Living here in the Midwest we are use to having a fairly rough winter. Some of course can be worse than others. I really am a high maintenance runner and always prefer ideal running conditions but over the years my definition of ideal has changed. I use to not run in weather if it was colder than 60 degrees. Yes, got over that once I started running farther distances and realized that was more of an ideal temperature. A number of years back I started running year round just to say I could. I then decided completing a half marathon in January would really solidify my membership as a “runner”. Of course, rain is a whole different beast. I had a Nike coach mention that real runners prefer to run in the rain and I of course thought I am definitively not a real runner. Well all that changed during a 16 mile training run for my marathon. I had no choice but to tough out 10 miles in a down pour. All that said, I still do think that my tolerance for rain really does depend on the temperature.
If you research online how to dress for different temperatures while running you will come across various suggestions for layering your clothing and how you should dress for 15-20 degree warmer temperatures. All of this is good information for a starting point. However, we know each person heats up differently. For instance, I always run warm and that is without the addition of any hot flashes while Aubrene tends to run cold. That being said, I want to share some of my favorite cold weather gear. This winter I purchased new fleece lined tights. I decided to go with the Saucony Siberius tight. My past experience was that fleece lined tights tend to not stay up due to lack of stretch in the material. I definitely love the Saucony Siberius tight. I do not need to wear multiple layers on bottom and the ankle zipper allows you to get in and out of the tights fairly easily while not contributing to any chaffing. I also, love my Saucony Nomad jacket, no this is not an advertisement for Saucony. When looking to purchase a jacket last year I decided to go with the Nomad jacket because I could get more use out of it. The jacket alone is not super warm but you can layer as needed and the jacket definitely protects you from the elements. As for socks, SmartWool is definitely my favorite. I even have different height socks depending on if I want my ankles covered or not. I generally run in Newton Kismet shoes but I do have a pair of Saucony Kinvara RunShield that I will wear when there is snow on the ground or extreme wind as they do make a difference in keeping my feet warm. No matter how cold it is I cannot run in a hat. Instead I have opted for a SmartWool headband and SmartWool neck gaiter if the temps are below 20 degrees. Both stay put while running and the material wicks away the sweat because it does not matter what the temperature is, I still do sweat. However, I did realize the gaiter was a bit much for me recently and in turn once I took it off it made me colder since I was already so warm. As for gloves, I have a pair from Costco. I have found that most gloves do not keep my hands warm but just annoy me with the amount of bulk. Luckily, I have been able to make do with the pair I have and of course the price was right.
When buying running gear it can become pricey. I know that I look for sales and try to purchase what I need during that time or add the items to a wish list for an upcoming gift receiving event. The addition of running to my life has provided my family with numerous gift ideas. I have had some of the gear mentioned above for years and believe you can get lots of use out of a quality product. As we are all aware, running gear has become much more mainstream and there are many products available out there. I do really think each individual needs to determine what is best for them and realize that may change day to day.
Here’s to looking forward to warmer days and less layers!