Cold Weather Running Must-Haves

by Her Happy Balance on November 6, 2013

Holy crap, someone turned the heat off on Philly! We’ve had some brrrr-y (<-- see what I did there?) chilly days and they are just going to keep getting colder. But that's no excuse to stop being active and running! Sure, the treadmill looks pretty great when it is negative 14 degrees outside, but the ability to run in cold weather is a great skill to possess as a runner. You may recall I ran a race in the beginning of September (ya know, when it should be nice out) in 40 degree weather wearing only a t-shirt and capris…I’m pretty sure some cold weather conditioning would have been pretty great then. I had my first cold run of the year on Monday and these are the items I found to be useful in staying warm (but not too warm) on my route.

Cold Weather Running Essentials

1.) Under Armour Running Tights. These babies were great! My legs felt just fine on the run. You know when you first step outside and you think you’re going to a die a little bit from the arctic tundra that is the surrounding air? Yeah, that didn’t happen. They were warm from the start, and as I was running I never felt over-heated. Plus, they’re sweat wicking, thank the lord. Ever try running in long cotton pants? Don’t, they make sweat really noticeable in all the wrong places. Yeah, you know what I mean.

2.) Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. Advice from a girl who has chronically dried lips: go ahead and buy yourself some of this magical crack. Seriously, this stuff is legit. I swiped a layar on my lips and it stayed on the entire run. It didn’t vanish when I was huffing and puffing my brains out and it didn’t wipe away when I had to occasionally spit. I can’t help it, homegirl makes a lot of spit while running. Anyway, please remember to treat your lips right, the cold temperatures really make you susceptible to chapping.

3.) Running Gloves. Okay, I don’t actually own these fancy Oakley running gloves, but boy do I wish I did! I actually ran without gloves and had to keep my hands tucked inside of my jacket sleeves the whole time to not risk losing any digits. My next chilly run will definitely involve a pair of gloves. What’s great is now most companies are making gloves that allow you to still use your touch screen devices, win!

4.) Compression Running Socks. I think we are all aware of the magical love that is compression clothing. I layared a pair of these under my tights and I had some very happy feet and calves. Wearing short socks is a definite no in the cold. That gap between where short socks end and running tights begin is torture, no one needs that half inch of bare frigid skin. Tall socks, people. Do it.

5.) Ear Warmer Headband. Again, I am but an impoverished scientist and do not own this adorable Lululemon ear covering headband, but I definitely did rock some outerwear ear protection. This serves so many purposes: it keeps my earbuds in place, prevents my ears from becoming icicles, and it keeps all that lovely forehead sweat out of my face.

6.) Sunglasses. I’m sure many of you smart individuals already bring sunglasses with you on outdoor runs. But if you are anything like me, you always forget your shades. One time when you absolutely do not want to forget your shades? Ready for this? Don’t kill me now, but God forbid you go on a snowy run. The sun just seems so much brighter and more intense reflecting off tons of white snow and directly back into your face. Keep in mind that those snowy runs are quickly approaching and you’ll want to get a sporty pair of sunglasses that can keep you from being blinded. I recommend a mid-grade pair of shades. Get something polarized (if possible) and nice enough that they can last you a long time without breaking. Don’t go with the $400 dollar pair that you’d be heartbroken over if they became scratched. I like this pair.

My final word of advice is get yourself a great running jacket. I’m still on the hunt for one that will help me stay warm in temps in the 30 degree range. I went running in this jacket in 40 degree weather and felt fine, but I’m not sure it could withstand much colder temps.

Do you still run outside in the cold weather? Prefer the treadmill?
What are some of your cold weather workout must-haves?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne November 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

I love those Under Armour leggings! Seriously a life saver!! I love running out in the cold, it’s so refreshing. But I always have problems with my lips getting chapped, next time I have be prepared with that vaseline cocoa butter!! And I need to get a headband like that! My ears always go numb to the point of them hurting extremely bad the whole time haha not very fun.

Her Happy Balance November 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

YES, you must invest in a ear covering head band. I was SO thankful I had it on. I wore a crappy old one I’ve had since I was a kid and it worked just fine. But I would enjoy a fancy Lulu one too 😉

Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides November 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

I like cold weather running more than I like summer running. I HATE being too hot.

Her Happy Balance November 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

Yeah the chilly temps definitely help me from turning into a sweaty tomato, no one likes to overheat. I could pass up the super cold winds that hit me in the face though 😉 haha!

Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures November 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

Leslee!!! We are cold running twinsies! Though, instead of under armour leggings, I used a long sleeved top last night! It looks just like those pants but for, you know, arms instead of legs! And it was stellar and amazing! I stupidly wore a skirt though, and therefore my legs were frozen upon completion of said run. I am not very smart at times, or really at all. Anyway, this is a wonderful list and OF FREAKING COURSE I want that headband too! I have one that I bought last year and I love it, but duh, Lulu. Am I right?
Ahhhh the arctic tundra that is PA… I can’t imagine. We are dipping into the 30’s and 40’s and I’m a whining child about it already. It hasn’t even hit its worst yet, I’m scared. I have a feeling this year will be a shitty cold winter.
That cocoa lip balm sounds yummy, and it’s by Vaseline? I’ll be looking for it next time I’m at Tarrrgayyyy. Loveeee you lesleeeee!!!

Rebekah @ fitnesscreatures November 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

I remember trying to run with Meghan last year early in the morning when it was super cold out. Yuck. No. To. That. Bull. Shit. Although I remember that my hands were always freezing and those gloves would be perfect! Even though I don’t fancy running like you and Cola do, this reminds me that I desperately need some winter workout clothes. I love that collage by the way. You’re the cutest ever. Also, I feel like a baby when I whine about it being cold here when it’s f’real cold as balls up there. Have a wonderful day, Leslee Panda. <3 I. Gru

Lauren November 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I agree with the running gloves! I’m in search of a pair myself. And I hate how it was 30 degrees here one day and now it’s BEAUTIFUL outside today. Philly needs to get it together and stop playing games. Lol!

meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles November 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I don’t love the cold but I am out there running as long as there is no ice on the ground. I swear by accessories to stay warm, hat, gloves, scarf and my lulu pants and run swiftly tops. I am also loving this year a winter running vest on top of my layers. Keeps the core warm!

Becky @ Olives n Wine November 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I prefer running outdoors in the winter! It keeps me from sweating too much 😉 And I have those UA pants – amazing!! Now I just need some sunglasses for the barrage of snow I know is coming toward Chicago this winter…

Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat November 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Running in the cold is definitely not my favorite thing to do, but having the right gear would definitely make it more manageable. Love those under armour running tights!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life November 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Love this!!! I trained for my first half entirely in the cold weather (given, it was VA cold, but that still gets pretty chilly), and I have to admit that I almost prefer cold weather running to warm weather running! Once you get over the first initial minutes of “OMG, I’m going to die”, it really isn’t so bad!

Bezzymates November 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I never run outdoors in winter. I hate the cold. If I do run outdoors I’ll have to get the items on your list

kathy @ vodka and soda November 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

i tweeted you back – i love my columbia omni-heat shirt…basically it uses your own body heat to keep you warm so if you are cold, it retains the heat; if you get warmer, it will regulate itself to keep you cool.

when i run on sundays, it’s usually around -2 or -1C so it’s FREAKING COLD but i wear this shirt + my UA storm jacket, my buff head wear over my ears, asics running gloves and UA tights and i’m golden!

Vodka and Soda

Her Happy Balance November 7, 2013 at 10:49 am

Yes, I got that tweet! Thank you for responding 🙂 Luckily the temps are not in the negative digits yet, but that’s coming soon. I will DEFINITELY check out this jacket. It sounds pretty awesome and would give me no excuse not to run!

Shawn @ Fruity 'N' Nutty November 7, 2013 at 5:29 am

All this stuff looks awesome, but the only cold weather running gear I have is a running jacket, which I rarely need. It never really gets cold hear, thought I would love some chilly weather, sounds way more refreshing.

Her Happy Balance November 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

It is refreshing! It helps keep my body from overheating, but my face could do without the blistery cold winds haha 🙂

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