Last night I had plans to meet my cousin to run in Central Park. She’s a new runner so I was surprised that she was up for a run in 40 degree weather, but she’s tough and I always find it easier to get out the door when I’m meeting someone. I’m delighted to have a running buddy again! When it started raining I wasn’t surprised to receive a cancellation text. I pushed back a little, “come on… you know you’ll feel great afterwards,” and it became clear that the only thing standing in her way was proper cold / rainy weather running attire. Who can blame her for that?
She dug around and replied that she’d found something suitable. We were on. Fast-forward 45 minutes and I’m waiting for her at the edge of the park in the pouring rain. She messages apologizing for the delay – apparently she stepped in a puddle and had to change her sock. “Oh no, maybe this was a mistake,” I thought to myself.
Soon enough, I see someone of her stature dressed all in black running towards me. Only it couldn’t be her. This person was holding an umbrella. The figure came closer. It was her! “ok, I guess she’ll put it down and tuck it away when she gets into the park,” I thought. Nope, we proceeded to run 3 miles together in the cold rain. All the while, she was holding her umbrella out in front of her as a shield.
We passed a few runners on the loop and we even got one comment about her ingenuity. And, I assume carrying an umbrella while running takes serious stamina!
So, AV, this blog post is for you. The holidays are coming, maybe someone will gift you a few of these items. Fa La la la lah La la la lah…
- Craft Base layer – this is my go-to piece. In fact, I wish I had at least 2 more. Layers are so important in cold weather. This one keeps me fairly dry, even when I’m sweating like a maniac (I’m a heavy sweater)
- Outer shell – if the temp isn’t too cold (4o’s and dry), I’ll just wear a long sleeved technical tee over my base layer. Once it gets into the 30’s and lower, I’m all about the a thicker outer layer. This running hoodie is similar to what I wear regularly. For something a little heavier, check out the Nike Shield jacket.
- Hat or headband if you’ve got a lot of hair, the Lululemon top knot toque is great! Really, any beanie made of technical fabric will do. The more it wicks away moisture, the better.
- Gloves / mittens or a combo. I like the versatility of these gloves transform into mittens with a windproof layer for extra chilly runs.
- Running tights – these are an upgrade from the version I’m wearing, but I’m a huge Brooks fan when it comes to tights. Nike, Asics & Under Armor have comparable pieces, just make sure you get tights that are made for cold-weather running (not the super thin ones).
- Socks – usually I don’t like my socks to come above my ankles, but in the winter that can mean there’s an annoying gap between the bottom of my tights and my socks. Long leg problems, I guess, so I opt for a taller run sock. These are largely up to personal preference so you might have to try a few. If you’re vegan, just make sure they don’t contain wool (it’s pretty common).
**Note: I wear all black all the time, however, from a safety perspective, investing in some brightly colored pieces for running is smart. Do as I say, not as I do.
Nice to haves:
- Rain Jacket / windbreaker – confession, I don’t own one of these. Most of the time, if I’m running in the rain, I just layer up if it’s cold and get a little wet. By the end of our little run last night, though, I was pretty chilly and wet so I’m beginning to rethink this. Maybe this will be my next investment piece…
- Vest – these are great because they keep your core nice and warm, though I tend to use mine more while cycling. During running, usually my hands and feet are the most likely to freeze.
- Head lamp or reflective gear – not usually needed if you’re doing most of your running in a lighted park, but some country-dwellers aren’t so lucky. Believe me, I’m envious of folks who live in the sticks for lots of reasons, but well-lit places to run in the winter is not one of them!
- Phone / key storage – I like the SPI belt or the flip belt for storage on short runs, when I don’t need to wear a hydration belt
Definitely do not need:
- Elite Brief – yeah, I’ll never be this fast.
Happy (& warm / dry) running!