It’s here. Winter, I mean. Growing up in New Hampshire I am used to these winters, but every year I still hate it. The bitter cold, the endless shoveling, having to bundle up to go anywhere, and slipping too often make late December – March awful. Combine this with running and it’s a recipe for disaster if you aren’t prepared for it. With the right gear and mindset, running outside though the winter is possible!
Cold weather clothes: This is the first thing that comes to mind. Clothing is so so important in the winter, especially when the temperature drops below freezing and the wind chill is even lower. Having quality base layers, mid-layers, top layers, hats/gloves/face protection that are sweat wicking is what will keep you going. If you are dressed properly the cold won’t suck quite as badly. These are some great graphics and resources about what to wear for specific conditions: Boston.com, Runner’s World, Women’s Running.
Make sure to dress warm but not too warmly. Remember that your core body temperature will raise 10-20* when running and you don’t want to overheat.
My favorite pieces of cold weather clothing are my Skirt Sports Tough Girl Skirt and my Saucony Sweater. I bought both last winter and they kept me very warm! Active.com has a great list of some of this year’s top apparel picks.
Footwear: As you can imagine, running in the snow and ice can be dangerous due to risk of falling. One misstep and you can fall and seriously hurt muscles/tendons, bones, or even cause a traumatic brain injury. For this reason it is so so important to have proper foot gear. I tried regular yak trax back in the day and found they weren’t great for running. Since then they have made running yak trax which I assume are much more useful. There’s also a diy hack to spike a pair of your sneakers to dig into snow/ice. A pair of trail sneakers can also add some traction for runners who see some light snow/ice, but nothing trecherous.
In terms of footwear and temperature, merino wool socks are great for winter as they are sweat wicking and temperature regulating. Many brands make great merino wool socks; Balega, Feetures!, and Darn Tough have all passed my test. I love them all, but I’m a bit biased when it comes to wool – Darn Tough socks are made nearby in Vermont and offer a lifetime guarantee on their products.
If you are looking for warmth and/or water resistance, I recommend a gore-tex shoe. The gore-tex will seal off your feet from dampness as well as keep them a bit warmer. I find that these shoes tend to be a bit stiff, but they are worth it for some people, especially for those with circulation problems. See: Brooks Ghost GTX, Brooks Adrenaline GTX
Reflectivity: Whilst the longest day of the year has passed, most of us will still be running out in the dark, making reflection a necessity. While many running companies now build reflective elements into their winter running collections, reflective vests and lights (I love these) will only make you be seen more. Add a head lamp (I use this) and you are good to go.
I’m linking up today with Annmarie at The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie at Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness, and Nicole at Fitful Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday. Head over to their blogs to check out the other great posts!
**Disclaimer: I am a Skirt Sports Ambassdor and receive compensation for being one. However, all thoughts and opinions on their products as well as all others in this post are my own. I am not being compensated for this post in any way**