Running cold: time for Vancouver runners to bundle up

Ewa Smith
Ewa Smith isn’t scared off by the cold winter weather in Vancouver. Instead, she runs 4 km a day, 6 days a week. Photo: Audrey McKinnon

The art of outdoors running in winter presents it’s own set of challenges in Vancouver’s near-frigid temperatures.

Despite passing pedestrians clad in scarves, layers and insulated boots, many Vancouverites still hit the streets to run in the cold winter months.

Some runners love the cold of a winter’s run on Vancouver streets

Dashing across the Cambie corridor at 7th Avenue in her running gear, one runner said she would normally remove one more layer for a cold run.

“I love it. It’s so refreshing,” said Ewa Smith, who runs 4 km every day except Sundays, and never indoors.

It’s all in how you dress for the cold

Rand Clement, from Kitsilano’s running retailer The Right Shoe, said in an email that the key to being prepared for the winter elements while on a run is all about how a person dresses.

“Check the temperature before you run to gauge the amount of clothing to wear,” Clement said. “As you get more experience with this you will develop certain outfits for certain temperature ranges.”

“Make sure you are utilizing wicking fabrics to insure that the clothing layer against your skin stays as dry as possible so your body can regulate temperature properly,” he cautioned.

Clement also advised potential winter runners to dress in layers, but warned that too much clothing can drag a person down.

‘Snow when to add spikes to stay safe

While winter runners in Vancouver are more likely to battle rain than ice and snow, for the rare days when the city is a winter wonderland, Clement advises runners to add a spike to their step.

He said using spiked shoes makes running in icy conditions safer.

The frigid cold and endless rain aren’t the only hostile elements that winter runners must deal with—they also have to contend with shortened daylight hours.

Friends will keep you motivated in the cold

Jerry Kroll, the organizer of Vancouver’s largest social running group, Van Run, thinks the best thing a winter runner can have isn’t necessarily a specific piece of equipment, but friends.

“They’ll be the ones encouraging you to go out when the weather is awful,” he said.

Reported by Sam Reynolds

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