I’ve never been a huge winter runner. I didn’t enjoy how cold it was and I hated feeling like I might fall at any moment. I was perfectly happy to move to the treadmill in the winter and skip going outside. But Dave has long encouraged me to give winter running a chance. We both know that being outside – cold or hot – is good for our overall mood for the day. With his encouragement and some running friends who also go out in the cold, I’ve only been on the treadmill once this winter and that was only because we had moved the treadmill out to the mudroom and I wanted to test the new setup.
But there were a few key items that have made going out possible – and enjoyable.
yaktrax: These have made a huge difference! A friend of ours gave these to Dave but they fit my shoes, too, and they’re a total gamechanger. They’re completely comfortable but give me 100% confidence on the snow and ice. I can run completely normal without having to watch where I step/being nervous about falling/sliding around. They are so awesome and well worth the cost.
buff: I like the buff around my neck for some extra warmth (particularly on subzero windchill days) but especially hooked from the top of my head down and around my chin. I can pull it up if my mouth or nose get cold, but they generally stay pretty warm from my breath. However, my chin still gets cold and this helps. I’ve also used the buff as an ear warmer. And if you do put it over your face, it’s easy to rotate it as you run when it gets damp and frozen over your mouth.
bandana: I have three bandanas that we bought for cheap at Walmart. I tend to have a lot of snot when I run at any time, but especially in the winter. These are great for blowing my nose while I run and are so much easier and sturdier than fumbling with tissues.
I also wear a headlamp around my waist to help me see and be seen. I carry pepper spray when I run alone in the dark. And I layer layer layer. This morning it was 9 and felt like -1, so I wore two pairs of socks, a pair of capri leggings, full-length leggings (these are the only pair I own and I love them), 2 long sleeve tech shirts, a fleece zip up, 2 pairs of knit gloves (although I ditched one pair fairly quickly into the run), a buff, and a fleece hat.
And while I have really loved getting outside and enjoyed some really beautiful quiet mornings in the snow, I will say the one drawback of winter running is how long it takes to get ready! IT TAKES SO LONG TO GET DRESSED! We’ll see how cold it gets this winter and if there’s a threshold to how cold it can be for me to still run!
Do you run in the winter? How cold is too cold for you?