Last year, the monthly collaboration between myself and 5 of my running blog friends, Workouts for Runners, was so popular that we decided to keep it going into 2017. This year we are expanding to including more workouts, running tips and tricks that we’ve picked up along the way in our running journey.
Welcome to Run It!
This month, we are talking winter running. Love it or hate it, we are in the thick of it right now. Although I must admit, it’s been a pretty mild winter so far. Or more like wacky. The temps have been single digits one day and then 40 degrees the next. With the wide range in temperatures daily, I find myself wondering daily – What do I wear?!?!
Winter running is not my favorite. I’ll take a summer run any day. But when you live in a climate that gets cold and has snow for a large portion of the year, you have two options – hibernate or embrace the cold. I refuse to hibernate. Over the years, I’ve learned that if you dress right, you won’t feel so miserable. And you may find that you actually enjoy the cold.
Winter running may not be my favorite, but I enjoy the variety that it brings. Plus, you just look like a badass out there.
Here are 5 of my favorite winter running pieces. Some are essential and some just make winter running just a tad more fun.
My hands are usually the first thing that get cold on me during a run. I don’t take my gloves or mittens off for a run until maybe 60 degrees. The Saucony Run Mitts have been a life saver. Mittens definitely work better than gloves to keep the whole hand together rather than fingers separate. So far, the lowest temp I’ve run with them is 3 degrees with no cold fingers. FYI – I think the Saucony site may have sold out of the Run Mitts. If you can’t find it on there, Google it and see if you can find elsewhere.
A good quality running jacket makes a world of difference when the temps drop. I once thought layering long sleeve shirts and a half zip was enough until I added a jacket. I have different levels of jackets that I rotate through depending on the temperature. A thinner jacket can protect from wind and rain/snow. A heavier jacket adds an extra layer when the temps dip in the teens and single digits. My three favorites are from Saucony (shocking, I know). My go to jacket for when it’s bone chilling single digit temps is no longer available. The other two are the Sonic Reflex for it’s awesome reflectivity and wind/water resistance and the Razor.
I can not stand running in the cold with my neck exposed. I don’t know if there’s any science to it but I can feel a million times warmer if I have something around my neck. Half zips and jackets are great but sometimes you need a little bit more to cover up any exposed skin. That’s when I reach for my neck gaiter. It’s perfect for pulling over your mouth and nose when it’s really cold. It warms the air, making the it easier to breathe on those chilly mornings. I have a fleece gaiter that’s a million years old that I wear when it’s really cold but also recently got a Buff for those in between temps.
This is my first year running with microspikes. I haven’t needed them on the roads but they have been great on the trails when there’s been a mix of mud/ice/snow. Those suckers hold onto anything. Even running across sheer ice, down a hill, I felt confident that I wasn’t going to bite it. I have Kahtoola and love them.
Looking for a change of pace? Snowshoe running is for you. When I say change of pace, I mean really your pace. You may be running at a 5k effort but your pace will be in the 9’s or 10’s. Even an easy effort is hard work. But you know what? It’s so much fun! This is my first year with running snowshoes so I’ve still got a lot to learn. And a lot of conditioning to do! What’s the difference between running snowshoes and regular snowshoes? Size and weight. Running snowshoes are shorter and lighter. You can try to run in regular snowshoes but you’ll end up feeling like you’re dying that much sooner! I have the Crescent Moon Gold Series 12 and love them.
Here are even more winter running tips and gear picks from 5 of my running friends. Click on the picture to take you to their post. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash to reference whenever you need it.
Nellie gives you a heads up on what NOT to do.
Allie wants to make winter running great again.
Laura has West Coast winter running gear tips.
Carly has tips on how to run strong through any winter weather.
Sarah has her recommendations for what to wear no matter what the conditions are.
What are your winter running tips and tricks?