The Case for Clothes

What? WHAT?!?!

What? WHAT?!?!

How are these people still alive?

I just cannot fathom running in shorts in 20° weather that feels like 9°. Truthfully, I mostly cannot believe I go outside and run in that weather AT ALL, but I sometimes do. But in shorts?


Hell no.

(Image courtesy of Runner's World)

(Image courtesy of Runner’s World)

We all know what frostbite is, yes? In freezing temperatures, blood is busy keeping our internal organs going (so we don’t die) and bypasses other stuff, like skin, and then the skin dies. Organs > skin where blood flow is concerned.

How does this apply to running in the cold? I mean, I sweat no matter how cold it is outside. Buuuuuut, were I not dressed properly, I guarantee you I would neither sweat nor would I ever warm up.

In order for your body to reach maximum potential while running, muscles have to be warmed up. When you’re properly clothed, the body doesn’t have to waste precious energy keeping your skin warm so it doesn’t die and fall off.

Bundled up and down.

Bundled up and down.

Blood (ie. energy) goes to the muscles that are firing while running instead of skin. When you are half-naked in the cold, your body wastes energy trying to keep you warm instead of fueling your quads and hammys for an awesome run.

These are MY runners. You'll notice they're all bundled up and ready to run in the cold AND the snow. I heart my runners.

These are MY runners. You’ll notice they’re all bundled up and ready to run in the cold AND the snow. I heart my runners.

Which way do you think you can get a better workout: properly protected from the elements or half-frozen and with nearly frostbitten skin? I promise you those paper thin running pants aren’t going to cause you to overheat and die. I promise. You might even find yourself *gasp* running faster when dressed warmer.


Ok, I’m off my soapbox now. And if I see you in the park in shorts and a tank top in less than 40° weather, I promise I will try not to lecture you about your state of undress. I don’t know your world. It might be a cold world and you’re from Antarctica (or Minnesota) so this ain’t nuthin.

Dress warm!

Dress like an eskimo. Only eyeballs are visible.

Dress like an eskimo. Only eyeballs are visible.

Now go out and run.

7 thoughts on “The Case for Clothes

  1. I see those people and can’t even begin to understand their thinking. Craziness! Shorts or shirtless in 15 degrees?? Maybe they’re training for races in the Arctic…

  2. Saw a guy yesterday running in sandals. SANDALS. It was maybe 10 degrees. He was wearing shorts, whatever, but his feet were literally exposed to the snow. He had jerry-rigged what appeared to be wash clothes around the toes. I just… I can’t… go home, sandal man. Go home.

  3. My particular bundle spots — core body and hands! I’ve heard that keeping your core warm is the most important consideration, because then your body allows more circulation through the rest of your body. And I always wear 2-3 pairs of gloves when it’s below 20 degrees because my knuckles are always FREEZING!

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