Winter running

Even though I live in snow country, I am a total newb when it comes to cold weather outdoor running. The only time I ran in the cold was last March. It was only my second 5k race, and I hadn’t yet built up a collection of techy athletic cold. It was fucking cold. I remember feeling cold even as I was running.

That same race is coming up this Saturday and since it’s only 5k, I’ve just been running on the dreadful treadmill or indoor track. The weather “warmed up” and our sidewalks are finally cleared of those 4 foot snow banks, so I figured I should get outside. On Monday, it was 40 degrees which I considered “warm” enough to go outside. I put on just boot cut workout pants and on top, just a Columbia Omni-Heat Baselayer. If you haven’t heard of this line, it’s pretty neat. The inside of the fabric is covered in shiny material to reflect & trap heat. I got it as a gift and I never really wore it until now because I was paranoid that I’d be sweating up a storm. During my run however, I still felt cold. I definitely needed another layer on top. Oh also, I wore some cheap stretch gloves and no hat.

Today I got out and it was 45 degrees. I put on some cheap Old Navy running tights plus pants over that. On top, my thinnest long sleeve tech shirt plus an Old Navy GoDry top that was a cotton blend, plus the cheap gloves. I normally don’t like doing any heavy sweating in the “GoDry” material because it feels too heavy and swampy, but it was just right as an outer layer in the cold. I found a winning combination! I ended up taking off the gloves halfway through, and strangely my belly/hips area felt cold so during my walk breaks I hiked up the waist of my leggings way up to keep my belly warm.

Saturday is supposed to be in the 40’s so far, so I think I will settle on the Columbia Omni-Heat top with another long sleeve shirt over it. I think a hat is overkill for 40 degrees, but my neck was a bit cold. I also bought some arm sleeves but they almost seem too warm if I wear that and two layers of shirts. I may use the sleeves to help keep warm before the race though.

What else might you wear for cold (40 degrees and under) runs? I saw someone mention fleece-lined running tights but a) fleece seems so icky, and b) I can’t be spending $80 on running pants! I don’t even have real pants that cost $80! Anything else I’m not thinking of?

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