What is the lowest temperature you have run in?

Today I did 8km in a temperature of -17C and apart from the frozen eyelashes and hair it felt fine. Obviously it is harder on the heart and lungs so was probably around 30 secs slower per km than in say 5C but I didn't feel breathing unpleasant. So I am wondering how much colder I could stand - what is the lowest temperatures others have run in? I really hate the treadmill so want to avoid it all costs.



  • Where was that just out of curiosity? Coldest I've run in was -11C last winter although I've been out walking in -17C back in 81/82.

  • When I was living in Northern China, I was training for a Spring Marathon and also hated the idea of doing all my running on treadmills. I did attempt to go outside and do a few miles a few times with the temp between -19 and -22 deg. C. I found it very uncomfortable though, especially with all the layers I was wearing.

  • I live in Sweden - we have 30cm of snow and has been below (often well below!) for last ten days but potentially January and February could be colder. I am one of the coldest people around so am surprised I am coping quite well and the snow is really beautiful image

    I went for three layers on my top half, two on my legs and feet, fleecy headband, neck gaiter and thermal mitts and I was warm enough. They were all quite close fitting so didn't seem to impede me greatly.

  • Cool.

  • I remember running to work about 25 years ago and there was a clock and thermometer on a building next to work which showed -6%. I have probably run in colder temperatures since but I do recall that day.

  • Minus 15 is my limit, unfortunately I had a few of those in the last couple of weeks.The first couple of miles are the worst, flexing the hands just waiting for the warmth to come. After that point I am quite happy and dont notice the cold so much as you might think. Have done a few runs in the 15 to 20km range, then its not so much the cold as planning a route that is never that far away from home just in case something goes wrong. Wouldnt want to have to walk-hobble home without the boby heat that comes from running. Aimingforfaster am i right in remembering this is your first winter here? Have you looked into those mask that tend to be used by the cross country skiers, heat transfer masks or whatever they are called. Havent tried one yet but i am thinking about it

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    For me it was -20 a few winters ago in germany. Absolutely freezing. Layers were the way forward. For me it want the temperature that got to me - it was the ice. I don't mind snow (although my feet were wet), it was that constant feeling of slipping over.
  • Yes it is my first winter here so it is all an experiment! I haven't looked into the masks but imagine they would be good if there was any wind chill and for solving the frozen eyelashes issue. I agree with choosing a route that does not take you too far from home; I would love to be heading out on the forest trails but given I am just coming back for injury I think it is too risky. 

    Emmy - I run with Yaktrax and they are brilliant, apart from when you are going through loose deep snow it is just like running normally.

  • I´ve been out in -19 but it was not a nice experience so now I have a limit of -15. It was actually -14 when I run last week (as my nick indicates I´m from Sweden). I have registered for Paris marathon in early april which means that there will be a lot of running this winter...


    Aimingforfaster: Just by curiousity, where in Sweden are you? I´m from Västerås.

  • I find that well below -10 can be perfectly comfortable so long as it's reasonably still. Puff on the inhaler before I get going, start off slow, maybe a buff covering my face for the first five/ten minutes to warm the air I'm breathing a little, and I'm fine. However, if it's really cold and windy too then I find that just smashes the energy out of me.     

  • Stockholm Syndrome: I live in Norrköping so know the temperature measurements are pretty accurate as they are taken at SMHI (I work two floors below the forecasting team image)

    This week looks like being a bit warmer though so hopefully get out for a few more runs.

  • When I was in Lapland the temp. went down to -27 on a husky ride I fell off and had to run after them. It's was only 100 metres but felt like a 10km.
  • I have spent far far too much time looking at smhi during the last week or so looking at smhi hoping to see a forecast that allows an outdoor run rather than a bash on the cross trainer. Prefer the forecasts on yr.no they are warmer image Emmy right its not the cold or the snow but the ice. Hopefully we will have a good winter that stays just slightly cold and we can avoid the melting snow refreezing problems. While we are at it I will stick my immigrant flag in Falun. Good luck in Paris Stockholm Syndrome.

  • It doesn't often get cold enough round here to find a limit, and there's usually no hardship so long as it is fairly still as TT says. Possibly -19 to -21 is the coldest I've run in I don't remember for sure. This winter I have run for more than two hours in shorts at -15C. It's really not a problem with long socks. People expect British men to wear shorts so I oblige image We've XC skied at -25 and that was actually harder to keep warm in on the extremities because of the airflow.

    Hi to SS in V??ster??s I know people there from ABB. hi also Norrkj??ping I don't think I've been there. Here in Halden, Norway it's about -5C now, pretty mild compared with most of Norway.
  • I ran in -20c in Helsinki last year, in shorts.  There was no wind so it wasn't too bad.  I had been training for a cold water sea swim and had swum in 3c water so I was somewhat acclimisted to the cold.  If it had been a windy day I would have wore thermal leggings.  

  • -40C in Kazakhstan for a bet as it is the same in Centigrade and Fahrenheit, however the thermometer on the outside of the hotel was a bit wonky and it was probably about -30C. I ran regularly at -15C to - 20C and the locals thought I was nuts, but running on the Ural river when it was frozen over was amazing. Literally run from Europe to Asia.

    Had no problems as a very dry cold, very low humidity but had to wear glasses to stop tears freezing.

  • -21 in sweden, i race/train there a lot because i have close friends there and £30 return on ryaniar is just awesome. i can dress well for it, the hard bit is the cold air on the lungs,

  •  Looks like snow is going to be more of a problem than very cold weather this week image. Yr.no does seem to be a bit more optimistic than SMHI but I would prefer to expect worse than it turns out to be (maybe that is the dour Scot in me). The Swedes, in contrast to Brits, seem to almost overdress for running with long running tights even in the summer.


    Seems like there is quite a few of us in Sweden! Ryanair is particularly handy for me as only 50 mins from Skavsta but flying with them is a horrible experience.

  • -20 in Colarado at 9,000 feet, freezing and no oxygen! but that was a one off, have also run regularly in -10 to -15 in Russia and Canada, I found that a neoprene ski mask was ideal, otherwise lots of layers.

  • aimingforfaster wrote (see)

    Seems like there is quite a few of us in Sweden! Ryanair is particularly handy for me as only 50 mins from Skavsta but flying with them is a horrible experience.

    you think so? ive never had a problem, the planes are basic and cramped but they fly me 1200 miles return for less money than a coach ride to london, its a bus service, if i was paying more than £9.99 each way i'd perhaps have an issue, but since a burger in the airport costs more i'm perfectly fine with it, no check in nonsese, print out and walk through, get there 20 mins before i fly, i think its great. 

    cheap and cheerfull. 

  • Cheap, yes but certainly not cheerful! You are constantly bombarded by sales messages by staff who if they don't sell enough end up on very low wages and it is horribly cramped. If anything happens then they provide nothing; I was diverted to Valencia on a flight to Madrid where we sat for 2.5 hours on the runway and they would not even sell us water let alone provide it. Two weeks after I also found out that they had to request an emergency landing at Valencia because they do not carry sufficient fuel reserves. Cheap flights can't last forever though so you better enjoy them while you can!

  • ive not had an experience like that i must admit, every flight (i fly to and from Vasteras 3 or 4 times a year for 5 years now) has been on time and uneventful, easy way to avoid the sales..ipod on, headphones up, close your eyes. :P

  • I've run in  -19 / -20 a few times in Austria. The Yaktrax were fantastic and I never had a problem with slipping.

    However, what do you guys use to avoid your drink freezing up in the bladder & tube? I've tried wrapping it in towels etc to no avail, plus it can get quite heavy lol! Thanks image

  • I don't usually bother with a drink for less than 2 hours or so. But I use a Salomon rucksack that has a 1.5 l bladder and has insulation over the tubing. If the water was pretty warm to start with this doesn't usually freeze. Adding a Nuun salt tablet depresses the freezing point a bit. The exception is the mouthpiece that I might have to crunch to,get going if I don't remember a sip every few minutes. The alternative is to blow back after every drink but I think this makes the whole system liable to fester germs after repeated times.
  • Nice to see that some of you know about Västerås. Typically, those who does tend to have been here and worked for ABB or came in with Ryanair. You were no exception... image

    A reccomendation for everyone who is running in sub zero temperatures is to bring an emergency blanket. As the running clothing is too thin for the temperature you can be in extreme danger if you fall and injur yourself. To bring your mobile and/or run in crowded areas is also recommended.

    For those of you who are in Sweden, Clas Ohlson have emergency blankets for 29 kronor:



  • What a rip-off they're 39 kr in Norway from the same chain ! Typical http://www.clasohlson.com/no/view/content/search?gclid=CN-_tqLekLQCFcl8cAodL1AAxQ&N=0&Ntk=All&Ntt=Folieteppe&Nty=1&D=Folieteppe&Ntx=mode+matchpartial&Dx=mode+matchpartial&showTabs=true good idea though. Also you can get little spikes to hang round your neck if you need to haul yourself out of a frozen lake, usually used by skaters and ice fishermen.
  • Thanks for the Clas Ohlson emergency blanket link, that is a great idea. I have been running in busy areas just for the reason that I might fall and if in the forest would freeze to death!

  • Thanks very much for the tips, Steve C - shall definitely give the Nuun a try next time and going to see whether I can get some insulation for my tube from somewhere.
    Enjoy your running all image)

  • Dean Karnazes (the Ultramarathon runner) ran a marathon to the South Pole with a few other people.

    Not sure off the top of my head the temperatures, but think it was around -20C.

    The coldest I've run in was about -2C and I had to dodge the snow on the pavement!
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