Running In the Article Circle

Looks like I'll be spending a week or two in January in a Swedish town north of the Artic circle. I've got a feeling it may be a tad chilly.

Has anybody got any experience running in really, really cold weather (other than wear something warm and carry a phone)? Is it practical?



  • Stupid bloody spell checker! I'd spelt Arctic circle correctly in the title!

  • I haven't got any experience of running in such cold weather, but be aware that your body will not respond in the same way as normal - it is not just 'cold' - keep any runs really short. It will pretty dark for almost all of the day too so a headtorch would be a good idea. 

    Must be an amazing place to visit - I would be constantly looking at the sky to see if I can see the aurora

  • Depends what you call really cold. Down to say -20C I know it's OK so long as you have enough layers. Try an arctic buff too. A warm hat too, of course. Mittens are better than gloves and even consider an underglove. watch out for wind chill.

    If the snow has been consistently below zero then you might be ok with heavily cleated shoes. Otherwise consider some kind of spikes. Try to stick to groomed trails or ploughed pavement or road. Wading in new snow is very energy sapping and in those conditions you could just have some fun on skis or snowshoes.

    Long johns might be appropriate, or undershorts that keep any loose bits close to the body. For middling cold down to 10 or 15 below even an athletic support with the plastic insert removed could be worth a try. You could try long socks for hockey or downhilling Eg Falke.

  • Thanks Steve. It would appear that the average Jan temp is about -8 C with a 70% chance of snowfall on any particular day !

    I can't see me buying spikes, but will take my trail shoes and as many warm running clothes as I into my case, together with my small running torch. I expect I'll keep my runs short, I'd just like to report that I've done it.


  • Good advice, I'm doing the Polar Night half marathon in northern Norway soon and that looks like it's be a tad chilly as well!!  I won't be getting spikes but hopefully trail shoes will do the job.

  • The lowest temperature I've run in was about -22C - brrrr.  Just remember it's slow going as breathing is much harder and if you take a drink, make sure you fill bottle/bladder with warm water and you'll also need some kind of neoprene sleeve as it'll freeze really quickly otherwise - something that has slipped my mind before and I ended up chewing snow ... whoops image

  • You're off to the Article Circle ... is that definite?

  • Muttley wrote (see)

    You're off to the Article Circle ... is that definite?

    Yes Muttley, its pretty certain that I'll be going.

    (and I've already apologised for my spelling mistake caused by my tablet's spell checker/ autocompleter ).image

  • Definite ... article ... geddit?

    Oh please yourself missus ... image

  • Don't worry Muttley, I did get it. I just tried to respond in a similar vein.image

  • Ooh, didn't think about the neoprene sleeve!  I was going to take my camelbak but thinking about it, it will probably freeze in the pipe!

  • Me and 'tother half have been skiing in Finland 150 miles within the Arctic Circle a couple of times - it is really beautiful. Depends when you are going but right now (where we've been) it's only around -2C so there shouldn't be any real problems. We've been dog sledding at -36C (+ a wind chill!) - that was really really cold and you wouldn't want to be out too long with any number of layers. My eye lashes froze to my sun glasses!!

  • The average daily temp is going to be about minus 8, and presumably a fair bit colder at night when I'll be running. My intention is a merino base layer, windproof 'Roubaix' jersey and a thin waterproof shell together with a pair of full length tights. I reckon that should be enough.

  • minus 8 isn't that bad really, I thought it would be colder! Doubt whether there is much daylight at this time of year. Wear gloves as well, and if you take a bottle of water with you fill it with warm water from the kettle (not boiling) as that will help to keep your hands warm and won't be horrible to drink. Hope you get to see the aurora borealis - would be amazing to be out for a run with the light show!

  • Thanks mathschick, the warm water in the bottle sounds a good idea.

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