Five Essentials for Winter Running

Five Essentials for Winter Running

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

Essentials for Winter Running

As I type this, I am just sitting down warming up after my last run of 2016.  This has been an interesting year, hasn’t it?  For me, it has been a maintenance year.  While 2015 was filled with races and PRs, 2016 has not.  It has been more like a recovery year.

But, I have some big plans and goals for 2017! (An ultra maybe?!)

To reach those goals, training starts from day one!  That means lots of winter training, so without further ado, here are 5 essentials to get you through your winter training!

1. Probably most important is to dress appropriately.  Which, doesn’t necessarily mean to bundle up too much.  A general rule of thumb is to dress as if it was 10-20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is.

Essentials for Winter Running

You should always start with a warm base layer.  If the temperature is 40ish degrees, or above, that may be all you need to wear on top.  Then, if the temperature drops into the 30’s or below, you can add layers to keep you warm.

A few weeks ago, I was sent this Mizuno Breath Thermo base layer shirt to try.  And I have to say I am a huge fan!  At first, I wasn’t sure…  it felt way too thin and soft to be at all warm.  But, I resisted the urge to top it with a vest or jacket, and headed out for a run with just this top.  For the first few minutes, I was pretty cold, and I was thinking about that vest that I left at home.  But once I had warmed up a little, the top was awesome!  The Breath Thermo fabric is lightweight, but is supposed to generate heat, and seemingly that is exactly what it does.  In fact, that is just about the only base layer I’ve worn since I’ve tried it.

When the temperature drops below freezing, I would recommend lined tights, a base layer, and a warm jacket on top… But don’t forget to cover your ears, and hands!

Which leads me to…

2.  Gloves and a hat.

Essentials for Winter Running

Best way make sure you keep warm when you are out in freezing weather?  Cover your head and your hands!  When your extremities are covered you will feel warmer.  I personally like to wear a headband over my ears rather than a hat, but both will do the trick!

As for gloves, Mizuno was nice enough to also send me a pair of gloves from the same Breath Thermo line.  Just like the top they sent, the gloves were thin and lightweight, but kept my hands super warm.  The best part of the gloves? They were longer.  Whereas some of my gloves end just past my hand, these came up a ways past my wrist.  So there was no skin exposed between my sleeves and my gloves.  They also have reflective details, and a small pocket on the top of the hand they may hold a key, or something small.

3.  While we haven’t seen any snow yet this season, (C’mon Virginia, what’s up?!)  If you are going to be running in an area that sees ice and snow, it is really helpful to “winterize” your running shoes.  I  have seen that some people will put screws in their running shoes to add traction.  From what I’ve heard that works great!

Essentials for Winter Running

I found this inexpensive pair of SnowTrax at Costco, and they seem to work well too.  I’ve ran in the snow with and without that extra traction, and the difference was huge!  Without the extra traction, I just felt like I was going to slip and fall the whole time…  A couple of times I actually did!

4.  Another way to stay warm on a winter run, get warmed up before you go outside!  Before you even start your run, do some jumping jacks, dynamic stretches, or run in place…  Anything to get your body moving and warmed up, then when you go outside, you will barely notice the cold.

5.  Lastly, even though it’s not hot, you still need to remember to stay hydrated!  Because you don’t feel as hot in the winter, there is less urge to drink.  But your body is still working hard, and it doesn’t need to be hot for you to sweat.

Essentials for Winter Running

Now, if you know me at all, you know that my hydration of choice is nuun, an electrolyte tab that you dissolve in your water. (If you haven’t tried nuun, it is awesome)!  But no matter how you hydrate, just don’t forget it in the winter!  Especially on those longer runs, your body is working pretty hard to stay warm!

There you go, my tips for running in the winter.  Hope they help you get out and run, no matter the weather!

Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year, and smashing your goals in 2017!!

(Even if it does mean you need to train through the winter!)  😉

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  1. Yes yes and yes to everything on your list. We’ve been fortunate with weather but I know the dreaded S word is coming.

    Wishing you a health and happy new year!

    • Thanks so much! You as well!

      (Although I’m already ready for spring, I would like a little of the white stuff first). 😉

  2. I love my mizuno gear! Definitely a winter staple!

  3. Great tips! I’m still trying to find a good pair of running gloves as my feet and hands are always freezing during winter running.

  4. I am loving the gloves and they are so warm! happy running 🙂

  5. I love nuun products,especially the electrolyte tablets

  6. it is so easy to take hydration for granted esp in winter months..

  7. I am all about staying warm on runs outside! Gotta have that warm gear, nuun, and warm gloves!

  8. That running shirt looks nice. Looks like you’re set for your winter runs!

  9. Great tips! I also like to prep everything for a hit shower immediately afterward. If you’re like me, the sweat doesn’t pour until I get back inside to warm temps. And sweat + cold skin = disaster. So I get my towels all ready so I can hop into the hot shower immediately when I get home. Makes a world of difference.

  10. The weather is still so chilly here thanks for this!

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