I'm visiting family in New York this week, and today it took all of my strength to walk .2 miles to Starbucks because it was 34 degrees outside. I felt pretty bold, braving the cold like that... until I saw someone run past me, taking a jog like it's no big deal, and I was in awe. Are there products for running in cold weather that make it easier when winter is upon us? There must be things that keep you extra warm and protect you from the wind, because I would not be able to do it (though, to be fair, I live in Florida most of the time).
I decided to talk to Jonathan Cane, the founder of City Coach Multisport, about items that would help keep you warmer and safer while running in the winter. He has been coaching endurance athletes for over 25 years and his clients range from beginners to world champions and world record holders. Plus, he can backup his experience running in blizzards with some pretty cool photos on Instagram.
What I learned from him: there are indeed plenty of products on the market that facilitate running when the temperature drops, from total face coverings to a crazy garment called a "Werewolf" jacket. If you're an avid runner or hope to become one, you'll want to check out this.
I asked Cane what you should do before running outside and he said, "There's a reason why we do a warm up before *any* run, but even more so in the cold. Among other things, the warm up literally warms your body temperature, lubricates your joints, and brings blood flow to working muscles. Heading straight out in the cold without a warm up makes you susceptible to injury; even more so than running without a warm up in more moderate temps. Doing a light warmup indoors can help."
A Balaclava To Block Your Face From The Wind
Sure, you may look like a ninja wearing this, but it's totally worth it when the wind chill is below zero. The great thing about these is that you can cover your face or neck as needed. If you don't feel like you need to wear this on top of your head, you can simply pull it down. This one is windproof and waterproof so you'll stay warm and dry while running.
Create A Wicking Base Layer So You Stay Dry
Cane told me that you should stay away from cotton when you're running in the cold (or any weather for that matter). Cotton doesn't dry quickly, so you'll end up being wet, sweaty, and cold. Instead, opt for a moisture wicking fabric on your base layer. Under Armour has a great one that's lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and maintains warmth. The mock turtleneck will also keep your neck and chest warm.
A Sneaker That Maintains Traction In Snow, Sleet, Or On Ice
You definitely want some traction when you're running in the snow or on sleet or ice. You also want to find a shoe that is waterproof so that your feet stay warm and dry. The shoe features a Gore-Tex membrane and an exclusive Vibram Megagrip outsole so you wont have to worry about slipping or your feet being freezing after only a few minutes running outside in the winter.
A Water Resistant Jacket So You Don't Get Soaked
I give people who don't mind jogging in the rain or snow a lot of credit because I wouldn't have the stamina to do it. But for those who want to brave the wet and cold, you should wear a water-resistant jacket. This way if it does start to rain or snow (or sleet), you can stay dry with the UA Storm technology. You'll also stay warm because the ColdGear cuffs help keep cold air out of your sleeves.
The Ultimate Traction System For Those Days With A Lot Of Snow
"YakTrax is my favorite for running in the snow. It gives you traction and security. Obviously you have to slow down in the snow, but for a modest layer of snow, I find that the YakTrax let me go just about anywhere I would under normal circumstances," said Cane. These cleats are designed by runners to fit directly over your sneaker so you can train in the winter without worrying about injuring yourself by slipping, falling, or losing your footing.
Socks That Will Keep Your Feet Warm And Dry
ColdGear fabric is really great because it does two things: it traps heat and it wicks away sweat. That means you'll have dry and warm feet while running outside in the cold this winter. Plus, these have COOLMAX XtraLife Select Cushion Footbeds which basically means you'll have optimal support and durability. They are cushioned, breathable, and a great option for running in colder temperatures.
A Windbreaker To Protect Your Skin Sans Bulk
Cane told me that after you have your moisture wicking base, you should add a wind shell to your running outfit. A great strategy is to layer! And a windbreaker really helps you do that. It's lightweight, water-resistant, and windproof so you wont freeze if the conditions call for extra wind. It's also extremely packable which is great if you're planning on heading somewhere you know it'll be cold and you'll want to go for a run.
Leggings That Will Trap Heat
Double layer leggings are what you should be running in when the temperatures drop. One layer wicks away sweat and moisture to keep you dry, while the other layer actually traps heat so your legs stay warm (because you know how annoying it is to wear yoga pants and feel like your legs are icicles). These are super stretchy and come in six patterns and colors.
Super Dry Gloves & A Headband To Wick Away Moisture
Make sure you're not forgetting to cover your ears and your fingers while hitting the pavement. It's really important to keep your extremities covered when it's extra cold outside (and I don't know about you, but my ears and fingers are always the first things to feel like ice). This headband and glove set is great because it's made with dri-fit materials and they have reflective details to keep you safe.
A Zip Up Sweatshirt To Layer Under Your Jacket
Layering is your friend. Put on a long-sleeve moisture wicking shirt under this half zip that's also got moisture wicking technology. Then place your windbreaker on top. You'll be warm, dry, and really be able to get a good jog or run in. Because let's face it, if you're training or just really don't enjoy running on a treadmill indoors, you should be comfortable in the cold weather.
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