Brrrrr… How to Stay Warm on a Winter Run

I don’t know where you are, but it is currently 34 degrees and snowing in Washington DC, which is the PERFECT weather to go for a run… if you have the right gear. Here’s my “How to” stay warm on a run, even in the coldest of temperatures!

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How to stay warm during those cold winter runs:

Let’s face it, there are only so many podcast, Netflix shows, and playlist that can get you through some of those long treadmill runs. I personally feel like a hamster on a wheel and am begging for the run to be over… which in my opinion is kind of a wasted run, I mean really, who wants to feel tortured while they are doing something they love? So here are some tips that will allow you to stay warm, while outdoors, getting that fresh air and sunshine.

First thing to remember is your body warms up about 10-15 degrees when doing a cardio exercise like running. So, when you step outside, if dressed appropriately, you should still feel a little chilly until you get that blood flowing by running. Second key in the equation of how to stay warm is to cover your vital organs.

What are vital organs, you may ask? These are all the wonderful things that keep youalive and are located in your chest. Heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Keep these suckers warm and the rest of you will be ok!

Ok, ok, I am sure at this point you are like, “Kata, stop blabbing and tell me how to do this!!” so here we go: Layering.

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Start with a base layer. This should be a wicking fabric (something that will pull the moisture away from your body and allow air to flow through). On mildly cold days this can be a wicking t-shirt and on bitterly cold days, I would recommend som

 

ething heavier either a long sleeved wicking t-shirt, a wool layer (like Patagona’s capilene system), or something with Polartec (which can be found here).

 

Now that we have our base layer down, we can move onto the top layers. This is all kind of dependent on the weather. If it is just a cold day out, with no wind you would be ok to throw on a light trainer jacket or fleece; these are both breathable materials that will allow you to sweat without getting chilled. A vest is always a great option for this as well, it will continue to keep your core warm (gotta protect those vital organs) and get breathing room for your arms (who here gets sweaty elbow pits??)  If it’s windy, throw on something that will block the wind. Some examples of lightweight wind blockers would be Patagonia’s Hoodini, Brooks’ LSD jacket, or Ascics Windbreaker jacketIMG_1824.

 

Pants are the next thing. A lot of women like to do tights (runner lingo for fancy leggings) underneath looser joggers. Tights will probably be more than enough for you to say warm though.

Accessories- you have heard the old adage, “you lose 50% of your heat through your head.” From a recent study says this actually isn’t true- we only lose around 7-10% of the heat out of our heads. But never the less, a hat is a sure fire way to help keep you, and your ears warm on longer runs outdoors. Hats as well as socks made of wool will be your best friends; wool is the natural wicking material. It keeps your body dry by pulling away moisture and allowing air to fill the space. Synthetic wool socks will work in a similar fashion but not as good as wool.

FINALLY! Gloves vs. mittens. Mittens keep your fingers in a closer proximity, thus keeping your hands warmer. These are best for being outside- you can grab some “glittens” (glove + mittens) if you need your fingers to press next or snap a selfie (bc let’s face it, if there isn’t a picture of us working out…it didn’t happen 😉 ).

OK- you are now officially ready to hit the road in all kinds of wintery weather. See you on the trails and stay sweaty!!

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