I live in Western Wyoming in the Rocky Mountains. We are at over 6200ft elevation, and snow is guaranteed from November through April, highly likely in October and May, and quite possible the other months in between. (Not kidding... I've seen snow in July and August).
I like to run outside whenever I can. This time of year, I do my speed/interval work on the treadmill (since our only tracks are outdoors and covered in snow and ice), and I do at least a couple of my easier paced runs outside each week.
|Here I am, ready to go this morning|
So what do I wear to run outside in the cold?
My MOST favorite article of winter running gear is my Brooks Softshell Utopia jacket.
Under my Brooks Utopia jacket, I just need one layer, so I wear one of my long-sleeved running tops.
On bottom, it depends on how far I am going and how cold it is. If it is single digits, I usually go with a base-layer of thin tights, and then my Brooks Glycerin Pants. If it is double digits then I usually go with just a thicker pair of compression tights or my Brooks pants. I haven't gotten new running pants in quite a while and I have my eye on these babies.
On my head I wear my Brooks Infinity beanie. It is nice and warm without being TOO warm and fits perfectly. The fleece part around the ears and forehead feels great and there is a pony tail hole for people with enough hair to make a pony tail. I love this hat. (And this is another thing I have washed over and over and over and it still looks new).
Brooks Adapt gloves. These have a great flap that goes around your fingers for an extra layer of warmth and wind/wet protection, but can fold back if your hands get too toasty. They are comfortable and WARM (which is what I need because cold hands are miserable). They are also MP3 compatible. Perfect!
I wear a good pair of socks and my usual Brooks PureFlow's. (You can read my very detailed review of the PureFlow's here.)
I think runners tend to need less clothing than they think they do for running outside in the winter, especially if you have a few good pieces of winter running gear (like a great jacket). Once you get moving you will warm up, and as long as your hands and head are covered, the rest of you will probably be just fine.
|my Brooks gear is reflective which I love!|
Someone asked me about breathing in the cold. I just breathe normally. The cold air doesn't bother my throat or lungs (and is not bad for you) and it usually feels really good to be outside and breathing fresh air (even if it is COLD). If it is really cold and I am going to be out for a longer run, I sometimes wear a Buff around my neck that I can pull up over part of my face if needs be, but I rarely feel the need for it (and rarely use it when I do wear it) and if it is THAT cold, I take the run indoors.
Those are my tips on winter running! Get a few good pieces of winter running gear, cover hands and head, try to avoid ice, go on a day when pace doesn't matter as much, don't over-think it, and have fun! I can't say how much I love going out on a cold morning when the snow is sparkling and the sun is coming up. I would take a cold, winter's morning run over a hot, summer afternoon run ANY DAY.
Do you run in the cold? What is your winter running "must have"?