Well, it happened. The cold weather has reared it’s ugly head and now I have to transition my summer gear to my winter gear. I remember when I first started running, it was in the winter time, and boy did I get it all wrong. I remember going out with two layers of sweatpants, three layers of shirts (all long sleeved, once was a fleece), PLUS a coat, hat, gloves, and double socks. It was no wonder that I was burning up after the first mile.
The rule of thumb is to dress as if the temperature is 15 – 20 degrees warmer than the current temperature. If you step outside and you are comfortable, then you are wearing too much. Yes, it sucks to start out with numb feet, frozen legs, and frostbitten fingers, but trust me…you will warm up.
I found this handy-dandy “What to Wear” app online where you can plug in the weather conditions and how you want to feel when you’re running, your intensity of your workout and voila…a “map” of what to wear! Works for both cold and hot weather running.
Below is a list of some of my go to items for winter running.
Vest – I just purchased this vest in hot pink at the Baltimore Running Festival and I’m SO glad that I made the $75 investment. The vest is very thin, but don’t let that fool you. I’ve worn it twice, once on the road and once on the trail, and I was very warm, but not overheated. I think this is going to be one of my season’s favorites.
Fingerless Gloves – I hate having cold fingers, but I hate sweaty hands too. I have a pair of convertible mittens similar to these somewhere in my house. They were perfect for me last winter and allowed me to keep my fingers warm until I warmed up, then switch to fingerless so that my hands can breath later in the run. If I can’t find them soon, I’m going to have to purchase another pair. I think I found mine in one of those Five Below stores for cheap.
Thermal Running Tights – This is a must have for winter running. Sure beats running with two pair of sweatpants! Keeps you nice and toasty while allowing you to move freely. Well worth the investment.
Headband – I have a few of these that I picked up last season. They’re great for keeping your ears warm while allowing your head to breath.
Beanie – When it gets really cold and it’s snowing and sleeting outside (cause that’s not going to stop us from running), I typically wear a beanie.
Long-sleeved shirt with Thumb holes – I LOVE THUMB HOLES! They’re great for when it’s just not cold enough for gloves.
Wool Socks – My favorite are the Smartwool PHD socks. They are so comfortable and they keep my feet warm and dry.
Quilted Skirt – I bought a quilted skirt from Lululemon last season and LOVED IT. I have no idea if they plan on bringing them back for this season, but if they do, I recommend them. It add just a little more warmth for your buns. I believe Athleta had them last year too.
Yaktrax – I don’t have these, but they’re on my wish list. I plan on doing more running, especially on the trail, this winter and these have received great reviews for running in the snow and in icy conditions.
Along with your basic cold weather gear, there are other things you should consider.
- Sunscreen – Don’t forget to protect your skin from the harsh winter sun.
- Chapstick/lip balm – I find that my lips get really chapped in the winter. I keep some lip balm in my running belt.
- Duct Tape – Remember my post about running in the rain and how to use duct tape to keep your feet dry? Well, you can use the same technique in the winter to help protect against snow, sleet, and windy conditions. (Duct Tape)
- Don’t forget to hydrate! Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hydrate. You’re hydration needs are the same, so drink up!
And if need motivation to run in the cold, check out Shut Up + Run’s 10 Tips to Shut Up and Run in the Cold. (One of my favorite blogs)
What are your go to favorites or “wish list” items for winter running?