Monday, October 20, 2014

10 Essential Winter Running Tools

Many of the areas around us have experienced.....SNOW! This can only mean that winter is soon upon us.  So it's only fitting to get the proper gear to keep up the running progress made so far during the warmer months.

Here is a list of 10 essential pieces of gear a runner should aim to have to have a warm and safe run outside this winter.:

There's the typical "cold weather gear.":

1)  Gloves to keep the digits warm. A runner's extremities are especially vulnerable to the elements.  There are some fancy ones, ones that allow SmartPhone usage, but if a little inconvenience does not bother you (ie - removing your glove to use your phone), just basic gloves would be sufficient.  But make sure they wick away moisture (to prevent cold hands).

2)  Proper shoes.  Winter running shoes should have tread to better able traction for those slick conditions created by snow and ice.

3)  Socks.  Winter running socks should wick the sweat away, but still keep your feet warm.  Top brands include:  Thorlo, Balega, and Smartwool.  Runners should consider getting longer socks (they will add to the warmth of pants and keep the lower part of the legs dry, as compared to the short anklet socks worn during the summer).

4)  Base layer.  This layer will wick sweat away, which allows you to stay warm and not get chilled by the evaporation process.  Popular fabrics include:  wool, polyester, and silk.

5)  Running Tights.  Keep the legs warm; the colder the weather, the thicker the fabric needed.

6)  Hat.  Something to keep your ears and head warm.  Make sure it wicks away sweat, or you'll end up with a sweaty, cold head.  If a hat is too warm, try a headband that will help to keep your ears warm.

7)  Neck warmer.  Keeps the neck warm and prevents burning lungs.

Then there's some things that are ancillary that will help you keep up the fitness you've gained.:

8)  Headlamp.  Less daylight means possibly running when the sun is not out.

9)  Reflective Gear. Runners should have this in their attire anyway, but winter hours mean it starts getting darker earlier and stays darker longer.  Most likely some of those miles will be logged at less than ideal sunshine hours.

10)  Treadmill runs, Plans for when it's too cold or too snowy or the weather just isn't cooperating.  These will help to keep things fresh. No need to pay for the plans, it is possible to find free plans online.

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