November 25, 2013

Cold weather gear

It's the time of year that runners are digging through their closets to find the warmest clothing they have for outdoor running.  After three years of living in North Carolina, I thought I had figured out exactly what I needed for winter runs.  Cue the weather man and please tell me what happened yesterday?  NC is supposed to have lovely weather in the fall!  November 24, 2013 was the coldest day I have ever run. That's right, despite it still being autumn, we awoke to a freezing cold day, oh and a little bit alot of wind to make the running extra challenging.  The one redeeming part of the day was the brilliant blue sky.

How do you dress for a day like I had yesterday?  My experience has told me to add layer after layer.  I started out with 3 layers on top and my new Columbia heavyweight tights for my bottom layer. After trashing my old tights (holes and excessive wear), I spent some time at the local running store deciding which to buy. These tights have a reflective material that actually reflects and retains your body heat.  I was skeptical, but purchased them anyway.  Today was the ultimate test and they kept my legs nice and cozy after the initial shock of cold air when I stepped outside! For my top layers, I started with a base long sleeve Brooks running shirt, followed by a mid layer top by Nike.  Finally, I wore my Lululemon Can't Stop Jacket that is manufactured with several fabrics including a front that has moisture and wind protection.  I borrowed Tom's Sugoi scull cap, which has now made it's way into my drawer.

When temps drop below 30 degrees,  it's time for a hat and gloves!
I've mentioned the specific items I wore on my run, but let's face it, we all have our favorite brands and go to items for cold weather running.  My list of necessities include:

* long sleeve base layer
* mid range layer
* jacket with wind resistance, yet breathable
* heavyweight tights or running pants
* gloves or mittens made of wicking material
* breathable hat
* hand warmers for extreme cold
* neck gaiter

Have I missed anything?  What are your go to items for cold weather running?
(Pam)

Disclosure:  All items mentioned in this post were purchased by me and as always, the opinions are my own.

19 comments:

  1. Since I just started running in the spring, I'm now trying to figure out how to do this cold weather running thing. I don't like it one bit. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. You are welcome. I am sure there are other things to keep you warm, but this is a start!

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  2. I honestly think I'm still thawing out from yesterday. I ran in more clothes than I ever have and was still just barely able to keep from freezing. I had on a fleece lined hooded microfiber top as my outter layer and it was AMAZING! I kept it fully zipped with the hood up the entire time!

    I thought I was fully covered and ready for winter running having been through 2 winters of marathon training, but after yesterday I'm ready to run out and buy more cold weather layers!

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    1. I agree Danielle. I thought I had everything I needed, but yesterday with biting wind and cold temps, it was difficult to run and stay warm. You really had a tough day, but it looks like you had a fantastic race. Congrats on that!

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  3. I was too scared to run outside on Saturday so I hopped on the treadmill. Texas got Colorado's cold front so we had temps in the 30s, wind chill in the 20s and rain. It was most certainly an indoor run type of day.

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    1. Lesley, I used to make any excuse to run on the treadmill, but now I much prefer to be outside no matter what the conditions (well a tornado, hurricane or winter storm aside). Heavy rain is also a cue to hit the treadmill!

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  4. Great tips, I never thought about a neck gaiter. That would definitely help on the colder days! Sometimes I will keep one of those emergency space blankets in my car 'just in case'.

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    1. I love my neck gaiter for skiing a cold weather hiking. It is a great extra that can easily fit in a pocket if you don't need it.

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  5. I need help in this area as well! Last year I didn't know any better and just wore a bunch of cotton layers on top of each other. Needless to say I was miserable. I really need to find a good running jacket to keep the wind and snow out!

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    1. Kristen, Cotton layers would be awful for me since I perspire alot. You will enjoy your runs if you invest in a good quality running jacket. I bet there are alot on sale too!

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  6. Oh my...I think it's cold when I have to wear long sleeves plus a single layered jacket! Your environment takes it to a whole other level! I'm not sure I'd be able to handle running through the winter if I lived on your side of the country. I guess you get used to it, but brrrrrr!!!!!

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    1. You are right, Brrr...mostly we have nice weather throughout the year, but it has already been unseasonably cold. I can't wait for it to warm up again!

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  7. I don't have to dress for cold weather very often here on the Gulf Coast but when I do I wear several layers. I also make sure I have a hat and gloves! But it's nothing like YOUR cold! ;-)

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    1. Mindy, in the winter I would love to live where you are. We have decent weather most of the year, but when it turns really cold it is hard to get outside to run!

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  8. It's cold here too! I want to order these http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=12253724&pg=1 for my mom and I but unfortunately they only have men's size ( which I worry about them not being tight enough) and Child size ( which I'm afraid would be too small) Any thoughts?
    Also, I have a pair of leggings that are fleece lined. They are not cotton ( I think they are polyester and spandex blend on the outside). I know they aren't for running because I bought them at a boutique in town, but do you think I could run in those? ~M

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    1. Meranda, I think those hoods are a fantastic idea. When we used to do alot of skiing, I would see skiers wearing those on seriously cold days. Both my husband and sister had them! I think the men's size would be fine, perhaps a little roomy, but the child's size would be too small. As for the leggings.....give them a try. They might be perfect on super cold days! Stay warm!

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    2. Thanks for checking those out! I think that might be a Christmas gift ( maybe an early one!)

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  9. Whew...so sorry it was so cold for you this weekend! Hope it's warmed up a bit for you guys. When it's super cold, I wear something around my ears, gloves, long sleeved shirt (sometimes double layers), tights, and 2 pairs of socks. Happy Thanksgiving, ladies! :0)

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    1. Karen, it sounds like your weather is conducive to running in the winter but the summers are the tough time. Happy Thanksgiving to your too! Don't forget JCPenney Friday at 4:00am!

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