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Running Gear for the Winter Chill

Accessories for surviving - and thriving - in cold weather.

12/2/2020 - Staff Writer - Running


Here come the ‘bers……..October, November and December.

There's less daylight, temperatures plummet, and the motivation to go outdoors and get active likewise drops with the approaching cold and windy days.

However, that doesn't mean you have to hunker down in the house and resort to the treadmill (or, let's be honest, the couch). The correct equipment, clothing and accessories can fend off the uninviting elements and bring back some joy in getting active outside.

Head in the Game

It is easy to get caught up with layering and bundling in cold weather. However, once moving, overheating can quickly occur and become an uncomfortable problem. So how should you dress for running in cold weather?

Let’s start from the top….literally. We all know that heat is lost through the head, so it's important to have it properly covered. Keep the right amount of heat locked in by wearing a headband or a buff. A hat can be too warm unless there is a lack of hair on the head or it is cold enough to snow. The buff is often a popular choice since it can be pulled up around the face when needed and then pulled back down again once the body heats up or if the weather improves.

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Keep the Digits Covered

Moving onto the parts that get cold first, the hands and fingers. The best advice is to place a thin pair of gloves on your hands. Once temperatures are too cold for just thin gloves, layering the hands with mittens will keep the hands warmer and more comfortable.

Heating packs are also an option for keeping the hands warm, since the hands are vulnerable and more exposed to the elements.

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Not Just Any Top

From there, we continue with smart layering. A synthetic base layer for a shirt will wick sweat away from the skin. Half-zips also work well, allowing the ability to vent out warm air quickly like opening a window. With gustier winds and further temperature dips, opt for a long-sleeve shirt in place of a t-shirt.

The next progression for cold weather running would be a jacket. It's the ideal top layer for colder days and days where the wind is more significant. The jacket layer can always be removed and tied around the waist without much effort.

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What About the Bottom Half?

Lastly, we get to the pants. Layering the lower half of the body can be a bit trickier, especially since taking off layers or converting layers is more complicated.

When shorts are not enough protection in colder weather, leggings can be worn under shorts or as a solo layer. When there is just a bit more of a chill in the air, lighter layers are best. Or, go with the 80’s fashion statement and add leg warmer. Lighter layers might help from overheating and leg warmers can be removed and wrapped around the waist.

Pants would be the option for days when temperatures start approaching the freezing mark or when winds are gustier. Pants can also be placed over shorts or leggings for starting out on colder days and once the body gets warmer can be removed and wrapped around the waist.

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Go Out and Own Your Run!

It can take a little bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you. Be patient with yourself! Like any new activity, there's going to be a bit of an adjustment period, and the fact that you're giving it a go is what counts.

We promise it will be all worth it once you get in a rhythm. Keep trying and have fun - your body and mind will thank you!

Be sure to check out our Cold Weather Running page for even more tips and recommendations!


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