Running Outside in the Winter
From Great Outdoor Store
I fell off the exercise wagon earlier this summer. I didn't have any fall races to train for and life got in the way of putting in any actual miles. This past Sunday, after watching runners from around the Midwest brave the cold in the Heartland Nike Regionals, I told myself that I was re-embarking on my fitness journey. When Monday morning came around without a break in the weather, I wasn't ready to brave the bitter cold and wind so I retreated to the gym and hopped on a treadmill.
I knew that I couldn't pick up where I had left off, but I had no idea how dramatically my pace and endurance had dropped. I rationalized that the treadmills must not be calibrated correctly and it most certainly had no ability to keep time. Those three miles were the longest (but probably not the slowest) miles of my life.
Now that we have a had a break in the weather and I'm a little more mentally prepared, I'm ready to break out my winter gear and get back outside. The miles will go by much more quickly as I won't have the look at the numbers on the digital readout counting down to the finish. Being able to run outside in the winter is a lifesaver--but only if you have the right gear. Wind protection, layers, and a light source are the keys to happiness. And while the outfit below is coordinating, I don't care if my gear matches (it probably doesn't) as long as I'm warm and dry. The image below is women's gear, but we have the same products for men.
Published on 11/15/2018
The first layer, and one a lot of people don't think about, is underwear. If all of your other gear is wicking and quick-drying, your underwear should be too. It's going to work together as a system to keep you comfortable even during your longest runs. At Great Outdoor Store we carry several brands for both men and women. The undies shown here are Patagonia Active Hipsters ($24.00). The other next-to-skin pieces include:
Wool socks--the pair shown here are Smartwool($26.95)--but we also carry Farm to Feet and Darn Tough.
Wool or synthetic top--I would love to wear wool because it doesn't need to be laundered as often, but it doesn't work for me. The one pictured here is a Smartwool 250 weight crew. ($95.00)
Warm gloves--I'm in LOVE with these Smartwool gloves. For some reason I can wear wool on my hands and feet but not on my legs or torso. These gloves have the added bonus of being soft which make wiping your nose a little easier. ($60.00)
Hat--this one is from Buff and is also merino wool. ($27.00)
Tights--the Trino windproof tights/pants from Arc'teryx are the only layer I need for my legs even on the coldest days. They have Gore Windstopper and stretchy panels for movement and breathability. The price tag may seem high, but they are the only tights I need for winter running. ($147.00)
Jacket--the Patagoina R2 TechFace is the R2 fleece that we all love with a weather resistant outer. It offers incredible breathability and mobility while keeping you warm. It's also versatile enough to wear out and about without looking like a super "techy" jacket. ($169.00)
Finally--with the shorter day you need to see and be seen on the trails. The lightweight Bindi headlamp from Petzl is perfect. It's rechargeable so you won't have to worry about your batteries draining on cold mornings. ($59.95)