Winter Challenge - 2013

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Barefoot YOW, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Barefoot YOW Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2010
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    @HSB - give it a try. Pick a sunny dry day and run on a paved roadway. If the temperature is 30-40°F the road surface with be 50°F. Be sure to take some footwear that you can easily throw on if you get cold.

    @BareLee - Run Barefoot (Lou) used an infrared thermometer. he may be able to give you a better idea about surface vs air temperature. Honour system as far as temps go. We usually go with air temp.

    @Bob and Grant -- good work on the TO Star article

    @Shacky - he's a nomad so both he and Vanessa qualify as their own country. We can leave it up to them what they'd like to call it. How about RVville. When do you two get into Wolfstead?

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  2. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Well, had my first official numb-plunge yesterday. I ran a mile on the local jhs track, where the surface is sandy gravel/gravelly sand, and then 2 miles of 100-meter sprints on the grass field inside the track. Both were still wet from the snow we got the day before. The air temp wasn't too bad, at 2.22 C (-1.66 C windchill) but the surface moisture had my feet numbing down right from the start. My mets started to get stiff, but stabilized after two miles or so. On some of my previous runs this season, I've felt a little numbness on the skin, but this was the first time it penetrated, and I got a few of those pins and needles that Bob describes. On several sprints I was running close to 5mm pace to try to warm up the feet, then on my 30/40-meter jog in between sprints the feet would numb down again, a little more after each sprint. I feel like I've been re-baptized. I had been feeling a little apprehension, as Grant related in his interview, about experiencing this deeper numbness again, but I'm full in it now!
    Well, one has to play to one's strengths. I may never be fast, even by recreational runner standards, or run more than halfmarathonish distances, but I've had 'hot foot' all my life. That's partly why I've been a casual barefooter most of my adult life; I hate socks, and avoid footwear whenever possible in the warmer months. I suppose it doesn't hurt to have Viking blood coursing through my veins. I had been keeping track of mileage and temps in my log anyway, so it really didn't make sense to sit out the Winter Challenge, and I think I've convinced myself that I won't take any unnecessary risks this year. Namely, I won't be trying to run in snow!

    But keep in mind a lot of those miles are small, one-mile run-commutes. I started run-commuting a few months ago. The great thing about the cold is that I now run those commutes at tempo pace! 23 F/-5 C (19 F /-7.2 C windchill) this morning.
    Way to represent fellas! Awesome article! Somehow seeing it in print (so to speak) makes me feel a little less crazy.

    @YOW, thanks for the reply. I want to mess with the thermometer mostly out of curiosity. There's this one concrete bridge, for example, on my morning run-commute that feels significantly colder than the sidewalk on either side. I want to know if it's just my imagination or not.

    I'll continue to use air temp and windchill for the Challenge, so that we're all using the same standard.

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  3. Barefooting Bob Administrator
    1. Canada
    2. Presidents

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    Lee,
    You are definitely no more crazy then the rest of us.
    Regarding the bridge feeling colder, that would make sense. The cold is able to attack the surface of the bridge from above and under as well as at the sides, thus making the surface colder than if it is a standard sidewalk that is insulated from the ground on the underside. This is why a bridge or a overpass has the potential to freeze up sooner than a standard road.

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  4. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Yeah, seeing you guys written up kind of validated the whole thing.

    And yah, that was my reasoning as well, re: the concrete bridge. Just got the surface thermometer, will put it to the test on my run-commute home in a few hours.

    After yesterday's numb-plunge I feel more vital today, and eager for my next run, a half-marathonish run down by the river tomorrow morning. This isn't crazy, it's embracing life! Windchill should be third category just before sun-up, but most of the river path is smooth asphalt, so just have to deal with sidewalks to and from the river.

    I sent that article link to some family and friends. My older brother said I run without shoes because of all the times he hit me in the head (he's just joking, he was a pretty reasonable sibling growing up). Then he sent me an piece on being "smart dumb" (http://www.theawl.com/2013/07/being-dumb), and said barefoot running fit this category. I kinda agree with him. I've always liked getting down to basics, and surely running barefoot in a modern city in the middle of winter counts as smart dumb--a kind of mindless activity that requires some thought to initiate.

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  5. Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad
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    No fairsies!

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  6. Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad
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    I really enjoyed this article. I find that it was very well organized in thoughts and coverage. I also loved that he hit upon the fact that the US has won two of the last three challenges. Thank you, Canucks, for representing so well! You all did a great job!

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  7. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Jul 25, 2011
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    Well, I measured the surface temp of the bridge on this morning's run-commute around 5am.

    Results: there's about a five-degree (Celsius) difference between the sidewalk in middle of the bridge and the sidewalks on either side of the bridge, and the temperature drops fairly gradually to and from the center of the bridge.

    So apparently the more air mass underneath, the colder the bridge gets. Or else there's some transfer of warmth from the sides to the middle.

    The air temp was 33F, almost 0C, the windchill 23F, or -5 C. The sidewalks on either side of the bridge were 28-29 F, about -2C, and the center of the bridge was 20F, or close to -7C.

    Surprisingly, on the other parts of the commute, I didn't see much difference between the sidewalks' concrete and the streets' asphalt. Last winter I always felt like concrete was significantly colder than asphalt, but maybe that's more towards the end of the day, when the asphalt has had time to absorb the sun's radiant heat?

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  8. Mike R Barefooters
    1. Connecticut

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    Dec 5, 2010
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  9. dutchie53 Barefooters
    1. Canada
    2. Nederland -...

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    Couple of more short runs on the minus side of 0C. This mornings run of about 1 mile was at -5C with a windchill of -11C. Starting to feel the cold in the feet at these temps. Good for short runs but can't see myself doing runs longer then 2 or 3 kms at those temps. Yesterdays short run came in at +1C with a windchill of -5C but it was on wet slushy type pavement and my feet felt colder than this mornings run which was a lot colder. Lee, that's great info on surface temps, some of the difference that one might feel could be the texture of the surface you are running on. I personally think that a smoother surface feels "warmer" to me. Figure we might get another couple of weeks of winter challenge mileage before the temps drop, according to long range forecast, where it is not doable anymore unless your name is Barefooting Bob. :coldfeet: ;)
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  10. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, definitely agree about surface texture. Mild chipseal is a lot harder in the cold. In the summer, I notice it, but it doesn't really bother me. In the winter, in subfreezing temps, it can be challenging.

    I'm trying to get in as many runs down by the river as possible these days. Once it snows, they're start salting the asphalt bike/pedestrian paths, and I'll be stuck running back and forth on that one fairgrounds street where the snow melts first and the asphalt is pretty smooth. I've convinced myself I would run there anyway, without a Winter Challenge, so I'm cool with doing that for a few months as part of being a barefoot runner in Minnesota. On the days that it's too cold or snowy to run there, I'll be free to run shod on more interesting routes again.

    I'm also going to try to get in some more track work before it snows. Ideally, I like to do my 100-meter intervals once a week. It's great being able to run somewhat fast while having an excuse to slow down the minute it starts to require mental effort. Hey, it's not laziness, it's my training protocol! Lately I've been doing the same thing with tempo pace, sneaking it in as a long interval in the middle of an otherwise aerobic run. It's much easier to do it that way that to do an entire run at tempo pace. The idea is to gradually increase the time I can run at tempo within an aerobic run, until my current tempo pace becomes aerobic. Then I'll retire and take up fishing be happy.

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  11. Shacky Barefooters

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    We are hanging out in New Jersey for another week, after which we will make the 4hr drive over to Pennsylvania and stay for the winter. We are experiencing some engine issues but hoping to get them corrected this week.
    And although I did grow to love Canada and her people during our travels, I'm still inclined to have whatever kilometers I total, I mean miles, count towards the Red, White, and Blue.

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  12. lparker Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2011
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    Since it was OK to hike for the challenge, I did 10.6k yesterday as birthday present me. I called it all under 5C, but some was in snow, a lot was on wet leaves. For anyone interested in the minutia details - http://www.mapmyfitness.com/workout/427297165
    lee.jpg

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  13. lparker Barefooters
    1. Canada

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  14. flipngrip Chapter Presidents
    1. Missouri
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    Getting a late start as I just read about this but I am in! Going to go for below zero F if we get there in St Louis MO! This MN blood can handle it!

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  15. rickwhitelaw Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    Welcome back Shacky. Glad to have you on team USA. Since Bob is trying to poach you, then we better see who Vanessa is running for. Looks like you will just cancel each other's mileage out, but some big players will add to the overall total.

    I'm sure you know about Matt Gunn's races, but just in case: http://www.ultra-adventures.com/ It would be nice to have you out this way again.

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  16. Barefooting Bob Administrator
    1. Canada
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    Can't blame a guy for trying, right.
    Been on the shelf for the last week with no mileage whatsoever. Got a really cool new tattoo on the inside of my leg that is making running hard to say the least. Once it is all healed up, I will be back out there.

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  17. Barefoot YOW Barefooters
    1. Canada

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    658 Miles (1059 km) ... Flesh on frozen (near frozen) ground. The group is doing fantastic. It is great to see more people joining.

    Dutchie has the coldest run at 12°F (-11°C)

    [IMG]

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  18. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

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    I'll be joining in soon...I need to re-test my cold running limits this winter.

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  19. flipngrip Chapter Presidents
    1. Missouri
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    Got my first run in! I am on the board! Go Missouri!

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  20. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Well, more data from my surface thermometer. Basic conclusion: run in the sun after noon!

    Yesterday afternoon, close to 4pm, it was

    24F / -4.44C,
    13F / -11.11C windchill

    But the sidewalk in the shade was as much as 29 F / -1.67 C, and in the sun I got a reading of 40F, or close to 5C!

    This morning at 4am, it (this is the accuweather reading on my smartphone just before heading out the door) was

    13F / -10.5C
    3F / -16.11C windchill

    Most of the surface readings were right around 13F, or air temp, and the center of the bridge was 8F/-13.3C, not quite windchill.

    So there seems to be considerable benefit to running in the afternoon sun. You'll gain up to 16 degrees Fahrenheit or almost 10 degrees celsius, surface over the air temp, but in the wee hours of pre-dawn, surface temp and air temp are very similar. Also, windchill doesn't seem to affect most surfaces, but did seem to have an effect on the bridge, presumably because the wind was blowing below it as well.

    Of course these are just a few random measurements on just a few short runs.

    The one-mile run-commutes are a good testing ground for my tolerances too. I thought about taking the car this morning, and thought about putting on my Moc3s in the middle of the run, but with just one mile to do, I knew I'd be alright unless I had to stop. In the end, I felt like my numb-plunge began to stabilize just before I arrived, so I probably could've gotten in another few miles, but maybe not. I think this morning's temps were close to my coldest 5k run last year. I can't say for sure yet if my tolerances have improved over last year's. So far they feel about the same.

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