As the colder and darker weather descends upon us, there is no reason to scale back your running. A wardrobe change is all that's in order! Cold crisp days make for beautiful runs.
Here are my six tips for warm, comfortable, and safe winter running.
- Dress in layers.
As tempting as it is to head out into the cold all bundled up in a thick layer, if you overdo it, you'll be overheating in no time. It's a better idea to dress in a thin, snug, warm base layer, a half-zip mid-layer (you can zip up or zip down depending on whether you are hot or cold), and a wind and water-resistant jacket. You may not always need to wear them all simultaneously, but being able to interchange the three will give you options depending on the temperature.
Regardless of how cold it is outside, you will sweat when you run. The base layer will gather the moisture as the mid-layer provides a warm buffer against the cold. Top it off with a jacket that blocks the wind, and you are all set.
Consider the Heat Half-Zip as a great option for layering.
- Give some love to your fingers and toes.
The discomfort of freezing hands and feet is likely to put an end to your run faster than anything else. Warm socks and windproof warm mittens are two must-haves. Layering isn't only for our top half. I often start my winter runs wearing a thin pair of gloves inside my mittens and then pocket the gloves when I'm warmed up.
A light, snug pair of socks underneath a warm outer sock is also an option. To streamline it, you could give your feet the pleasure of socks with Merino wool or a double-layered sock.
- Stay lit.
I can't emphasize this enough. Run with lights! It's a small investment that could save your life. Additionally, wear outer layers that have reflective detailing. Most run specialty brands do an excellent job adding reflective elements to their apparel and footwear, so no excuses.
If you don't have lights, DO NOT wear black. That's what yellow and orange are for
Use this handy little Nathan Strobe Light.
- Invest in a pair of waterproof shoes.
Many runners do not realize that popular running shoe styles come in waterproof versions. Saving yourself from the torture of putting your foot into ice-cold slush may be worth the price.
The waterproof feature also makes the shoes warmer (nothing in, nothing out), so it’s a game-changer for those who suffer from cold toes. Many waterproof shoes also have additional grip features on the outsole to help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground instead of upside down in a snowbank.
Check out our GTX and waterproof collection here.
- Snuggle into warm winter tights.
On our upper body, we will often wear two or three layers in the winter, but to keep our legs moving freely, we don't want to add bulk. Winter running tights have a warm inner layer that allows you complete freedom of movement while providing cozy warmth. If your muscles are cold, they will not work correctly, so good winter running tights are necessary. Guys, you need to add a wind boxer!
- Have some multifunctional pieces.
There are a few pieces that are great for their mixed-use. Consider a Buff, which can be a face mask, a neck warmer, a hat, and a headband.
Also, a Convertor Mitt is great. It works as both a mitt and a glove with a feature that allows you to tuck away the outer windproof mitt part when your hands are warmed up.
There is something so enchanting about running on a crisp and snowy day. Bundle up and enjoy!