Happy Hump Day, all! I did my 5 mile loop this morning and the weather was a chilly 27°F / -4°C outside at 5 am. Brrrr! It’s actually starting to feel like November in Boston.
When the weather changes significantly (or in weather conditions I’m unsure about), I religiously check Runner’s World What to Wear Running tool. The results of this tool seem more like a suggestion than a tried-and-true fact. More than half the time, I disregard their advice and usually just pick my outfit out on the fly. I feel like they really favor “light jacket, long sleeve technical shirt, tights and sports bra” as their main cool weather outfit. I mean, come on – they don’t even include VESTS in their tool, one of my favorite things to wear running when the temperatures drop. Also – which tights should I wear? The thin ones? Medium thickness? Lulu tech fleece? Brooks Utopia Thermals? I may spend too much time thinking about these things, but being comfortable while running is important to me. I am usually a victim of overdressing, which slows my pace down because I’m either too hot, awkwardly carrying my layers, or stressing about what hooligan is going to steal them out the bushes I’ve stuffed them into. So, I have rounded up my favorite cold weather running gear to share with you.
Hats are too warm for me unless we are talking arctic circle temperatures. I like to keep my ears warm, and still be able to put my hair in a pineapple on top of my head (although, there are cute ear warmer headbands with cutouts in the back for your ponytail, if that’s your thing). They are easy to slide up if you’re getting too hot, or even take off and stuff them into a pocket (that almost never happens to me – keeping my ears warm is a MUST). It’s also a bonus that this Lululemon Run and Done ear warmer features 360° reflectivity.
I found these Mountain Hardwear gloves a few years ago, and I have been obsessed ever since (they have even made an appearance on one of my Friday Faves). This pair has features that I couldn’t do without – every single finger (not just thumb and pointer finger, as is standard with most running gloves) is touch screen compatible (yes), they feature fleecy cuffs to keep cold air out (yes!) and they have a fleece nose wipe patch on the back of the thumb (double yes!). Sadly, I’ve searched the internet high and low for this year’s model, and they must not be out yet. If you’re in the market, keep these features in mind – they are super useful. Also, it’s great to get running gloves with reflective features, as you want to be as reflective as possible when running in the dark to stay safe.
Fleece Running Pants
Let’s be honest: my buns get really cold when I’m running outside in the late fall and winter. To keep ’em warm, I am partial to Lululemon Tech Fleece pants, which have sadly gone up in price (UGH). They are great for 20 – 30°F, but if it’s colder than that you definitely want to pull out the big guns: Brooks Seattle Tights. These are the tights to wear when you won’t skip your run because it’s snowing and blustery outside. I have an older pair (Brooks Utopia Tights) that are so warm, I save them for the coldest days. The Brooks Seattle Tights feature windproof and waterproof panels, zips at the ankles for easy on/off and if you get hot, and are meant to be worn below 20°F.
Marmot Kitzbuhel Insulated Vest
This Marmot vest is my favorite vest for cold weather running. It doesn’t look like much, but BOY is it warm! It’s thin and lightweight, but the insulation packs a punch. It has quilted insulation and stretchy fleece panels down the side for warmth and movement. Of course, the zipper helps you regulate your temperature as you warm up or get cool, which I really like. Bonus: it’s not actually for running, so you can wear it in real life too. 😉
Rulu and Wool Everything!
I love Lulu’s Rulu fabric, but this year’s batch has been thinner than normal and not so great (womp womp). On my quest to move on to bigger and better, I’ve discovered Oiselle Wazzie Wool. Merino wool is nature’s answer for warmth, water-repellent, stink-free and breathable running gear. Oiselle has this super cute side-zip merino wool running top that will definitely be on my Christmas list this year. You can’t go wrong.
Speaking of wool…
I am obsessed with merino wool running socks. There are lots of great options out there, but SmartWool is a fave. These PhD running socks are actually my favorite, and I wear them for every race (if you have small feet, you’re in luck! They are on sale at REI).
In Boston, it gets dark really early (at like 4 pm). Nathan has some awesome products for visibility in low-light conditions. I have both the StobeLight and the Pulsar Stobe, which both hook on to your clothes or running shoes and provides visibility to cars, people and bikers. They are super bright and lightweight (so you don’t even remember they are there). It important to be visible so you stay safe while you are logging your miles.
Welp, I hope this helps, at least for now! I’ll be back with more of my favorite gear as the temperatures drop even more and as the snow comes to New England. 😀 This isn’t really a popular opinion, but late fall and winter are my favorite times to run outside. I actually LOVE running in the snow (you can take the girl out of Western New York, but not the WNY out of the girl). It’s much easier for my asthma lungs to breathe without pollen, and I like the cold and quiet since no one is half as crazy as I am and out running in the Baltic temps at 5 am. 😀
I hope you all have a booyah-filled day! Happy Hump Day, all!