Winter is just around the corner, and if you live in a climate where Jack Frost comes out to play, you're going to want to be ready to fight back with the right running gear. Here is a list of my top 3 must have items that get me safely through the cold season.
I've never been a big fan of running on a treadmill. Not to say you can't get quality runs on them during the winter, but I find the lack of scenery absolutely mind numbing. It's only on the worst days when its colder than -20 or when snow and ice make it unsafe to be outside that I retreat indoors. For the rest of the season I'm out there braving the elements, building mental toughness and secretly wishing I was born in the Caribbean.
But surviving winter running is not all that bad if you plan ahead. It's just like putting winter tires on your car. Don't wait until the first blizzard to do it, get in early so you're ready when the storm comes. Get your gear together now and when the weather turns nasty, you're good to go.
For me I have a ton of tricks up my sleeve and gear to survive the cold. Here I'll give you my Top 3 Running Accessories that I can't live without.
Petzl Tikka R+ Headlamp
I know what you're thinking....."This doesn't keep you warm!" That is true but this is probably the most important piece of gear that comes out of my bag this time of year. As a morning runner, I'm usually running around 6:00AM and as the days start to get shorter, its pretty dark. The street lights throw enough light to survive, but being able to light up the path is critical for spotting black ice and hazards on the ground. The Petzl R+ has multiple settings and can adjust easily, casting a super bright and long view while also keeping you visible to traffic when running. Overall Petzl has been a go to brand with tons of models and price ranges.
Ronhill Infinity Torrent Running Jacket
I absolutely love the Ronhill brand and despite feeling thin, this jacket is warm! It's waterproof and windproof, which helps keep snow, sleet and moisture away from the core, and maintains body temperature even on long runs. Most days I'm good with just a long sleeve dry wicking shirt underneath, but when it's super cold, I add a fleece layer and I'm a happy runner.
I also love the sleeves on this and the tight fit on the wrists, which you can velcro shut and keep snow and moisture from getting in.
The biggest benefit of using a jacket like this, is deflecting the wind, which this does perfectly. It's not a cheap piece of gear, running $200+, but its a critical investment that will keep you out there on any day winter serves up.
Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mittens
I could lose my man card on this one, but if there's one thing that will end a run quickly for me, its frozen fingers. I've tried all types of gloves in the past, hot packs and even wore 2 pairs at a time
but have never found a solution that works. The OR Heated mittens are not cheap, but they are a life saver. With rechargeable batteries that deliver up to 8 hours of warmth, these bad boys get the job done.
The waterproof Gore-Tex material make these light and not overly bulky which is nice when running. There are 3 different heat levels depending on your preference, and a separate pocket where the batteries are conveniently stored.
The only downside of these is that your GPS watch is out of sight and tough to get at if your concerned with watching the time and your pace...... a trade off I'm happy to make to avoid frost bitten digits.
What is your favourite winter running gear? Comment below and share your tips!
Stay warm, Run Happy!