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Some of you might be running the New Year's Eve 5k or another race in January like F3 that may involve some cold weather training runs or races. As we are looking at tomorrow for the New Year's Eve 5k it looks very cold but manageable given the right gear (and hoping the wind lays low). If you would like to run the race or need some fun motivation to end the year (or make a fun end to a long run) with you can still register here https://goo.gl/ha7zTR Use code “BIBRAVE10” to save $10 on race entry!
Cold Weather Mandatory gear
Wool socks: they wick the moisture and help to retain heat. They will also work well in the summer to wick the sweat and keep you cool.
Hat: I love my new Buff thermal hat but I also pair it with an ear headband to keep my ears extra warm. I was skeptical because the hat can breathe but so far even in the cold my head has been warm.
I love my Saucony ultra mitts they are fingered gloves with a wind cover. Now the downside is they do not seem to work on phone screens like they state but they do keep your hands warm. If you do not have these and have to race coming up I suggest mittens with hand warmers or fingered gloves with socks over them (sounds crazy but it works).
My current favorite is 32 heat from Costco they have pants and shirts and the shirts can be worn as regular wear. Cuddle duds are also warm and you can get those at most major retailers (Target and Kohls).
Fleece lined pants are essential for the winter. Some brands we have tried are Saucony and Athleta. At least a thick pair of tights is necessary for winter running.
If you do not have running jackets use your own and you will be just fine (provided it is not super long). Marie and I love our Saucony Nordic jackets they are thin but have a fleece liner and protect from the wind. If you can get at least a layer of wind protection that will help you the most with winter runs.
Consider warming layers over the thermal layers even a hoodie might work. If you have ski pants now might be the time to use them if it is -20 or below for a windchill.
Hand and toe warmers
I love hand warmers but I would only use the toe warmers for a 5k or less distance to avoid issues with gait or blisters. I am looking into rechargeable hand warmers which are not ideal for race day but great for training, I will report back on these.
You can use a trail shoe, Gortex shoe or Yaktrax. I love my new Topo trail shoes that are also waterproof. I have also used the Yaktrax on my regular shoes which work well on light snow or light ice but are not great on concrete sidewalks. If you do not have the budget for these or are not one for regular outside winter runs you can use duck tape on your current running shoes to keep out the wind and snow.
These can go over your shoes and lower leg to keep out snow, rocks, etc or they can also be for the neck and face (two separate products both called gaiters).
I love my Buff for my neck but need something separate for over my face as my breath tends to freeze my buff in subzero weather.
I really love my Orange Mud endurance pack. I will say I wore it on a cold run over my outer clothes and that did not work well everything was frozen. So layer this under your clothing and thread the tube into your clothing (can go down a sleeve for men or under a sports bra and towards the mouth for women) It also depends on if you have already cut the tube in which case you may be limited on placement.
Also needs to be kept close to the body and more likely gels or now would be the time for homemade energy balls. Forgo the chews when it is cold unless you enjoy visiting your dentist.
Carry this as close to your body as possible with a thick sock around it. The sock will protect the phone from the cold and losing all battery. I am currently using a battery backup case called Simphee I love for an easy on the go charge without the extra bulk (Amazon has lightening sales at times on these). If you are counting on something from your phone to get you home I would have the backup of cash or credit card in case the phone does die on your run.
These are a few things that make our winter runs more pleasant. If you have suggestions or tips let us know, we still have plenty of winter to go!