Alternative Title: Winter is Coming.
Although a few days have been still fairly warm, the freezing cold temperatures of winter are around the corner. I've been running through the last few winters, away from the treadmill, and I've accumulated my fair share of gear. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite winter essentials. Note, I don't want to focus much here on the brands that I use, just the items themselves. If you have questions about preferred brands, please leave me a comment or talk to me about it at the next group run and I will be happy to respond!
|Fleece gloves with mitten feature|
2.) Snow/Rain Jacket
|Variety is the spice of life. I couldn't have just 1 rain jacket...|
3.) Running TightsI'm a huge fan of running tights. I don't like how pants feel moving/rubbing against my legs when I run so I much prefer the ease of tights. I know some folks are not as comfortable and throw on a pair of shorts over their tights. (There are even some options where you can get a running skirt attached to your tights). Either way, I think it is important to invest in a good pair that you love and feel comfortable in. I have some cheaper pairs and some more expensive pairs. The cheaper pairs work better during the week for shorter runs, but a lot of times you really do get what you pay for. Some tight brands are different lengths so you'll have to find out what works best for you and your legs. I have longer legs so I sometimes wear higher socks to cover any unexposed areas. Running tights are not cheap so I found it best to accumulate over time to help save my bank account! :)
|Great for racing and making friends with dogs|
|Also great for running hills with Amanda|
|Homemade hat with ponytail hole (2nd from the left)|
|Posing my headband with Pepper|
6) Layers!!!Winter running is very different than summer running. Wearing many thinner layers is definitely the way to go as it is easier to peel away layers at a time (like an onion, so-to-speak) than wearing a heavy jacket and having minimal options (sweaty or freezing). I like to wear those long unflattering unisex tee-shirts as my lowest layer and tuck it into my tights/capris to help avoid other layers from riding up and from skin being exposed. Especially if I'm wearing a FuelBelt, the chances of things riding up are much larger.
7) Water Bottle Handheld or Belt
|Fuel Belts are all the rage in the winter months|
8.) Reflective Gear and Light
|Light? Check. Reflective Vest? Check. Gloves with reflective strip? Bonus!|
If you plan on running after 4pm or before 7am, expect that you may come across some darkness. I highly suggest getting a reflective vest and some sort of light (either head lamp or hand-held light). The winter daylight hours are short and you will feel much better running outside if you know cars can see you (at least, let's hope so). Some companies offer reflective clothing, with reflective material built into the design of the shirt (see this post from Maggie for more details). These are great but it is nice to have a backup plan if these items are in the laundry.
There are definitely not as cute winter running clothes as there are summer, but when you live in Chicago, you realize this on those extra cold days. You may be teased by some non runners, but that is probably going to happen anyways, whether it is winter or not (or is this just me?). I hate being cold so I dress however I need to in order to not be cold. Lol.
|Non-runner artist's rendition of a runner|
For these items and others, I highly recommend checking our your local Kohl's or Marshall's for a good deal. RunningWarehouse.com also has tons of options available with free shipping!