Tips for Gearing up for Winter Runs

Just because the cold, dreary days have set in doesn’t mean you have to hibernate for the next few months. Crisp, chilly winter runs are a great way to break out of your routine. Even just a quick 25 minute jaunt can boost your energy, rev up your metabolism and revitalize the spirit especially when that cooped-up feeling starts to set in. The key to actually enjoying the outdoors in the winter is having the appropriate performance gear so you’re not miserable. Having lived in Vermont, Toronto and Montreal for years I’m not stranger to the icy temps. If my core, fingers and toes are warm, then so am I! Here’s a list head to toe of what I wear when I head out on a bitter day. Of course there are different levels of cold. A sunny 30-degree day is quite different from a windy, grey 10-degree day. First listed will be for your standard cold day. Second option listed will be for bitter cold. Either way this should help when gearing up for winter runs.

  • Keep the cold wind out of your ears with an ear warmer band or full, winter fleece-lined hat that covers your head and ears.
  • Sports bra or tight fitting base layer tank with built-in bra.
  • Quarter-zip pullover in moisture-wicking fabric that zips up over your neck or fleece-lined pullover.
  • Insulated vest or thin, but wind-resistant jacket.
  • If it’s brutal out you may opt for a neck gaiter. It’s like a sweater specifically for your neck.
  • Thin running gloves are a must or use them as a base layer and top with a pair of down-filled mittens.
  • You’ll need some long leggings. You probably already have these for your yoga practice, but if it’s really cold kick it up a notch with a pair of fleece-lined leggings. Take it a step further by investing in a pair of wind-resistant pants. These can be worn on their own or with a base layer underneath.
  • Moisture-wicking socks – Merino wool blend. Look for brands like Smartwool or Darn Tough.
    If you’re not a fan of wool, look for socks made with Coolmax – a synthetic performance fabric known for breathability. If it’s really cold I also wear leg-warmers to protect my ankles. There are some wicked cute ones out these days!
  • Depending on the conditions (wet, icy patches or snow) I often wear trail shoes – even when running on concrete. They have more substantial tread and slip much less than my regular stream-lined running shoes. For some people though, wearing trail shoes on concrete can lead to shin splints so be sure to listen to your body and do what’s best for you.
  • Additional Tips

  • Keep your core warm!
  • I apply Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant to my lips and cheeks to avoid windburn.
  • Stay hydrated even in the cold! Of course water is key, but if you find yourself lacking in the water department add hot tea or hot apple cider.
  • When looking for some of these performance items like a neck gaiter or wind resistant pants try specialty outdoor retailers like Athleta which is ultimate performance apparel specifically for women or REI.
  • Be cautious and safe, especially if it’s icy. Remember there’s nothing wrong with skipping the outdoor winter runs and heading to your favorite yoga class instead.
    Better yet, skip winter all-together and join us in Thailand or Costa Rica for a yoga teacher training retreat!
  • Have any cold weather running tips? Send them to us!

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