Running body = like a radiator

Now that it's Autumn and temperatures are dropping, I'm once again struggling with that all important life question: 'What to wear?'

As a runner I'm a lot like Goldilocks: I don't wanna be too hot. But I don't wanna be too cold either. I want to get my body temperature júst right! I have this rule of thumb that when temperatures drop lower than 50 degrees, it's too cold to wear my beloved sports skirts. So I'll switch to capri running tights.

Human body compared to an oil filled radiator!

As I was standing in front of my wardrobe trying to figure out how to dress for my early morning run, I suddenly had a deep thought. I don't have those very often, so at first I was taken aback a bit. In fact, I had some trouble understanding it. Here it is:

'The human body is a bit like oil filled radiators for the home.'

Befuddled? So was I. But after some consideration I had to admit, it made sense.

Let me explain the comparison!

  • When you run an oil heater, a heating element at the base of the heater starts heating up the oil inside it. The oil then starts moving around and starts giving off heat!

  • The same principle applies when you start to run. When you go for a run, pretty soon your body starts heating up. Your blood flow starts moving around faster, and your body gives off heat.

I have to admit though, that's where the comparison ends. Because unlike the oil in an oil heater, the human body cools down very quickly.

That's when the oil filled radiator can come in handy! The oil in it, will keep you warm long after your body has cooled down.


Half-Crazed Runner said...

The people at my local running store gave me great advice. Dress like it's 15* warmer than the outside temperature. It's a great rule and has really helped me from over doing it in the colder months - esp when the house is cold in the AM.

nicoleao said...

That's a handy rule of thumb! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

I've learned that if you're comfortable at the start of the run, you will be too warm after the first mile! I like the idea of dressing like it's 15deg warmer. I usually end up wearing layers and ceremoniously stripping as I go (tying extra stuff around my waiste)

nicoleao said...

You're very right Lisa. I've had the same experience. It's best to feel a little bit cold when you start your run. That even helps you move, because you want to get warm.

Matilda said...

I totally agree with dressing if it's 15d warmer. There is nothing worse than getting too hot and then having to carry clothing.
The other thing you may want to consider is compression sleeves (for arms), and socks. This allows you to push them down if you get too hot.

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