Winter is here! You may be excited about that or dreading it, but either way, you’ll be outside at some point. If you plan on running or exercising outdoors this winter, there are a few key items you should invest in. Make sure to layer up and you’ll be warm no matter what the temperature is! Here are some great cold weather running tips.
Lined Pants & Top. Invest in fleece lined pants and tops. These are the best layering pieces and will keep warmth close to your skin when you’re outside. You’ll be able to tell the difference between these pants and normal workout pants/leggings because these will feel a bit thicker and are soft inside. When it’s very cold out, wear a wicking shirt as your base, then the lined top, then another long sleeve over that. Make sure to avoid cotton!
Mittens. Mittens, as opposed to gloves, will keep your hands warmer. Since your fingers are all in one place, your body heat will keep them warm. As always, look for a pair of mittens specific to running, which will be made with wicking material. If you use your phone while running, search for fingerless mittens, which are a combination of gloves and mittens.
Warm socks. As mentioned above, do not wear cotton. When you sweat in cotton, the fabric stays wet, which means you will be very cold. Invest in a pair of wool socks, which are actually naturally wicking. Thicker socks means your toes won’t go numb after a few miles.
Neck gator. When running in freezing temperatures, you may notice that your throat gets dry or starts to hurt from the cold air. A neck gator will help with that. You can simply wear it around your neck like a scarf, then pull it up to cover your mouth and nose when you get cold. This is a must-have in windy conditions.
Earmuffs or hat. You’ll want a pair that is specific to outdoor exercise and one that stays put. Most of your body heat escapes through your head, which is why this piece is important. There are also earmuffs with headphones built in, in case you want to listen to music on the run.
Vest or jacket. A running vest or jacket will keep you warm on the chilliest of days. Once you layer up with everything listed in the first point, add your vest or jacket and you’re set. A vest is good for days when perhaps it is not too cold out, and a jacket is a must for sub-freezing temperatures. Make sure to buy a waterproof jacket if you plan on running through rain and snow as well.
Yaktrax. Yaktrax are a product you can slip onto your running sneakers. They provide you with traction so you can run without being afraid of slipping on snow or ice. If you will be braving the elements this winter, then you have to invest in a pair of Yaktrax, which are listed at $40.
Reflective gear. Winter time means less daylight. This is why reflective gear is so important. Make sure everything you buy has some sort of reflective property. Or get a reflective vest. You can also buy a head lamp or flashing light to wear on runs.
If you plan on training outside this winter, kudos to you! Winter runs and be relaxing and peaceful, just make sure you stay warm and stay safe.