Cold Weather Running

28 Mar

Okay I’m sick of it.  I’ll say it.  I’ll admit it.  I’m really tired of the cold weather.  It’s just, ugh… draining.  This winter in particular, the weather seems to just be colder than usual and sticking around longer than usual.  So cruel.  I’ve always been an outdoor runner – I don’t switch to treadmills in the winter (I have treadmill issues, another topic for another post).  I’ve always managed to make it happen, but this year I’m super ready and excited for spring runs.  I hope they will be here soon.  This past weekend I did my 9.5 mile long run and the whole time I motivated myself saying “This should be the last cold one for a while.”  I hope I’m right!

IMG_3533

All geared up for my 9.5 miler. This isn’t even my warmest outfit! Ready for hot runs.

Here are my tips for enduring winter running:

  1. Dress appropriately! Clothing choice is crucial.
    • Shirt/Head: I have what I call a spidey suit – a hooded shirt that goes up to my eyes.  I bought it a couple years ago, and it has been a game changer.  Remember – I used to live in Wisconsin :)  This allows me to breathe through fabric for part of the run to warm up, or the whole thing if it’s really cold.  It also covers my ears and is seamless.  It has the added benefit of looking really cool.  I mean, come on!IMG_0851
    • Gloves: I have used a variety of gloves but my favorite might be the little cheapies from Walmart or Target.  Just the cloth, normal gloves.  They are cheap, easy to wash, and about the right level of thickness for me.  They keep me warm but I’m not sweating to death.  I got a fancy pair for Christmas with touch pads which are great for adjusting my music or phone – I love them too.  But cheapies do the trick.gloves
    • Hat/Head: I normally wear a headband style ear-warmer and this is great.  In combination with my hood it allows for versatility.  Hood up and ear-warmer on for super cold, and hood down ear-warmer on for just pretty cold.  This combo has been great for me.ear warmer
    • Legs: Tights and pants.  Yep – I double layer.  I hate being cold and this coverage works great for me.  I have some Reebok tights I just bought that I’m loving!running tights
    • Feet:  So this one might be a bit strange – but I wear snowboarding socks for all my winter running.  I’ve been doing it for years and it’s terrific.  They are thin but meant to keep you warm, and they go up well over my calf – maybe to my knee?  This extra coverage is awesome.  I’d highly recommend this.  I can’t imagine running in short socks now that I’ve switched over.socks
  2. Sign up for a race!
    • Having a goal to work towards is extremely helpful in getting out running every week.  Knowing that you are running for a specific purpose in unsavory weather is encouraging!
  3. Run with friends or coworkers
    • Accountability is huge.  I run weekly with co-workers.  Although we may not all run together every day, knowing that I’m going to the get the question, “Running today?” is extremely helpful.

For me though, the most important thing about winter running is gear.  The right clothes can make all the difference.  You don’t need much and you don’t need anything fancy – I’m usually a mismatched mess, but I’m warm!  Additionally, now that it is spring, it’s a great time to check out winter clearances at running/fitness stores.  You might be able to find the perfect gear for next season.  Saving moolah is a favorite hobby of mine.

Keep warm out there and fingers crossed for warmer runs soon!

-Kelly

What tips do you have for keeping warm while running in cold weather?

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