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Cold Weather and Winter Running Clothing Tips (Coaches Corner)


Deciding on cold weather winter running clothing is no joke! Find out what I wear when the temps plummet to keep myself safe and warm out on the roads and sidewalks. Join us for Running Coaches Corner!

As already discussed on my own and countless other blogs over the past week, Winter has entered the building and left the freaking door open (or left the fridge open, if you remember Tropic Thunder). But runners know no seasons, and if you are running a spring marathon or other race, you are going to need these tips to help you run and train safely through the winter season!

Cold Weather and Winter Running Clothing Tips

Layer like a crepe-cake doused in frosting fit for a 5 year old My Little Pony fanatic

Winter Running Clothing Picks, from the Top Down

Cold Weather Winter Running Clothing Tips and the Perfect Winter Running Outfit! @suzlyfe

Lined beanie (preferably bright or reflective) I have a few: one is bright green, the other is navy but with reflective stripes and a ponytail hole. I’m a big fan of having knit over top. I also run in my sherpa hat from time to time.

Gaiter or scarf A gaiter seals off your neck and torso for extra warm and you can pull it up over my face if need be.

Short Sleeve Tech Shirt A nice and lighter base layer, but you will feel warmer with your shoulders covered

Temperature Controlling Midlayer I have a few different ones, from a North Face Windstopper to a Mizuno Breath Thermo (all 1/4 zips for temperature regulation) 

Fitted, Lined Windproof Jacket with the option of ventilation I tried out and LOVED my Spyder Ardour jacket last week. Full review to come, but I loved the combination of cabling and quilting for both wind-blocking as well as breathability–it kept me warm, not overheated, and prevented sweating. Also, the close-to-the-body fit keeps you from getting cold air up inside the jacket. Also, make sure that it has reflective patches!

Insulated Vest Vests help you maintain core warmth (and thus overall warmth) and provide extra pockets! Also, if your jacket doesn’t fit tight to you, a well-fitted vest can provide that slim fit.

Lined running tights I pick ones with with zips on the side, some sort of lining (brushed fleece or body temperature reactive material) that are wind proof but breathable (like these).

Moisture Wicking Socks I like a little bit of ventilation, so I wear low rise socks mostly and taller socks when it gets colder. Thicker, but still moisture wicking–you don’t want your feet to sweat, or they will get cold. I have historically opted for my merino Feetures

Lined Gloves or Mittens I prefer gloves with what is called a “finger garage” or mitten-like flap to go over your fingers, but I’ve recently ordered gloves without them. I also like that the new gloves that are coming out are touchscreen capable! After talking with a few coaches, I have also had recommendations of using plastic gloves as liners and also cross country skiing gloves.

Additional Winter Running Accessories:

  • Hand Warmer packets (self explanatory)
  • Tissues (cold air makes you cry and your nose run!)
  • Reflective vest or flashing beacon (longer periods of darkness)
  • Yaktrax (Keep you safe and stable on treacherous surfaces and in snow)
  • Sunglasses (Snow is VERY reflective!)
  • See this post for more of my winter running essentials that I carry around with me!

Why Layers?

Layers let you control your temperature by regulating it with ventilation. You want a warm torso because it will help you keep your extremities warm while you are running, and the blood moves from your fingers, etc. I like the option for my wrists and ankles to be exposed for temperature regulation, but as it gets colder, I will cover them. And wear bright colors–you want to be seen. Visibility is likely to be less during the winter, so even just a single piece, like a bright hat or scarf might very well save your life.

Brrrrr! Use these winter #running clothing tips from Coach Suz to stay warm! #runchat #coachescorner Click To Tweet

What are your winter running clothing must haves? How cold does it get where you are?

Have your eyes ever iced shut?

This post is a complete update on information from this post from November 2014! Some links are Amazon affiliate links, but the choices/opinions are my own.

I am linking up with myself, Rachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday, and Ilka and Angela for Food and Fitness Sunday. 

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