Cold Weather Running – What to wear

Cold Weather Running – What to wear

Cold Weather Running - What to Wear
Cold Weather Running – What to Wear

Last week, I started a mini-series on Cold Weather Running where I try to address the many aspects of running in cold weather (du’h!). 

How do you motivate yourself to get out when it is cold?
What do you wear?
What are somethings that are rarely mentioned when it comes to cold weather running? 

This post is the second in the cold weather running series. (I could share them all in one big post, but this makes for a more consistent posting as a series for my NaBloPoMo November challenge.)

Cold Weather Running

So you motivated yourself to successfully get up and run inspite of the cold outside and the warmth of the couch/bed beckoning you. The hardest first step is done!

I’m often freezing when I get out of the house, but then turn into a wannabe stripper within 1-2 miles. In my first year of running, ended up with more clothes around my waist than on me. Daylight hours are so short that getting a run outside is a scheduling nightmare. And its no longer a matter of a shirt, skirt and shoes before heading out.

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Dress in Layers with Technical/Wicking Ts

I’ve had to come to terms that I will look more like size 10-12 in winter rather than my size 8 because I’m puffed up with layers. When the temperature dips below 35F, I’m usually found in a short sleeve T + long sleeve T (or a half zip jacket). Technical clothes wick the sweat away from you and prevent you from being cold. 

Avoid Overdressing – Dress for the Heart of your Run

If you feel comfortable when you start your run, you are overdressed. You will warm up when you start moving and overdressing will make you sweat more; which in turn will make you feel more cold. 
How much or how little to wear depends on your comfort level, but check the Runner’s World What to Wear tool for a guideline

Protect your Fingers and Toes

Some people are prone to super cold finger/toe tips due to poor circulation (or have raynaud’s syndrome). I am one of them. I could run in short sleeves and a skirt, but need super thick gloves. Some of my favorites are – 
  • Gloves –  If you run with your smartphone, opt for a pair that has touchscreen friendly fingers. I love my Mizuno Breath Thermal gloves, but just this month got a pair of Head gloves with fingertouch from Costco. I didn’t know how I managed before!.
  • Handwarmers – Sometimes even the thickest gloves doesn’t do it for me so I always have hand warmers ($1/pack at Target or Dollar Stores) to keep my fingers toasty. 
  • Smartwool Socks – The feeling of frostbitten toes (not that drastic, but close) is one of the most painful! The BEST wool socks I’ve had for cold running. So awesome that Mr. FauxTriathlete tried to pass them off as his office socks! 

Protect your Head and Ears

A beanie or earwarmers will provide extra warmth when it is cold since 40% of body heat is lost through the head  And they are easily removed and tucked in a pocked should you overheat. Remember to use a wicking beanie and ear warmers.
  • Ear Warmers – These are just bands that cover your ears. They usually have a little extra coverage where the entire ear is covered.
  • Beanie – When the temperature goes down further, a beanie helps cover the head. A favorite with girls with long hair is one with a ponytail slot.
Special Mention – My favorite since last winter has been a Buff Band. Very versatile and excellent when it is windy and/or super cold. 

Protect your Core

What other things do you need other than the gloves/socks and head gear mentioned?
Tights for sure! I have a Brooks Utopia that is fleece lined and a Nike Filament ‘normal’ tights. Confession: I’ve gone in to work with the Brooks Utopia, a long sweater and boots. The perfect chic office look!
 The staples in my winter bucket are –
  • Fleece Jacket (I have a $5-10 one from Old Navy). I’ve seen a lot of people run with puffer vests. Luckily, Atlanta doesn’t get that cold for me. 
  • Warm Jacket (Nike Elements protects me from everything!)
  • A Wind Vest (The Brooks vest is lightweight and perfect for a windy, but not too chilly run)

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Go out there and enjoy your run in the Winter Wonderland!


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