Frigid weather won’t deter D.C. area runners

WASHINGTON —  This weekend brings brutal temperatures, wind and some sloppy snow conditions.  But that’s not stopping some avid runners from getting their daily fix.

For runners, it is sort of like the motto of the postal service, “Neither Rain nor Snow” nor brutal temperatures will stop runners from getting their daily run in.

“I think to many people, we are lunatics,” says Dan DiFonzo, running coach with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club.  He adds runners are pretty much type “A” personality, and for them there is no such thing as bad weather.

DiFonzo, who has run in more than 50 marathons  including the Marine Corps Marathon and 11 consecutive Boston Marathons, is not letting our brutal and bad weather stop him from getting his daily fix, especially since he’s training for his 12th Boston Marathon.

There’s this Norwegian saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes,” he says.  “We figure if the Norwegians can do it, we need to do it as well.”

He stresses not overdressing in this weather but dressing in layers.  He suggests to start with a synthetic fabric next to your skin to wick away moisture.  Next add an insulating layer, then add a windproof or waterproof layer on the outside.

Make sure all your skin is covered, DiFonzo adds.  Actually an old trick is to put Vaseline or Aquaphor on your face to cover up your skin.  It’s waterproof  and windproof.  “It’ll make you feel surprisingly warm,” DiFonzo shares.

Also think hydration.  He says even in this weather hydration is exactly like hydration in the summer. Most people don’t realize that you lose just as much sweat in the cold and dry conditions as in the warmer weather.  Make yourself drink every 20-25 minutes.

DiFonzo says in the cold weather you really need to make sure you warm up.  Start slow and increase your pace as you warm up.  “Cold temps can restrict your blood flow sometimes which can cause muscles to contract and cramp.  You also want to protect your muscles which can be easily pulled.  So you want to make sure you warn up effectively.”


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