Cold weather

Hi there! It’s Sunday, after an annoyingly cold week, and a lot less exercise than I hoped for, because of the weather. As the top image indicates, I’ve worn woollen socks more than running shoes this week. 🙁

I don’t mix with cold weather and temperatures close to zero (around 30 F) or below tell me to stay inside. I wrote about it yesterday in my Weekend Coffee Share post. Yes, I’m Swedish, and I grew up with cold winters, but that’s even more reason to avoid it now that I don’t HAVE TO go out – I ditched my nursing career when we moved here and I’m very happy not having to catch a bus to a hospital job at 6 am in whatever crazy weather.

Yesterday we woke up to -1C but at lunchtime it was up to 3C and not too bad. But this morning I have very low hopes that it’ll be decent to go out walking, because it’s 11 am and there’s still frost on the ground.

Monday

On Monday it was still ok outside, and I went out for another run & walk. The weather forecast the day before didn’t look very promising but it was better than expected with 5 degrees C, and while I was out it didn’t rain. Those 5 degrees seemed warmer than what we had during our Saturday walk last week – perhaps because I had another jacket, insulated, and with a more slim fit than the Stormtech I had for the Saturday walk.

This run went very well! Like last week, I went very carefully, soft jogging mixed with walking. If I felt any strain around the knees, I’d stop, but this didn’t happen much and I could run a lot more, I don’t think I did 50/50 running/walking but it was close to it and certainly was a big improvement. Happy days!

Some good running equipment for single digit temperatures!

Tuesday

Tuesday was gym day, and a good one. I did some good leg & shoulder work.

Wednesday

Wednesday I didn’t do much. I’m a little scattered at the moment because we’ve been asked to play music at a daycare centre for elderly next week, so on work-from-home days I’ve needed to prepare songs. Normally I would at least go for a walk, but not in this kind of weather… see above. The temperatures started going downhill on the Wednesday and I only went out to attend the camera club meeting.

Thursday

My plan was to go our for running & walking on Mondays and Thursdays. This week instead I did a few sets of squats, lunges, glute bridges and my rotator cuff mobility exercise. Even if we don’t count my preference about cold weather, I’m not sure it’s a good healthy thing to run when it’s around zero or below. My personal trainer didn’t recommend it either.

Without any knowledge on the topic, I’m thinking that running when it’s cold wouldn’t be great if you’re just coming back from an injury, and I also have a tendency to get sore throat when running, which probably would get worse in cold weather – so even if I forced myself to go out, it probably wouldn’t be a good run. However, I’m NOT going to make it too easy to skip running – when it’s over 5C I’m going out there! And I have no problems running in rain, or even windy weather (unless it’s a storm), so usual bad weather won’t stop me.

But until we get the usual bad weather back, I’ll use my plan B with bodyweight and mobility exercises. Actually, after this cold spell I’ll probably see our usual bad weather as quite good weather!

Friday

I had another good session in the gym, with some increased weights again! I did:

I still have lots of work to do with my core and shoulder strength. Both shoulder press exercises have always been my nemesis – my shoulders are my most problematic area and it was actually because of my shoulder problems I came to my trainer (also NMT) in the first place. At the beginning, I could never do full sets of any shoulder presses. In recent weeks I’ve been able to do them and it feels like victory! Now with increased weight I could do maybe 7-8 out of 10 and that’s not bad at all.

It was really cold and I realised I have no appropriate clothes for walking to and from the gym. I prefer not to have to change clothes there because the place is tiny and there’s no dressing room really. I wore like 5 layers of jumpers and jackets.

Saturday

We had -1C in the morning but it warmed up later. I decided to go to Dunnes which is an Irish retail chain and they have a quite decent sports department. I was hoping to find at least some kind of sporty winter-appropriate jacket. While they did have one, it had a terrible plastic surface and I looked like a Michelin man in it. Instead I found some wonderful fleece-lined leggings that I bought, to use for walking when it’s cold, then it wouldn’t be too bad to go for walks even with lower temperatures below 5C. In the afternoon it was still ok outside and we went out to do a dreaded job in the garden, remove a “fence” made up of ugly pallets (they were put there by the previous owners and are still there to stop the neighbour’s dogs, but they are rotting and falling apart) and put a simple dog fence there instead. It was absolutely fantastic to get it done and I feel good looking at it now!

That was the only “exercise” done yesterday but I managed to get 11 000-something steps in.

Sunday

Yesterday I was thinking that if the weather would be the same today, we could go for the long walk. But sadly today the frost seems to not melt away and even if we braved the temperature, the frost would make the roads too slippery. So today will be a rest & music day again. Until Wednesday I have some music stuff to do, but I’ll also squeeze in some bodyweight exercises on the non-gym days. I had a plan but haven’t followed it – I’m still in a sort of recovery mode after my exams and my head is all over the place. The best I can do is to have a set time each day for exercise, look through my list and see what is suitable that day (depending on what I’ve done in the gym).

And today I’ll receive the exam results. Maybe after that I can settle down and make more of a schedule!

I hope you had a good fitness week! Do you run in cold weather (and I mean Northern Europe type of cold)? What’s your approach? How does it work for you?

Joining the Weekly rundown link-up with Kim and Deborah.


30 responses to “Weekly rundown #2 2022”

  1. Coco avatar

    I’ve run in the teens (Fahrenheit). Sunshine and layers! Plus those tight with a skirt on top to keep my butt from freezing.

    But it’s mostly in the 20sor 30s here— and not super cold until Jan or Feb.

    1. Susanne avatar

      My new fleece-lined leggings were a wonderful find and I’ll use them a lot for walking when the temperature drops too much this winter. Later I might try running a bit also when it’s cold (as long as there’s no frost/ice, at least it’s doable) to see how my body handles it. But rather, I hope we’ll get back a more normal winter soon.

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    We have a much more mild winter here in the DC area than you do. We are mostly in the 20’s w some occasional teens in February. I am ok w those unless it is icy. You have to do what you feel your body wants to do. I am sure you will come up w a great plan! Finding the right clothes does really help

    1. Susanne avatar

      20 – if that’s Fahrenheit then it’s equivalent to -6 C!! (Or the online converters are incorrect)That’s worse than what we have! And it certainly can’t be 20C in the DC area?
      However – winters here in Ireland are usually much milder than this, although we get frosty days occasionally. Having it for so long is uncommon, and they even put together some emergency plan team this morning. It looks like it will improve by the end of next week, and I hope to go for a run on Saturday morning. I could imagine walking/running in cold temps if the road is dry and there’s no frost/ice. The leggings I bought yesterday will be very handy for such days, and I also found a nice padded running jacket that’ll work fine with some light knitwear. But for now I’ll stay with my indoor plan!

  3. Jessie avatar

    Everyone keeps telling me it never snows in London, but there definitely was frost this week! But for me, it’s quite mild compared to Minnesota. I am working hard on learning to convert my mind from F to C though! I think Deborah in the comments thought you meant F, because Ireland isn’t too different than London right now, which is about 35F, 2C…I hope you find some good gear to get you through this cold spell!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’ve been chatting a lot with people in the UK in recent years and I think I’ve heard of snow all the time in the winter! But, it’s possible most of those people are further north. Yes, it’s possible there was some confusion about F vs C. I try to always put temperatures in both C and F but was a bit lazy in this post with so many mentions of temperatures so I mentioned it in the beginning only. I can imagine it’s a huge change for you coming from the US, to get used to the units. But at least the only different unit for you is for temperature, I guess? Don’t the Brits use imperial for everything else?
      After my trip to Dunnes yesterday, I have some better gear for next week, I think! Hopefully I can at least go for walks – as long as the roads are dry and frost-free.

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    I run outdoors, year-round. I have a treadmill, but it’s on reserve for extreme conditions (like, a LOT of ice and/or sub-ZERO Fahrenheit temps). It took me awhile to feel comfortable running in the cold, though. I used to have terrible throat pain and my lungs would have me coughing for awhile upon finishing. I think I eventually learned how to “breathe” properly, and that made a difference. That said, everyone has their own comfort zone, and it’s alright to take a pass if the weather is too severe or uncomfortable. Looks like you had a solid week!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Kim! Yes, it was a good week despite the lack of running and walking, I’m happy with my gym sessions. Thanks for your input about running in cold weather. I’ll see how the week progresses, and if it’s a sunny day with dry roads.. possibly. Otherwise I’ll be happy enough with some added strength workouts.

  5. Jenny avatar

    Unfortunately I can’t help you much with your question, since I live in Florida. But when I lived up north (Chicago and then New York area) I ran in all sorts of weather including very cold. I think it’s a matter of being properly dressed. But if you’re newer to running, and also coming back from an injury, I can see how you’d be cautious.
    I like reading detailed gym workouts! It’s interesting to see what other people are doing, since I don’t work with a trainer. Yes, I know what you mean about those Bulgarian squats- they’re hard, especially if your legs are already tired. I haven’t even attempted them with a barbell- dumbbells would definitely be easier.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m so glad you like the detailed gym descriptions! It’s very likely that I forget something, but most of it is there anyway, and even if I may write too much for someone, it may give someone else tips on what to do in the gym. Oh, those Bulgarian squats! I did them with dumbbells some week ago and was mostly fine. I need more practice. And leg strength, probably. And to stop worrying about losing my balance!
      As for the running in this weather, I think I’ll stay inside and work on strength and mobility, and get back out running when it’s warmer.

  6. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I hope you got good results!

    I do have a treadmill, and I do use it — but I run outside in some very cold conditions too. I live in upstate NY & we are not known for mild Winters, to put it mildly (pun intended). Luckily I have good clothes for it! I do hope to move somewhere a bit further south with more mild Winters in a few years.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Judy, my course results were actually excellent, better than I dared to dream of, and I’m still in disbelief! I’ll frame my certificate when I get it, and put it on the wall!
      Oh yes, I’ve heard of the rough winters in upstate NY. You’re brave to go running there in the winter! I guess I’ll need to gear up and get more experience with running and then I’ll be able to run in most weathers.

  7. Wendy avatar

    I’m a die-hard outdoors runner and since I live outside of Chicago, you know we have similar weather to what you had in Sweden. I’ve been running outside for so long and I’m pretty good at picking the right gear for the conditions. Today I was in Wisconsin, trail running in the snow, and it was about 33F, which is close to 0C. I wore a fleece lined pullover and fleece lined tights. I was a little chilled at first, but warmed up quickly! I loathe running on the TM, which is probably why my previous one lasted me 24 years!

    Your strength regimen is impressive! I use dumbbells for Bulgarian split squats–I think holding them at my sides helps with balance.

    I am a nurse–actually a pediatric nurse practitioner! I’m considering retirement in the next couple of years. Part of me is so ready to quit now, but I love my patients and that makes it hard to leave. Do you miss it?

    1. Susanne avatar

      Well done running in the snow! I’m slowly getting training gear for colder temperatures. Of course I had lots of knitwear and whatnot for surviving getting from the house to the bus in Sweden, but needed to get more stuff for actual exercise. But how do you manage snow and ice? I can’t imagine ordinary running shoes can handle frost and ice without slipping? I think that worries me more than the cold!

      It happens that I miss nursing, the connections with my patients, and the lovely people I used to work with, especially in the palliative care unit where I last worked. it was a fantastic place there but so much came in between – working conditions that became more and more stressful, the risk of being called in because someone was sick, not being able to plan your life because my free time could be taken away from me anytime, having to work when everyone else was off… and so on. All that came in the way of the good aspects of the job. And then when Covid came I was forever thankful I had left nursing. But it still happens that I miss the old days, when I first started working there. I have many of my former colleagues, and one of the doctors, on Instagram, and it’s lovely that I can keep in touch with them! But I don’t think I’ll ever go back to it – I love my life now and I’m just starting a new career in graphic design, with a lot more flexibility and the possibility to control my own work environment. One of the reasons I left my profession was that I suffered from burnout and I couldn’t see myself in the same environment for the rest of my work life.

  8. Retirement Reflections avatar

    Hi, Susanne – When I moved to Vancouver Island , I learned to walk in the rain — or else I would never be able to walk outdoors for most of the year. But walking and hiking are way different than running (which I NEVER do) and much easier to layer for.
    Today on mid-Vancouver Island it was a balmy 6C with NO RAIN. I went for a delightful 7 km hike with a large group of friends. I also did a Zoom workout with other friends and first thing this morning I continued my MADFIT Advent Calendar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coNZ44KjOn0)
    So all in all, an active day,
    Wishing you great running weather ahead!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Donna, yes, being able to run or walk in the rain is necessary! I think I’m equipped now for running in cold weather when it comes to warm enough clothing but don’t know what I’d do to stay on my feet if there’s frost or patches of ice. Many here replied that they’d go out as long as there isn’t ice on the roads so I guess that answers my question! We have -4 here this morning and I’ve actually been out to take photos but will definitely stay inside the rest of the day.
      I absolutely LOVE that MADFIT calendar! Looking at it now! I’m totally going to join on non-gym days!

  9. Kim G avatar

    I used to run outside in pretty cold weather, but I’ve noticed that now I need it to be at least 35 degrees, lol. My sweet spot for outdoor running is definitely Fall-type weather. I have a treadmill and pretty much use it daily. I don’t mind treadmill running, I thin because it’s always been part of my regimen ever since I started running a few years ago.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m with you on that one… I want to run as much as possible.. but don’t know if it’s worth it when it’s too cold. I’ll skip it this season at least.

  10. Michelle avatar

    While I do have a treadmill, I usually opt outside. Honestly, I struggle on the treadmill, unless it’s speed work. My threshold for outdoor running is 10 degrees F as long as there’s no ice on the roads. The key for me is layers and hand warmers!

    Looks like you had some solid strength workouts!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Michelle, yes, it was a good week for strength workouts! I’m not a fan of treadmills either, and we don’t have space for one in this house. 10F is quite cold! I agree – no ice is the most important thing. I’ve stocked up with some warm layer clothes this weekend.

  11. Leslie Susan Clingan avatar

    I am a former jogger – never much of a runner – and I am hoping to maybe return to it as the new year approaches. But the temps you describe would have me hiding under the covers. And definitely wearing those darling wool socks!! I like the looks of those gloves. Need something like that if I am going to try to return to jogging outside. Cannot stand to be cold!!

    Hope your temps are soon back to double digits and allow you more time outdoors.

    1. Susanne avatar

      This morning we’re having -4C! I’m ready to put the fire on and work in the sitting room today! I hope you get back to jogging – I also do jogging only for the moment, I’ll see later if the knees keep quiet, I’ll speed up a little but not until spring probably. Jogging is a good way to slowly work up the cardio fitness too, I think. You should be able to buy gloves like that in most sports shops that sell running gear.

  12. Debbie avatar

    We have relatively moderate winters here in the DC suburbs. The coldest I’ve run in was around 0-3° F (I think it was about -3° wind chill or so). My friends and I decided to meet for the run at 5:30 AM just so we could say we’d run 5 miles in the cold. The crazier thing was that during the run we saw a light coming toward us at a distance and when it eventually got to us it was my husband on his bike. On. His. Bike!!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      -3 F! That’s cold! That’s about Swedish temperatures when it gets bad. I can’t even imagine cycling in it!!

  13. Melissa avatar

    I hate the cold too! But I prefer it to ice and snow. I run in lots of layers in the Winter. I have a running turtle neck that I wear under a jacket and thick tights for when the weather gets into the teens. I prefer it 20 (F) and higher in winter, but it gets much colder sometimes!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh yes, rather cold than snow and ice! I’ve bought some wonderful leggings now and should be stocked up in running jackets and sweaters.. but still I wouldn’t go out running until it’s more than maybe 3 degrees C.

  14. Jenn avatar

    So. I live in North Florida. When it hits 50F, the heat goes on in the house LOL. It never gets cold-cold, but it’s been in the 20s (F), and I’ll run outside in that. I prefer outside, if I can.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m totally with you about the heating! 50F is enough!

  15. Anne avatar

    I can’t be outside in the cold anymore, either, Susanne, so I hear you on that! It’s miserable when you’re miserable. That said, I do have a few things to make it more tolerable: heated vest (that is super-warm under a coat even without the little heating element going) and rechargeable handwarmers. I find that my face (of course) and neck are the worst. Temperature tolerance is so relative – and if it makes you miserable, symptomatic, or otherwise not inclined to run/be outside, then go with what works for you! I’m so glad to see how fitness is being integrated into your life… : )

    1. Susanne avatar

      I think the biggest problem with cold weather is the risk of ice patches and to fall and get injured. I want to just be able to go out without trouble. And for clothing, being outside in certain temperatures are simply not pleasant! For running (if the road is safe) it would probably work with the right kind of layers but what about the face? I’m simply not an outdoors-in-wintry-weather person and as you know, there are reasons why I left Sweden and the climate is one of them.

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