Cold weather running is no joke, but it can really be a fun challenge. It doesn’t matter if you are an established runner or just starting out, if you haven’t ran in freezing temps or knee deep snow there’s a lot of great lessons to learn. If you’re like me you hate hamstering (treadmill running) and want to stay outdoors running as much as possible then winter running might be your thing. Here’s some winter running gear tips for you to begin your transition.
Winter Running Gear Tips
- Feet – You may want to invest in trail running shoes and some people pick up add-ons that are kind of like grips. I typically just run with my regular shoes. I just wear extra warm socks or put on a pair of compression and then a warmer pair over that. It will feel numb at times, but once that blood starts circulating you’ll be fine.
- Layers – Gear in general is specific to the person, but I have one word of advice: It’s better to be too cold than too hot. If you’re sweating from too much gear and you’re on a long run you are putting yourself at risk. If you are cold your body will work harder to warm you up. I have a few pull overs and insulated pants and a wind resistant jacket that I use regularly. I haven’t changed it up, because it works.
- Head – This depends on the temperature, if there’s snow, and how bad the wind is for me. Sometimes a headband is plenty, but if it’s cold and windy you may want a hat, even a warm one. If your head stays warm it helps keep the rest of your body warm, but once again you don’t want to get too hot!
- Face – For years I used bandanas and they did work pretty well, but a few winters ago I picked up some face masks. Alpha Defense Gear always has them on sale HERE if you want to check them out. They aren’t perfect, but they do the job pretty well and are a lot of fun. Mine tend to get wet from my breathing and unlike bandanas they are easy to pull down and back up if you get too hot or the wind picks back up.
- Hands – I’m still struggling to find the right gloves. I’m Goldilocks here. I want something that isn’t too thick, but is super warm, and I can use my phone, Garmin, or adjust my other gear if necessary. What usually happens is I end up with two layers of gloves on when it’s subzero. So far I don’t have a better answer. A friend of mine has tried “Turtle” gloves and so far he’s really impressed. I may give them a shot and a review for you guys this winter.
At the end of the day don’t spend a lot of money on gear trying to figure things out. Borrow something from a running friend or pick up the cheaper deal at Walmart or something of the like. A least to help you narrow down what works best for you. I’ve been cold weather running for 8 years now and I still don’t have all the right gear that suits me perfectly yet. It’s a process of finding what fits you and your needs the best. Sometimes the top dollar items are exactly what you need, and sometimes the clearance bin has your magical answer. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comment section below. I promise to respond in a timely fashion. Until then, best of luck to the rest of you crazy people and have fun!