October has barely begun but it already SNOWED on me this morning. Big ol’ white fluffy flakes coming down instead of colored leaves.
While I’m not thrilled about snow starting this early, there is something a little exciting about entering a new season of running and pulling out all my long tights and winter gear.
I know that running through winters intimidates a LOT of people. But it is doable…and, dare I say, even somewhat enjoyable if you have the right gear and know what you are doing.
So in hopes to help y’all continue running without suffering on the ‘dread’mill everyday, here are lists of my ‘must haves’ and my tips to keep you warm and running outside all through the winter!
- LAYER, LAYER, LAYER! This is the key to staying warm. When the temperature is below freezing, I typically wear a water resistant tank top, a thinner long sleeve, & then a heavier outer layer (see my favorite kind below). Not only does layering provide warmth, it also allows the option of stripping if you get too hot!
- TUCK IT IN! One of my biggest pieces of advice is to tuck in at least your base layer. It traps the heat in and keeps you SO much warmer. Try it. You’ll be surprised how a little tucked tank top can provide so much extra warmth.
- WATCH ON THE TOP! It is a pet peeve of mine if I have my watch hidden below layers of clothes that I have to dig through to see my stats or to start and stop it. It might not be as fashionable, but wearing your watch on top of all of your layers is super handy.
- COTTON IS WARM! Cotton is a dinky in the athletic world these days. But it is surprisingly super warm. On days above freezing, sometimes all you need is a tank top/t-shirt and a cotton long sleeve on top. My only recommendation is that you don’t use cotton as your base layer because it doesn’t wick sweat.
- WEAR SUNGLASSES IF SNOWING! There is absolutely nothing worse than trying to run while being pelted in the eyes with snow. Ugh I can’t stand it! Even if it’s a gray, gloomy day, you can find me wearing my sunglasses to keep my eyes happy. Make sure you get some with plastic frames! Metal frames will get really cold. Also, glasses that have interchangeable lens are the best because you can swap out the shades for a clear lens!
*Everything I put an asterisk next to are the better choice if the temperature is 25 degrees or below.
- GLOVES or MITTENS*: There are a wide variety of gloves out there. My hands get cold and stay cold easily, so you can usually find me running in fleece lined mittens. But lighter weight gloves are great for warmer temps. Here are my favorites:
- EAR WARMERS or BEANIES*: I typically like ear warmers better because I’m a girl with long hair and they don’t mess my hair up as much ha. However, on the days the really cold days, you can find me in a beanie. Definitely warmer. Here are my favorites:
- LONG SOCKS: You will be so surprised on how much having your ankles covered will help you stay warm. Not to mention they are a life saver running through slush and snow as they keep the snow from getting into your shoe. The Darn Tough socks are my all time favorite. Super warm, super durable. However, the Nike’s are a thinner and I like them as well.
- LONG TIGHTS: My biggest tip with tights is to not get cotton ones! Get some that are spandex or similar. It makes them a little more water resistant and that is so necessary when you are running through snowy, slushy roads. My very favorite tights to wear are fleece lined ones. They are SOOO much warmer. I swear by fleece lined tights! These are my every favorite and so affordable:
- BUFFS*: These are the new ‘thing’ in the running world. You can use them as ear warmers, head band, but my personal favorite is using them as neck/face warmers. Keeping your neck warm will keep you so much warmer. And on those really cold days, pull it over your nose and you’ll stay nice and cozy.
- QUARTER ZIP LONG SLEEVE*: These are my favorite outer layer. If you get a thicker, fleece lined one it keeps you nice and toasty. I also love that if you are getting just a little too warm, you can unzip it and it cools you off, but it won’t flop around like a jacket will
- SUNGLASSES: I have these and love them. Definitely need pair that you can change lenses!
- GOOD SHOES: If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, I would highly recommend getting some trail shoes. Not only will they improve your traction, most of them are water resistant which keeps those little toes dry and warm. My favorites are these:
Oh winter running. It definitely takes longer to get dressed before you head out and your laundry loads will probably triple in size (the very worst part). BUT, if you gear up properly, be prepared for some of the most magical runs of your life. Nothing more majestic than being one of the first ones out after a snow fall when the world is silent and all you hear is the snow crunching beneath your feet as you cruise around town. So get prepared, get geared up, and get running!
-till next time-