favourite temperature range! Must be my english heritage. Agree with everyone else though - just try the hat, don't bother with extra body layers, being too hot whilst exercising is yuk.

09-17-2010, 09:42 AM
Thank you all so much for the advice! I'll try my ear band tonight and see if that solves the problem. I think a hat would definitely make me unbearably hot. So annoying that only one part of my body gets cold! Otherwise I love this weather. It's nice to know that others share the same problem, though.

09-17-2010, 01:02 PM
Where ya'll from? Alaska? :hug: Joking aside. I live in SC, and it is hot as Hades down here. We have to wait till it is October or November till the weather gets comfortable enough to job. I'm hot-blooded, forgive me. I hope you resolve your situation.

09-17-2010, 04:10 PM
Just wanted to say thanks again - adding the ear band worked really well. I looked like a huge dork, but there was nobody around to see AND looking like a dork half an hour every day is a pretty fair trade-off for losing weight. The ear band kept my ears nice and warm, and I was able to slip it down around my neck without losing momentum when I started to overheat. Your advice was much appreciated!

And Serenity, I recently moved to Finland. Generally, I'm quite enjoying the cooler weather, but my ears don't seem to have very good circulation!