Are you a weather wimp?

Dressed for a run in 29 degrees today. The two guys on the right? Visitors from Vermont and Colorado.

The saying goes “don’t mess with Texas.” But I’m going to have to in this post. Namely, I’m messing with Jeff and Jason, two of my favorite bloggers.

Before I start ragging on them, let me add that I think both are total studs. Jeff just completed a stellar 50k with a top 10 overall placement and ran a 1/2 marathon one week later in 1:29. And Jason is far and above the most disciplined athlete I know and his results are nothing short of impressive.

How Jeff and Jason dress for winter running in Texas

However–these two Texas boys were getting a bit wimpy this week on Twitter when it came to the weather. It hit, what, 50 degrees down there this week? And I’m pretty sure I saw talk about tights, beanies, and gloves.

Now boys. Let’s let the northern state athletes school you a bit, shall we? Take your friend Kevin. He lives in Michigan. He’s still riding outside. He’s still running in shorts and he will continue to until there’s a mighty wind chill in the air. Just last year he posted about running when the snow was so deep only the snow plows could get through.

And there’s Mandy. Caratunk, Maine-based Mandy. Pretty sure she’s still doing open water swims? Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but she filled me in on a run she did last year where it was something like -15 and her sweat formed little balls of ice on the inside of her jacket. Here’s a post she did describing another, similar run. Hardcore, that one.

Let’s not forget Matty O, either, he of the Cleveland area. Matty informed me that until it hits freezing, he’s out in shorts and short sleeves. Even below 32, he’ll just add a long-sleeved shirt and vest until it gets down to about 20.

Me? I may live below the Mason-Dixon line, but I’m no weather wimp, either. I’m still in shorts and capris, and you won’t see full-length tights or jackets come out for some time yet; hopefully not until 2012.

And if that’s not enough, let me tell you about this group of runners from Finland (as in Arctic Circle) who run the entire winter in just shorts and no shirts. Plain old badass.

Team "Cold Circle" running a New Year's Eve run in Finland.

So my friends, Jason and Jeff, what do you have to say for yourselves? Maybe we need to challenge you to make it through the winter in shorts. That would seem totally doable for a couple of guys in Texas, don’t you think?

How about you, readers? Are you Team Texas or Team Northern States?

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  1. Rene' Whiteley says

    I live in New Hampshire. We don’t put our warm stuff on until after the first of the year usually. I have found that if you overdress it is worse. Then you are sweating and then really cold. On the flip side I don’t know how they train in the heat. Give me a winter day any day.

  2. says


    Team North, of course #North #winning :)

    That picture of how they dress is hilarious!!! But those guys in Finland holy cow!! I do need to wear tights once it gets chilly…

    Great post. Thanks so much for the mention!
    Mandy recently posted..Ch-ch-changesMy Profile

  3. says

    Great post. I live in southern AZ (aka the desert) so I feel I shouldn’t comment. :-)
    I did grow up in South Dakota though and we always wore shorts through the winter runs. I hate being hot (ironic I know). I had to do a long run one year when I was back home for Christmas and I did bundle up (I have lived in the desert to long) it was 30 degrees and a light snow was falling. I had ice forming on me, weird. Maybe I’m not such a whimpy desert rat after all. 😉

  4. says

    I live in Oregon, so we don’t have real extreme weather to begin with. I run in rain all the time, if I didn’t it would be treadmill city and can’t stand that. I really don’t mind the cold/wind/rain so much – my problem is running in the heat – can’t stand it and will do anything to avoid it!

  5. Colleen says

    This is fantastic! The North definitely wins again. Texass is a fun country, but those boys need to grow some! :) They know I love them though!

    I’m off to run – it’s 47 with a wind chill of 35. I’m putting tights on for the wind. And I’ll probably put a beanie in my pocket in case my ears get a little cold. :)

  6. says

    As a newbie, I am still trying to figure out how to dress for the cooler temps. Yesterday it was 55° and windy so I put on a really light jacket over a t-shirt and capris and I was pretty hot. I don’t have tights or a long-sleeve running shirt yet, but the highs the rest of the extended forecast are 40’s so I am going to have to invest soon, but I’m still figuring it out.

  7. says

    Last night’s run was at -18C or about zero F. That’s not particularly cold, but since it was the first cool run this winter I over dressed with 3 layers on top, should have gone with 2. I’ll run outside down to -35 or-40 C depending on the wind.

    However when it comes to the bike I’m a bit of a weenie. No riding below 10 C for me.
    Keith recently posted..First tusk pic of the winterMy Profile

  8. says

    I lived the past decade in warmer climates, but I was born a New Englander… and apparently you can take the girl out of New England, but… well… you know the rest.

    My only weather wimpiness is extreme heat. (I HATE FLORIDA SUMMERS!!!) But bring on the cold weather, and I’ll be running in shorts and a t-shirt until there’s a frost — and maybe even then!

    In ’09 I ran a turkey trot in Seattle — 37 degrees and raining — in capris and a long-sleeve lightweight tech shirt. No hat. No gloves. No rain gear. I thought I was pretty hardcore. But I wound up feeling like a wimp because I lined up at the starting line next to a guy in shorts, a cotton T-shirt, and BARE FEET. :-)
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Another helping hand storyMy Profile

  9. says

    I just laugh when bloggers start whining about temps below 50. I have been running outside in single digits for weeks now. It’s really not bad once you get moving as long as there is no ice on the ground. Now I AM a heat wimp…. if it is over 70 I feel like I am melting. 😉
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Girl with a planMy Profile

  10. says

    LOL, I love this post! I usually wimp out and take a break from running in the Winter. This will be the first year that I can’t and won’t do that because of marathon training. So far, I do not mind the cold, but my coldest run was this morning – about 27 degrees at the start which isn’t terrible. I know I’m in for worse. I have no idea what I’m going to do when there is snow on the ground. I don’t know how to run in the snow!

  11. says

    Born and raised in TX! And yes, I admit I once got hypothermia on a 14-mile run last Jan!! I may freeze easily, but I can hold my own in the heat ;)!!

    I love the friendly N-S rivalry. When it all comes down to it, we all have to learn to adapt to our conditions we live in.

  12. says

    Total Northern girl here! I’m cold even in the summer, so have to admit, I start hitting the layers sooner than the average bear. I have the hardest time w/ the transition between warm and cold seasons. Once I’m in the cold season, I’m fine (or I’m just too numb to realize how cold I am!)
    Lisa recently posted..Six Spontaneous SaturdayMy Profile

  13. says

    Last year I made it out to run in the 30s about two times. I can deal with the 50s but getting into the 40s and 30s… UGH.

    I just read that your IT band can get tighter in below 60-degree conditions too. Which I kind of believe. So things like that make me more cautious about going out there in the cold too.

    Holly recently posted..In a FogMy Profile

  14. says

    This is hysterical! Well done Amanda!

    *cough* Rebuttal *cough*

    I love how you Northerners get all high and mighty come this time of year when the truth is you are all just jealous of how awesome it is to live in the Country of Texas! This place is freaking awesome and this time of year the Endurance athletes begin flocking to Texas like the Salmon of Capistrano.

    Come February you guys will be so grumpy with your crappy climates you’ll be begging us to invite you down for a couple week visit (which you are all invited, of course)!

    And I agree with Jason, If you are running in the brutal winters of Maine and Michigan then you are a badass but it just shows how smart we are for choosing to live in Texas. Little know fact is that we are both from the North, Jason from NY and I am from PA. So we both know what it is like to suffer through the brutal cold of the winter months but we were smart enough to get the heck out! LOL!

    Oh and as for you challenge – I apologize to fellow Texans if I am letting out a secret but we do wear shorts all year long and it is as awesome as you are imagining it to be!!!

    Carry on …
    Jeff recently posted..Random Shit …My Profile

  15. says

    Well of course I’m a Yankee all the way!!! Not the baseball team though! However I am not as hard core as those wack-a-doodles in Finland!! I have had a number of runs each winter where my seat has frozen! It is what we do! Otherwise winter would be way too long!!!

  16. says

    No weather wimp here! I love getting out in the cold and slop that comes down in the winter. I also join a crappy winter weather challenge to keep me motivated (though I’m injured for the 2nd straight winter). The colder, windier, snowier, rainier, the more points you get. So, bring it on!!
    RunningMoose recently posted..Running is…My Profile

  17. says

    I love it! The trash talking is awesome to read. I don’t think I need to tell you what team I’m on. Today’s temps, 80 something and humid as can be. Running wardrobe: as little as possible. So I guess I’m a big old wimp when the 40’s and below reach me here in FLA. Here’s hoping for a very mild winter.

  18. says

    I am a self proclaimed weenie! Even though I live in Colorado and it snows like 13 months out of the year, I did not grow up here. I grew up in a town in S. California that is suppose to be the second most moderate climate in the world. 60 was cold and 80 was hot. So naturally I blame my parents for making me such a weenie. I actually don’t mind running in the cold now, but I just can’t run in the heat (aka anything over 65). Loved the post and I can’t believe those guys in Finland!
    Katie recently posted..Things you never knew you wanted for ChristmasMy Profile

  19. says

    Winter really is my favorite time to run. I don’t do heat well and you really do get warmed up after a mile or so. I’m a long sleeved shirt and vest girl too. It keeps you warm enough although I do have 3 different pairs of gloves based on how cold it is. It is hard going from one climate to another though. I even go through a period of acclimation both in the winter and the summer.
    Jen recently posted..Why do we keep running?My Profile

  20. says

    I grew up in the very temperate (i.e. perfect) climate of the SF Bay Area. I went to college in central New York State and LOVED the change in climate. I was a rower in college and we had to go out in all manner of weather…not just rowing but running, too. And this was in the days before wicking fabrics. And while Philly wasn’t as cold, I have vivid memories of sub freezing weather where the water would splash on your hands and freeze there…and I’d be rowing in a tank and shorts because that was how I was comfortable. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “wimp” thing…some people’s bodies handle temperature differently :)
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  21. says

    I am neither… this is weird. When I travel to Poland in winter, and it is cold, snowy, sometimes blistery cold, I run and love every second of it. I don’t get cold, I laugh at blizzards, icy rains, winds and all that stuff.
    Here, in CA, I shiver when temps drop to mid 40’s and it takes me forever to kick myself out of the house. Ever so often there is frost on the ground, and then just forget it, I whine, complain, sometimes postpone my run till ti warms up.
    Go figure. I never claimed that I made any sense.
    Ewa recently gifts for meMy Profile

  22. says

    So funny, I just e-mailed you and said something about the weather. :) I’m not too wimpy but I don’t like cold. I’m a Colorado gal at heart and i was okay running in the coldest of weather but I’d MUCH prefer warmer weather. :)

  23. says

    I have braved the heat all summer, we’re in a crappy rental home right now though so eventually I said bag it for the last few hot months. When you can’t come home and cool down…it’s just disgusting. :)

    I am LOVING this AZ weather right now though, so next year if we don’t move or the landlord doesn’t do something about this blasted house…I’m not running outside. I’ll do fitness classes and treadmill until the cool weather comes back. It’s just not worth it to run at 5 a.m. and still be in 95 degree heat. Yuck. Jessica
    Jessica recently posted..Because we’re friends…My Profile

  24. says

    I can’t really talk too much about running in cold weather because it doesn’t get that cold down here in Florida. (The freak freezing temperatures on the day of my marathon in 2010 don’t count. Those were ridiculous.) I will break out a long-sleeve technical shirt when the temps hit the 40s but that’s about it. I have no idea how I would react in actual cold weather.

    However, I CAN talk about running in the heat and humidity, which is its own special brand of misery. Instead of putting more clothes on, I take clothes off. I carry water even for three-milers, and after long runs I jump right into the pool, running clothes and all. I may be a total wimp when it comes to cold, but I make up for it when it comes to the heat.
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  25. says

    ohmygoodness, i love this! i have to admit, i would be really really happy if the weather never got colder OR warmer than 60-70 degrees. BUT i love the seasons! winter is my LEAST favorite season but it doesn’t stop me from running. i just layer up and like erin said as long as it’s not too icy i really enjoy my cold runs. it does take some time for my body to get used to though. yesterday i raced a 5k and the cold air in my chest was burning and the post nasal drip was pretty yucky. o and my eyes were watering like crazy! but it wasn’t all that bad and i try to remember how thankful i am for the FRESH air and the fact that i’m out there running. plus in the winter i’m forced to run indoors more because a lot of my weekday runs are done while pushing my two boys in the stroller and when it’s too cold i can’t do that to them so i have to run on the treadmill a lot more.
    jessica recently posted..11 years ago today…My Profile

  26. says

    Hilarious post. And so true.

    I’m in central IL. Today’s race was 37 degrees and rainy, and I was wearing shorts and quite comfortable. It was a real revelation to me last year that I could run in the snow and temperatures in the teens and be comfortable…way more so than in temps in the 90’s. You can always put clothes on…there are only so many you can take off!
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  27. says

    I don’t mind the cold (although not a fan of it being freezing cold like twenties and below it gets a little tough) but I am a rain/snow/ice wimp for sure. I’m also a bit of a wimp when it gets too hot like 85 or over….

    So I guess I’m a bit of a weather wimp! My fav temps is between 45 – 65 for running.
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  28. says

    Team Texas! But my rule of thumb is shorts unless it’s really cold or I’m doing an easy run with my group and won’t ever warm up. I wore shorts & and tank for MCM and it was 35 at the start!
    With us, we are just so glad it’s not 100 that we get all excited to bring out our cooler weather gear! We know we’ll be hot! :0)
    That Pink Girl recently posted..As Seen on My RunMy Profile

  29. says

    I’m in the northeast but I grew up in Miami…so yeah, I get a little wimpy. Plus I am so scared of ice! I’m scared of slipping, and then I’m scared of a car swerving and me no being able to get out of the way in time
    Rach@ Girl on the Run recently posted..PagesMy Profile

  30. says

    I find those in the south a bit funny when it comes to cold weather. I see it being 45 and they have on running tights. WOW, that must be really hot on the legs. Me personally, I wear shorts down to 25F. I have even run in colder if I forgot my tights. On top, it is all about the layers. If it gets really cold, like single digits, I will have on up to 4 shirts, maybe 2 short sleeve and 2 long sleeve, never a sweatshirt. I also can’t stand wearing a hat so it is just earmuffs for me.

    Last year on a long run in the cold, my water bottles even froze on me so I had no water after mile 2. Running in the cold builds character (sounds like something my Dad would say.)
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  31. says

    I’m regularly mocked for running in shorts for so long… LOL

    I ran with my sister last week. She lives in Tampa and it was about 60-65 degrees and she was wearing capri pants and a sweatshirt!! Woa! I was in shorts and short sleeves and I was HOT.
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