Essential Gear for Winter Running

This is what greeted me when my alarm went off this morning…

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I mean, c’mon.  Really?  Needless to say, I ended up hitting the treadmill for the six miles I had on today’s schedule.

I actually don’t mind running in the cold weather, but when you add low temps to ice, darkness, and wind…it’s probably best to stay inside.  Luckily my tolerance for cold-weather running has gone waaaaay up since I started purchasing the right gear.  I thought I’d do a quick little round-up of what I think are my essentials for a successful frigid run.

Let’s layer from the inside out….

1. Long tank top. – Serves as a butt warmer as well.  I wear this one a lot from Lululemon, but Target and Gap have great choices too.  I love this Target one a lot…don’t be shocked if I go buy it.

2. The warmest running pants around. – I don’t know what sort of trickery UA has woven into these pants, but let me tell you…they’re magical.  And they’re worth the $50.  I have a few other pairs that I like (from brands like City Sports and Fila) but nothing keeps me as warm as these do.  I normally save my other ones for when the temps are close to freezing or a little above.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a cheap cheap alternative yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

3. A fleece lined top. – I found a Nike one scouring the racks of Gabriel Brother’s while visiting my grandmother in West Virginia.  It’s the most obnoxious color and pattern and it’s amazing.  I bought it for $25 there, so it’s probably at least $50 in real life.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a picture or a link to a Nike one, but I know that UA also makes great tops.  And I shall now go home and treasure my crazy looking top since you can’t get them anymore apparently.  RIP awesome tops.

4. A running jacket. – This coat is similar to the one I bought from Target several years ago, except mine is bright pink.  It’s served me well the past few years and I don’t really feel the need to upgrade right now, but if I did I know what I’d get.  Tina made me uber-jealous the other day when she posted the coat that her husband bought her for Christmas.  It’s like the Mercedes-Benz of running coats and I’m sure it’s every bit as amazing. #lifegoals

5. Gloves. – I buy cheapo ones at race expos so I can use them as tissues.  Don’t judge.  That’s what washing machines are for.  Check Wal-Mart for some good ones and for those ladies who are blessed with tiny hands like me, don’t overlook the kid’s section.

6. Head gear. – I lose a lot of heat through my absurdly large dome so I tend to stick with an ear warmer.  I bought one a long time ago from North Face for my one and only attempt at snowboarding and I still use it. This is similar.  While you can find ones for a lot cheaper, I’d recommend investing a little for a fleece lined one.  They’re easy to wash (don’t dry!) and it keeps your ears warm while not getting you all hot and bothered.

While this will keep you warm and cozy, please do not be silly and run on ice and craziness.  Either jump on the treadmill or take after Fat Amy…

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