Since my last post, I was diagnosed with a left femur stress fracture, moved across the country, and have run a total of 5 races (4 in 2015 and 1 in 2016). The road to recovery has been a fickle web, woven with depression and self-doubt. While it has taken much longer to return to decent shape than it has in the past (I know, I know, I am getting older), I think I am almost there.
The intent of this post is not to review the failures of 2015 (there were many), but instead to provide
some helpful tips for combatting cold weather while you run.
As I mentioned before, my husband and I relocated from the land of perfect weather (the Bay area) to
Boston. With the exception of the occasional east coast visits, it had been a long time since I have run regularly in cold weather. I grew up on the east coast and have vivid memories of training through the winter months. I remember early morning training runs when I could not feel or open my hands without assistance. I suffer from Reynaud’s phenomenon, something I am sure many of you are familiar with. Basically, when the temps are low and there is moisture in the air, my hands and feet lose circulation and hurt like hell. So when winter rolled around again, I feared for a very painful training cycle. However, cold weather gear has improved so much since I last lived on the east coast that I have found running in the cold to be much more enjoyable. I am sure you are all thinking LAYERS, and you are not wrong, but there are specific articles of clothing that I have found essential to combatting the cold. The key components I like to run in when the temps are lower than or hovering around freezing (from the inside outward) include the following:
Top: Typically I will use UA Cold Gear or Craft Crew Neck as my base layer, the layer that comes in direct contact with my skin.
Bottoms: I use a lined pair of running tights. My current favorites include a pair of Asics Thermopolis Tights and a pair of random tights I bought from TJMax.
Socks: I highly recommend Smartwool or socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
Insulation Layer: If the temps are below freezing, then I will use an insulation layer such as a thin fleece. My favorites are actually old race swag from the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler and the Oakland Running Festival.
Outer layers: The Shell: I wear my hybrid full-zip jacket from Title 9. This jacket has been a life saver for me for sure. It is wind resistant with a plush fleece interior. It even includes thumb holes to provide extra insulation for the wrist and palms.
Gloves: Gloves are an essential component of running comfort in the cold. I love my Saucony convertible mittens. Admittedly, my hands are almost always cold, especially when the temps hover around 20 degrees or lower, but with the help of these gloves, they eventually warm up after a few miles.
Headgear: My choice in head warmth is temperature dependent. At temps above or around freezing, I
will opt for ear warmers; they typically provide enough warmth and ear protection to be comfortable.
However, when the temperatures drop below freezing I opt for a hat and an ear-warmer/headband.
During the winter months, we get less than ideal sunlight for training. In addition inclement weather can make for some pretty awful visibility conditions. That said, I like to wear a high visibility running vest outside of my jacket. I am more comfortable knowing that a car will spot me at greater distances when I am wearing the vest. In addition, I wear my high visibility bracelet.
|Sub 30 degree - running gear|
What do you prefer to run in when you run in the cold? I have been considering a face mask lately for colder and windy conditions, any suggestions?
Smuttynose Palooza 5k