Run this Life: Cold weather apparel edition

The Blizzard of 2016 brought the winter weather we’ve been expecting on the East Coast… It’s been COLD. Which means you really need to be EXTRA motivated to get outside!!!

Last year I trained pretty much all year round. When I was working with a coach he pushed me to do ALL my training runs outdoors — and I did. Unless it was especially icey, I was running outside. And looking back it definitely made me a stronger runner. Don’t get me wrong, the treadmill can be great for workouts at times, but if you can get outside DO IT. Why? Well if you are training for a race … then you need to be prepared for all conditions mother nature throws at you!

Or maybe you are like me and just think running outdoors is just much more fun!

Needless to say over the years I’ve been honing in on the best attire to keep warm, but not too warm. Everyone is different, but here are some general guidelines I’ve been using. I’ve gotten several tips from Runner’s World and a number of fellow runners on the East Coast and Midwest. I envy those West Coast runners that NEVER have to jump over puddles and snow (story of my life this week)!

1. First things first – LAYER, LAYER, LAYER


It’s always COLD when you start (think “Feels like -2” even though it’s  7 degrees!. So you bundle, bundle, bundle… but then after one mile you are sweating! This chart is a great guide for layering attire. Once you do a few runs a various temperatures your body will adjust and you’ll realize when you can go with less/more clothing. I know that 35-45 degrees is relatively warm for my internal temperature and only need a base layer, but below 30 is when I need to consider a thicker base layer or a thin vest layer.

Temperatures are one issue, but so are the conditions aka. Wind/Sun/Clouds. When its windy and/or cloudy you can predict you will be colder. When  the forecast says “abundant sunshine,” you an expect to be warmer.

2. Check the Weather!

The beauty of technology is that there is an APP for everything! Most phones come with a weather app and you can get an idea for temperature changes. For instance in the spring and fall there can be dramatic changes in a two-hour time frame, which is something if you are aware of you can prepare for with you layers!

3. Protect YOUR Digits

My fingers tend to be my biggest issue… I have Raynaud’s disease, so my finger tips tend to go white very easily and it takes awhile to improve circulations. It took me a while to find gloves that worked, and even then I still need to take extra precaution.

I alternate gloves, I have pairs for warmer weather, fall, and the brutal winter months.

In the spring and early fall I actually just wear a basic pair (from Five Below) that have the iTouch fingertips.

Come late fall and warmer winter days my go-to gloves are:

Oiselle Lux Gloves $28

Another great pair the Oiselle Power Stretch Gloves/Mittens.

And for the very cold months, basically every day right now, I’d suggest the Nathan Ranger Convertible Mitt or these Nathan PopTop Convertible Glove/Mitt.

Nathan Ranger Convertible Mitt $25-60

Bonus tip: HotHands Hand Warmers!!!


4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

The warmer your head is the warmer your overall body temperature is. However, keeping your head to warm you can easily overheat.

I’m a huge fan of running in hats when training in the summer, because they provide good coverage. I’ll add an ear band/warmer as the months get colder… and it varies on the thickness of them.

I’d suggest having a lightweight one and a heavyweight one!


Some great lightweight options include: Asics and Oiselle.

My favorite heavyweight is from the C9 Champion Collection at Target.

C9 Champion Headband, Asics Stormshelter Jacket, Nathan’s Ranger Mitts.

When’s its really cold switch to a beanie, or double up with a beanie and a headband.

Top beanies: Oiselle Lux Beanie and Brooks Joyride Beanie.

5. The Pigs

As many of you know I’m a huge fan of all things Pro Compression. I wear them ALL year long. I love the marathon socks, but I also wear the low trainers. Both are perfect in the winter. I even wear the marathon socks UNDER my tights. #keepittight

pro compression
Pro Compression, Marathon Socks

I recently discovered Feetures! And they are soooo comfy and warm, and really great for shorter runs!

Special thanks to Feetures! from BMRC!









6. My Winter Faves

Ok.. so my TOP choices:


It’s fun to have basic pairs and some colorful ones.

Nike Running Tights and Nike Thermal (extra warm and can layer tights underneath).  I’ve also recently been obsessed with these Nike Running Tights lately and the Oiselle Moto Lesley.


Base layers

For the less cold days I love all and everything Oiselle. One of my favorite pieces is the Flyte Long Sleeve, it’s perfect paired with a lightweight vest, like the Gilman for those 30+ days.

For anything below that I rely on Under Armour — the Fly-By Turtleneck is a fave, and very comfy. I also rotate with the Coldgear Cozy Neck Shirt. If you follow me on IG you’ll see these alot! 

image image image


Last year I got a great deal on the Storm Shelter Jacket from Asics — and it was a lifesaver! I wrote it almost every run in February. It’s out of stock, but I’d suggest searching for one or finding something like it. It’s great to protect against anything Mother Nature throws at you — rain, wind, sleet — you name it. And it keeps you toasty.  (See photo above).

Friends of mine also love the Oiselle Wallace Jacket, available here.

I also rely on the Nike Element Half-Zip for everything in between.

7. What to Wear Running

When in doubt, visit What to Wear Running. It takes so much thinking out of the equation! Thank you Runner’s World. Once you have your go-to pieces this can serve as a simple guide line.


***Update from my run this morning. 26 Degrees at the start, 5 miles 28 degrees/flurries at finish.***

I was a little chilly at the start, but warmed up after a mile and didn’t overheat.

Head: C9 Champion Headband

Hands: Nathan Ranger Convertible Mitt

Base layer: Flyte Long Sleeve

Outer later: Nike Running Tights and Nike Element Half-Zip

Feet: Pro Compression and Brooks Running Ghost, Berlin Special Edition!

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