My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles

I am not really all that wimpy, but I put in a set of guidelines for running outside in Winter-like conditions, that I really believe helped me stay healthier than I have been in a long time at the end of a long and tough winter last year.

They worked fairly well last year when I paid attention to what I was doing, so I have a feeling that I will use them again this year.

  • First if there is ice on the road – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Second if it is below 20*F with or without windchills – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Third if it is in the 30’s and raining – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Fourth if is below 30*F and you are planning on a long run – use the treadmill

If I have any question about the conditions, I take Bennie for a walk and figure out if it is okay to run outside or if moving the workout inside is the correct solution. How he reacts to the conditions out there goes a long ways in my decision making process, plus I get to feel first hand how things really are.

Could I run outside in worse conditions than what I have set as my criteria to move inside?

Sure I have done it in the past without too many issues and every so often I ignore my own criteria, but at this stage of my running life I enjoy running in shorts and t-shirts versus bundling up to get outside.

Treadmilling it

After yesterday’s day off, I wanted to get in a little loner run than usual and the temps/wind chills were in the lower teens at the house (we are usually 5*F colder than Augusta-the official weather for the area). This is below my second criteria, so I headed into Planet Fitness for a treadmill run.

I thought that I would just run for an hour, since that is when the PF treadmills shut down automatically.

I put the treadmill on 6.7 mph and kept it there for 6.0 miles. It was more just getting it done and going into zone mode to keep going. I was really feeling good and at 5.0 miles I decided to go for 10 miles. I did get through 6.0 miles and knew that I wasn’t going to get 7.0 in before the machine went into auto stop mode. So I stopped at 6.0 miles, got off for a quick drink of water and change the playlist.

I needed a little more up tempo music to finish up the next 4.0 miles.

Once I stopped, it was a bit of a mistake, because I really wasn’t into getting back on, but it has been a long time since I did a double-digit run and I wanted to see how the Tempo 9s would do going double-digits.

I reluctantly got back on the treadmill and set it to 6.7 mph and got my arse in gear again. When I finally got to 7.0 miles, I did something pretty dumb, I popped speed up to 7.2 mph to get the run over with.

Running at 6.7 mph felt slow, but I was feeling really good and it was a speed I can keep up for a long time, but the boredom factor of being on the treadmill finally caught up with me and I just wanted to get it over with.

Upping the speed did definitely make me work a LOT harder those last 3.0 miles, but I finished. Unfortunately, my Garmin still had me under 9.5 miles and I wanted to get a full double-digits, so even though the official mileage on the treadmill was already at 10.0 miles, I decided to keep going until my Garmin got to 10.0 too.

I really was ready and wanted to stop when the treadmill hit 10.0 miles! That last .5 was tough and it helped me work on the mental toughness side of the fence. The one that I need to work on too.

Got it done.

How did the adidas Tempo 9s do?

They are the first pair of running shoes in 2018 that did not get in the way or bother my feet at all during a double-digit run. Other than feeling great, they were not on my mind at any point during the run. Now to duplicate that feeling on an outside long run multiple times and I will be very happy.

A tough run where I overcame the boredom factor of running for an hour and half on the treadmill to finish a 10 mile plus run, with the last 3.0 miles at a faster pace. While I am not a huge fan of running longer than 45-50 minutes on the treadmill, when my criteria for running outside is exceeded by weather, it will become my friend this winter.

I really do believe that if I (for the most part) adhere to my weather guidelines, I will get to the other end of winter in pretty good shape for running outside in better weather.

We will see, but I do see me driving into Planet Fitness quite a bit this winter.