What to Wear When it’s Cold Out There

Manchester Road Race with Janice & Becca
I smell snow.   No need to panic and move your running inside to the “dreadmill.”  With the proper prep you too can remain a road warrior and continue to log your miles out on the blacktop.
January 2013 will mark my 5th Walt Disney World marathon and 4th Goofy Challenge.  In order to be in race-ready form, I will continue to run my long training runs outside.  Temperatures can range anywhere from 50 to 10 degrees and sometimes lower
 First thing I have found you need is a Clothing Temperature guide on what you should wear at what temperature.   I keep page 170 from Jeff Galloway’s, “Marathon:  You Can Do It” dog-eared with my running clothes
 There are plenty of these guides available.  Find the one that works for you and keep it where you can easily reference it when needed.  You can also find what to wear guides on Runners World and other running websites:  http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/whattowear/0,7152,s6-240-325-330-0,00.html
If I plan on running in the morning, I lay out my clothes the night before.  This way everything is lined up for me and easy to put on in the dark so I don’t wake the entire house getting ready.  I check the weather report for the time I’m going to begin my run and until the time I should be finishing my run.  For instance, if I plan on running 20 miles then I will need to plan my gear for 4 hours or more.  I also make sure that my cell phone, my Garmin, my road ID as well as my hydration belt is packed and ready to go.
Here are my “must have’s” for running in the winter:
“fall” and “winter” CW-X’s
  • Running Tights:  I’m normally a Running Skirts girl, but once the temperatures dip into the 40’s, I break out my CW-X’s.  I own 3 pairs of these babies (2 winter weight and 1 fall weight) and although they are quite expensive ($$$) they are worth every single penny.  CW-X’s are engineered with compression and support features and come in different fabric weights depending on your temperature needs.
One of my Pearl iZumi Jackets
  • Good layers and warm outer shells:  Once temps dip below 20-degrees I layer up with a sports bra, tank (Nike), long-sleeved tech shirt (normally a race giveaway shirt), and then thick Polypro top (Brooks, Asics, Adidias) or my Pearl iZumi wind proof and waterproof jacket.  I cannot say enough about these jackets.  One of the best features is that the sleeves zip off and the jacket then converts into a vest!  There’s a back pocket that can hold your sleeves while you run or you can simply tie them around your waist.  Plus they come in colors other than yellow, like green, pink and orange (hint,hint, Santa).  No matter what brand you prefer be advised it should be a made of fabrics that keep the moisture away from your body.  It may be cold, but you will be sweating and being cold and wet is not fun.
Half-Gloves – can be worn under mittens
  • Socks, Gloves/Mittens, Hats and Headbands with Ear Covers:  Yes, you need all of these.  My motto is that when in doubt bring and leave in the car.  When training during the winter months I would also invest in a runner baklava.  Your motto should be NO EXPOSED SKIN!  Again favorite brands are Trail Heads, Brooks, Nike.
My favorite running mittens
  • A good paid of sunglasses:  My running sunglasses are Maui Jim ($$$).  I’ve had them since 2008, they are lightweight and do not slip off my face when running.  They are also Polarized and wrap around the corners of my eyes to limit exposure.  I love them and cannot rave about them enough.  When I begin my long runs in the dark, I just put them up on top of my head until I need them.  They stay put.  LOVE!!
Winter Hydration Tip:  Remember that your fluids can and will freeze.  Remember to keep them out of the cold by pulling your top layer over the bottles when you run.
Shopping Tip:  Where should you shop for these running goodies?  I visit my local running specialty shop, Fleet Feet.  There are also the big box locations.  And another favorite is www.runningwarehouse.com

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