Sunday, January 06, 2008

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

Cold Weather – Part 1

It is cold out, but is it TOO cold out? It is personal decision with lots of conflicting opinions out there but here are the factors I consider:

How to decide what is too cold:

  1. What is the temperature outside? I use 30-32° F as an approximate minimum temperature for jogging with the kids in the stroller. Older kids can handle colder temperatures and will be able to verbalize that they are too cold if that becomes a problem. When my son, a November baby, was a newborn, my minimum temperature was closer to 40° F.
  2. Is it windy? In winter sailing (aka frostbiting), there is an unofficial guideline called the “20-20 rule”. If it is colder than 20° F and windier than 20 knots, they cancel. Some wind is inevitable, but you may want to find a more sheltered route. For example, try a route through a neighborhood or among lots of trees rather than a path along a river or over bridges. You probably want a headwind first to get it done while you still have more energy.
  3. Is there precipitation or an imminent threat of precipitation? Snow is actually very fun to run in. (Sing “Jingle Bells,” “Let It Snow,” and “Winter Wonderland” as you run.) Sleet or excessively slippery conditions should be avoided. Strollers come with a runaway strap: USE IT!
  4. Do you have weather-appropriate equipment? A rain shield is invaluable! There is one to fit nearly every model of jogger at www.joggingstrollers.com and surely elsewhere. It is a great windshield and keeps the temperature inside the stroller very pleasant – we’re talking greenhouse here.
  5. How badly do you need to get out? That “cabin fever” will keep everyone a little warmer.
  6. Keep a log. Record what the weather conditions are each time you go out and how comfortable everyone was so that you can check back later to determine your own guidelines. A good one on-line is at http://athleticlog.org/.

Up next: How to prep the kids.

2 comments:

Crumbs said...

Great info! I'm afraid I've been in Miami for TOO long. 55 is as low as I go (but I've no trouble when it hits 98).

S. Kimzey Daniels said...

You've got a good thread going. I'd like to hear more about the sting of the wind in your face, layering, how to keep hands warm, etc. Can't wait to read your next post.