Hey everyone - first time posting.
I've been running for years, but have never taken the plunge and attempted outdoor winter running (I live in Boston). Do any of you have recommendations of essential gear for winter running?
I've been told that mittens are preferable to gloves, but is there a specific brand?
I know I should wear a hat that covers my ears, but any that are especially warm, but not itchy?
As far as a jacket/windbreaker, what brands/styles do you recommend?
Do any of you use clips for your shoes when running outside in the snow, etc?
Thanks for your help!
Under Armour makes lots of great clothing for running in the cold. It's somewhat expensive but it does work. I prefer not to run on snow or ice due to the injury factor.
4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43
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I love running in the winter!! The previous poster mentioned Under Armour, it's true their gear is great, but expensive. I think a comparable brand that is less expensive is Champion at Target. They have tons of different fleeces, jackets, pants, tights, etc. As far as head and hand gear, I use a fleece hat, very soft and if really cold I'll use a scarf too. For my hands I typically use those stretchy, cheap gloves, until it gets below 30, then I'll either wear my north face gloves or double up on the cheap ones. I've never used mittens before, but I do know they would be warmer, I just like being able to use my fingers if necessary. As far as something for your shoes, I've got a pair of yak traks but I haven't used them yet. I know that you have to ensure you only run in snow when using them otherwise they can break, so you want to make sure you don't end up on any pavement. There are other brands too but this is the only one I'm familiar with.
Good luck, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I'm planning to hit the trails this winter and get away from the roads, and a great way to ensure I can use my yak traks without running into pavement!
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Half Marathon - Oct 2011: 1:49:14 (PR)
5K - Nov 2011: 22:20 (PR)
Marathon - Dec 2011: 3:41:42 (PR)
I have always found that the Brooks jackets balance warmth with comfort and dryness. I also wear skins or under armour if it gets really cold!
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Maybe it's just me, but I think wearing jackets, windbreakers and vests are a bit of overkill. I typically run at night, and the last few nights it's been cold enough for me to see my breath. Somewhere in the 35-40 degree range. I went out with a long sleeve wicking shirt. I tuck the shirt into my compression shorts which seals a lot of my body heat in. This is key for me. Forget the brand of shirt, but I picked it up at Kohls for around $20. I love this particular shirt because 1) it's snug, but night compression tight 2) It has thumb holes, so I just slip my thumb through and the sleeve of the shirt sort of acts as a mitten and keeps my hands warm. 3) Much cheaper than the $50 you will pay for the same type of Under Armour shirt.
I usually throw a second, short sleeve wicking shirt over top and throw on a pair of running shorts. The 2nd shirt isn't necessary, I just like the way it looks. It may buffer some of the wind as well. I'll admit, it's a little chilly when I first start out, but once I get about 1/2 mile into my run, I warm up quickly. I was reading some recaps of people who ran the Marine Corp Marathon this past weekend. We had snow in the area on Saturday and it went below freezing. So a lot of people overdressed and found themselves talking off layers of clothes and tieing their windbreakers around their waste once they got warm. Unless it's raining, or the temperatures are below 25, I think you will be ok with just a long sleeve shirt and shorts.
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TJ Max has great stuff for running. Today I found two drifit long sleeve tech shirts to layer with for twenty five dollars all together. One was new balance and the other was champion. You can find some great deals there. I do love my under armour though. I do not mind spending extra on it for the bulk of my gear. I love columbia's omni-heat beanie.
For outdoor running jackets I suggest checking out Sugoi I have the Sugoi Firewall which does a good job of handling Canadian winters. I've heard mittens are better than gloves but have a great pair of gloves I bought from a running store, if I can find the brand name I will post here later.
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I highly recommend utlizing layers along with a tight-fitting vest. That way, your arm motion is not constricted and core body temp. is utilized. Honestly, I do not pay a great deal of attention to particular brands because some are really over-priced. Honestly, sometimes it is more beneficial to consider camping or skiing equipment when shopping for vests and gloves for winter running.