Tips for Cold Weather Running

Like most runners, I hate carrying things with me. I hate extra layers, water bottles, watches… anything extra that i have to carry is a huge nuisance and commitment because I am stuck carrying it until the end. I want to be free when I run.

Conventional wisdom tells you to layer your clothing, but they don’t take in to account freezing fingers, numb ears and achy nose from cold wind.

I’ve been keeping pretty good track of what I wear at different degrees and I have found that if my core, my head, hands, and feet are warm that I can handle cold runs even if wear less layers. Here are some more essentials to battling out cold weather runs:

1. A hat – not only does the hat keep your hair out of your face but it keeps your head warm. On really cold days, I’ll put a really thin nylon beanie under my baseball cap to cover my ears, but this only happens when temps drop into the teens.

2. Gloves – I used to hate gloves because they made me feel numb and too covered up, but I do wear gloves once the temperature goes below 30 degrees. I noticed that once my hands get chilled, it’s hard to focus on running because I’m flexing my fingers to make sure they aren’t falling off my body. I have thin running gloves from Champion. I don’t see a dupe online but any gloves should do the trick. You should look for fitted gloves, I find that the fitted gloves bother me less and they tend to be warmer since you aren’t getting cold wind stuck in the fingertips or what not like you do with larger gloves.

3. Warm socks – the shoes aren’t what keep your feet warm, it’s the socks. I’ve already posted at length about my socks, so I won’t say much more here.

4. Vests – to keep your core warm. I never really understood vests. Like… Where are the sleeves?!?! But I bought a neon colored vest to throw over clothes to increase visibility during my late night runs… And I discovered it really keeps you warm. I started putting the vest over my running tops and hoodies and discovered that one extra piece of fabric was better than extra layers of shirts. I like the vests because they keep your core warm, and your arms aren’t hassled by bunching shirtsleeves.

In addition to adjusting my running clothing to include these things for winter, I find adding some really good moisturizer to my exposed skin helps keep it hydrated and prevents wind burn. On really cold and dry days, I swipe a little Vaseline on a q-tip inside my nose and under my lips so I don’t get dried out. I also add some good lip balm to the surface of my lips to prevent chipping.

What about you guys? What do you do during the chillier months?

(I’m writing this on my iPhone, so it might be a little garbled, but I hope it helps!!)

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