Kitting Up For Winter Running
Apart from having to drag my lazy ass out of a toasty warm bed in the morning, I’m a lover of winter running. Once you’ve got yourself going, there’s nothing like the cold crisp air in your lungs and the crunch of winter frost underfoot. For one thing it is not as exhausting as running in the heat, and I find I can keep going for longer. If you’ve decided to brave the snow and ice then you’ll need to be properly kitted out, which means having separate gear to the rest of the year.
In the winter months you’ll want to wrap up warm, without getting drenched in sweat. The way to do this is by layering. Have a lightweight base layer preferably made of synthetic materials tight against your body, this will wick the sweat away from your skin. The second layer is to keep you warm and should fit loosely over your body. Choose a jacket with a zipper so you can control your temperature. I’d highly recommend this Gore Magnitude Jacket – If it’s really cold you can add another layer as well. Your legs don’t lose much heat while running so just wear the gear you normally do.
Do I Need Different Shoes?
On most days normal running shoes would be fine, however when there is ice and snow around you may need a different shoe to avoid slipping and looking like a complete fool, or worse, injuring yourself. A trail running shoe is a good option, as these have more grip than road running shoes. I have a pair of inov-8 Bare-Grip 200s that have excellent grip and haven’t failed me yet. However if you have some serious snow on your hands, you’ll need to go for something more extreme by fitting kahtoola microspikes to your current running shoes. They are basically snow chains for your feet! Super hardcore.
Safety Issues In Winter
As it gets darker earlier and earlier you will need some reflective kit to stay safe. Both fluorescent and white gear do the job equally well. If you don’t want to buy a whole new kit then it’s worth considering upgrading your current clothes by using adhesive high vis strips. They are very cheap, here are some for under a fiver – Attach them to your arms and legs to be seen easily.