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:
Another great pair the Oiselle Power Stretch Gloves/Mittens.
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!
My favorite heavyweight is from the C9 Champion Collection at Target.
When’s its really cold switch to a beanie, or double up with a beanie and a headband.
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
I recently discovered Feetures! And they are soooo comfy and warm, and really great for shorter runs!
6. My Winter Faves
Ok.. so my TOP choices:
It’s fun to have basic pairs and some colorful ones.
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
Base layer: Flyte Long Sleeve
Feet: Pro Compression and Brooks Running Ghost, Berlin Special Edition!