UA5k Team – Week 2: Baby It’s Cold Outside!


February 10, 2013 by Darlene McC

If you live in the northern half of the country it’s probably cold.  It got below 45 in LA last night, which to you probably feels like freezing to those with thinner skin & tans.  So maybe you woke up this morning and thought “eff my run”; then you rolled over, snuggled your teddy, and thought about going back to sleep.  Now that you’re finally up, time to get committed.

If you’re new to Urban Amazon, or missed last weeks post, UA5k is the Urban Amazon 5k team.  Check out the first post to get started on a running program and let us know that you’re in!

One of the benefits of having a team is having someone to keep you honest & get you going.  Our best shot this week:



Remember when playing the snow was fun!?  (For a few of us that was last week. I’m just sayin’.)  Time to be a kid again!  Much of our experience is framed by perspective, so if you wake up and think “EFF THE COLD!” then you’re less likely to rock your sneakers than if you think “My run will be so pretty with all this white”.  You buying what I’m selling?  Then lets get to it:

Last Week’s Work:

Did you get your runs in last week, Amazons?  Have you signed up for your 5ks yet?  xdhass is doing Pride 5K in June and the Color Me Rad in the fall, via our comments last week. Which ones are you doing?  SHARE!  We like to know!

How’s it going?  Please let us know if you have any questions or need support.  Send email to & we can address them in the post next week.

This Week’s Homework:

Couch to 5K (Beginners) Week 2:

Our beginners we’re working from the Couch to 5k program.  There are a million apps to support you in your growth to becoming a 5k Aficionista, including RunKeeper & Map My Run.  Both have “Couch to 5k Trainers” that cue you when to run and walk.  Week 2 of Couch to 5k is:

Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Urban Amazon Faster 5k Week 2:

More experienced runners who are on the UA Faster 5k program.  This week we’re repeating the workouts from week 1 to give your body time to acclimate to it’s new level of effort.

A few quick labels in the workout:

Hills: Hill repeats are great for building hamstring strength and learning to run from your BUTT (and hamstrings.  But I just like saying it.)  Find a hill of decent length that takes about :45 to 1:00 to run up.  As you get stronger and faster you may need a bigger hill.

Tempo. In a tempo run you pace at your wanna-be “race tempo” in bursts.  You’ll need a well-known mile, whether a track or using a running app with your smart phones GPS.   For example: Say Jane currently runs a 10 minute mile 5k pace, but wishes she ran at 9:00.  She’s going to do half a mile shooting for 9:00 (which will feel really fast to her) and then run a mile for 10 minutes to catch her breath.  Then repeat.

Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
Hills!  Find a nice steep grade and get ready to go to work.   Spend 1 minute charging up hill and 3 minutes jogging down and around to the start, then repeat 4 times.  Tempo: After a quick warm-up jog of 3 – 5 minutes get ready to run.  Go half a mile at your desired race tempo, then drop down to your last race speed till you catch your breath.  Repeat 3 times Long and Strong.  If you love to run this will be your fun one.  Go out and run at your race pace for a good long while.  Enjoy it, but keep it under 8 miles.

5 Cold Weather Running Tips

5 quick things that will make your cold weather run a bit more fun:

#1: Layer Up!

For those from the north this is a no-brainer; but if you hail from warmer climes it’s vital information.  Put thin layers on that are easy to remove or vent.

When you first start out on your run it’s going to feel cold (duh).  But as you get into your run the body will produce more heat and you’ll need less cover.  Wearing layers that zip means you’ll be able to vent the heat from your core.  It’s very easy to over dress when running in the cold, so be ready to shed.

Make your outermost layer a “wind break” layer to keep any biting cold gusts at bay.

#2: Cover your ears & fingers

While you’re going to want to shed layers, you’re also going to want to keep your sensitive extremities covered.  More experienced endurance athletes will have efficient circulation; but if you’re new to outdoor exercise your body may not be up to the task and you could risk frostbite.  May we suggest a thin pair of Nike running gloves and a cute earband?  Avoid the urge for hand warmers as they’ll just contribute to over heating once you’re warmed up.

#3: Run When It’s Warmer

No, we don’t mean wait till spring!  If possible try and run during the middle of the day or right when you get home from work.  Waiting until later or going out really early just means more cold and stronger wind.  Obviously, for those with demanding jobs this is a little more difficult.

#4: Get a Grip

On top of being cold some days it might also be icy.  Having a sturdy pair of trail sneakers or a set of Yak Traks can make all the difference.  Sure, running with yak traks is going to be more difficult, but consider it part of your training!  Don’t wear them indoors or on a treadmill (cause you shouldn’t be on a treadmill anyway!) as they’ll damage the floor, and take them off when you hit bare pavement.

#5: Hydrate or Die


You’ve heard us give this advice before.  Remember to drink water, even if it’s cold.  It’s much easier to forget because you’re not aware how much you’re sweating, but trust us that your body is using up water just as fast (if not faster).

So get out there!

Next Week

We’re holding off on the treadmill trashing till next week, and we’ll have more tips, tricks, and next weeks workouts.




2 thoughts on “UA5k Team – Week 2: Baby It’s Cold Outside!

  1. xdhaas says:

    I ran a few weeks ago when it was in the single digits. Its a huge help to run with other crazy people. Also, when its super cold, you should cover your face with something thin. It certaintly helped me avoid the burning fire lungs. A long time runner suggested vasoline on the face to me. I didn’t try it but it prevents windburn.

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