When it’s cold outside – do you take a break from running? I’ll admit it, I did. Winter running drove me indoors for the season, and although the treadmill can be a great training tool, it felt like a winter prison. Outdoor running in the winter can be refreshing and beautiful, if you’re wearing the right gear.
My ears are one of the first things to get cold, so ear warmers are great to keep in your closet for days that are more “in-between” temperatures. I recently bought these cozy ear warmers which are AMAZING for those days where I don’t need the coverate of a hat. Bonus: these fits nicely under a helmet for skiing/snowboarding, as well!
If you’ve ever run in a long sleeve shirt, you probably ended that run sweaty and feeling heavier from that wet shirt hanging on your back. At that wet shirt will get cold fast, when the wind hits it. A technical fabric is meant to wick the sweat away from your body without hanging on to it. Most fitness apparel uses this type of fabric now, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
You might save a little money with cotton, but the drawbacks outweigh those savings pretty quickly! Invest in technical fabrics to make winter running most comfortable.
Long Leggings/ Tights
Some people seem to wear shorts year-round regardless of the temperature, I’ll admit I was one of these people, but I am not one of those anymore. When it’s cold out, I want as little skin exposed as possible. I look for leggings that have a pocket (for stashing a car key) and can be pulled down over my ankles. If you’re into compression for performance, invest in a pair of full compression tights to really take advantage of the cold weather.
I typically wear no-show socks to the gym and in the warmer months, but in the winter I like to switch it up. I have several pairs of higher profile socks specifically for outdoor runs. You might also try compression socks for extra support (and extra coverage).
If you live in an area where winter runs are snowy or icy, extra traction is an important for comfort and safety. The lowest cost option is to add screws to the soles of your shoes. This costs only a few dollars, but does relegate those shoes to slippery runs.
My preference is to purchase a set of Yaktrax (or similar traction options) that I can slide on and off my shoes. This means I haven’t ruined a pair of shoes for other purposes and I can any pair of running shoes.
Hopefully these winter running gear tips help you prepare for the coldest & snowiest of winter days. Remember that you don’t want to head out for a run feeling too warm & cozy. You will warm up once you start running, so aim for feeling a little chilly when you walk out the door for best results.