When the winter arrives each year and the call of the couch is hard to resist, you really need to have the right running gear so that you are motivated to stick to your exercise routine.
Here are just some of the most important items and accessories you should invest in to make running in the colder months as comfortable and compelling as possible.
Runners can’t afford to wear thick, heavy clothing when they are out and about, even in the winter, so the best solution is to pop on a few base layers.
Layering up with one, two or even more thin, light t-shirts which are intended to wick away sweat while also allowing you to remain insulated is sensible. Choosing multiple layers works because each one will trap air, which in turn prevents heat escaping.
It makes sense to opt for long-sleeved base layers for your winter running, and also take into account that your gender may impact how you experience the cold to ensure you dress warmly enough before you leave the house.
Having your hands exposed to the elements is fine when the sun is shining in the summer, but in the biting winds of winter, you could find that your hands get seriously cold, chapped and generally painful. You might even develop chilblains if you are not careful.
By wearing gloves, you can keep your hands warm, out of the wind and clear from other environmental factors, such as rain and snow.
Choose gloves that are designed specifically for runners, as like base layers these will be thinner and lighter than non-specialised products and thus leave you able to run unencumbered while still doing their job properly.
All the base layers in the world will not stave off the worst that the elements have to throw at you, so on many wintry days, it makes sense to take a jacket out with you when running.
Waterproofing and wind-resistance are a definite selling point of any prospective winter running jacket, so look out for these and be prepared to pay a little more for the privilege, as the benefits will be well worth the investment.
Also choose a jacket that features reflective elements integrated as part of the design, since it is likely that you’ll end up running in the dark and you will want to be visible to motorists and cyclists if you expect your route to take you on public roads and pavements.
Lower Body Gear
Running in winter involves thinking a lot more about upper body protection than worrying about your legs, which will generally take care of themselves and generate plenty of heat. Even so, the team at thewiredrunner.com suggests selecting a combination of training pants and socks which will be enough to withstand cooler temperatures, precipitation, and howling winds makes sense.
As moisture will be more of an issue at this time of year, a traditional pair of training bottoms made from a plush synthetic or natural material might not be ideal, even if it promises to offer additional warmth.
Finally, with all the right gear in tow, it is also important to remember to warm up and warm down before any winter runs, and even consider avoiding excessive pre-run stretching if you do not currently have any injuries.