Winter Running Gear 101

“All you need are sneakers!”  That’s what everyone says about running…  Just throw a pair on and go!  I think this is the biggest lie ever told to newbie runners.  I realized this when getting ready for my wintery run the other day…


I spent 20 minutes looking for my gloves and hat because it was too dang cold out to go without them.  This process quickly make me realize all the crap I NEED to go for a run (on the bright side, my dead Garmin got to charge enough to track my 2.2 mile run).  I also noticed I was wearing a lot of new stuff for my run.  I needed new stuff because my “old” stuff was either donated, lost, or too small.  Moving on!  Here is what kept me a little too warm for my January run (I thought it was 30 degrees when it was in fact 40, which is a huge difference when you are running!).


Necessity #1:  Hat & Gloves
Pictured:  C9, sold at Target
If it is below 40, you are going to need these.  You can substitute ear warmers too if you don’t like your head getting too warm!  They also make mittens for running which hold in heat better in my opinion.  Great for even colder days!

AthletaPopoverNecessity #2:  Base Layer
Pictured: Athleta Cinch Popover
This is the layer that will keep you warm and toasty.  I just bought this super comfy top at Athleta and OMG I NEED 10 MORE!  It is sooo comfortable and warm and cozy and I want to wear it every day.  You need this, even if you just lounge around in it.  But it will keep you warm on those extra icy runs!

Necessity #3:  Outer Layer
Pictured: Eastern Mount Sports Reflective 1/2 Zip
The one and only high visability jacket I bought once before was like wearing one of those plastic sweat suits designed to trap the heat.  It was absolutely awful.  I finally broke down and bought this sweet jacket at EMS which is reflective and bright on the front with a breathable mesh material on the back.  The outer layer breaks the wind but should let you vent so you don’t overheat.  Perfect!

Necessity #4:  Sports Bra
Not Pictured: Victoria’s Secret Incredible
I always bought the cheap sports bras at Target but I got a coupon for Victoria’s Secret Sport and wow what a difference!  I love the front zip so no more wrestling off a sweaty sports bra at the end of a workout.  I also got some back closure ones which work just as well.  And the support is way better.  I’ll never go back!

Forerunner210-2Necessity #5:  GPS Watch
Pictured: Garmin 210
This isn’t exactly a necessity but I really enjoy taking data and tracking my workouts.  I love using the watch so I don’t drain my phone battery.  Also, the GPS systems in long-time companies like Garmin are far superior at holding a satellite signal.  I never run without my Garmin even if I barely look at it.  I just like knowing how far I went in the end.  Besides, it is nice to see when you are progressing.  For example, my average pace was a minute faster than my previous few runs!

Necessity #6:  Running Belt
Pictured:  Hippie Runner Go Belt
I’ve had a few different belts but this company makes my favorite ones.  Not only do they come in awesome colors but they have 2 pockets – so you can store your cell phone separate from your keys that might scratch the screen!  I had 2 belts but as my phone got bigger, it stopped fitting.  Well, they were with it and made the pocket larger!  I picked up this cute native American patterned one at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo.  It stretches too so I can fit more than just my phone.  It also doesn’t move one you set it to size.  Check them out online at Hippie Runner!

2XUtightsNecessity #7:  Compression
Not Pictured: 2XU Compression Running Tights
Compression gear helps reduce muscle fatigue and helps to speed recovery.  Rob got me 2 pairs of running tights for Christmas and I LOVE them!  First, I tried out the 2XU tights.  They ran true to size and I felt like everything was held in but not squeezed to death.  Also, they are formed to fit your womanly curves so there was plenty of room for my hips.

Necessity #8:  Thermal Tights
Pictured: Calvin Klein Thermal Tights
The 2XU tights said they were thermal but considering that you could see right through them and the cold felt like it was biting me when I stepped outside, I decided to wear a thick pair of tights over top.  I bought these Calvin Klein thermal tights at Macy’s last year and they are so nice and warm.  They are not compression but just cling to you to keep the heat in.

Necessity #9:  Warm Socks
Pictured: SmartWool Medium Run Socks
I vividly remember freezing cold toes in my usual “warm” socks so I bit the bullet and bought a nice (expensive) pair of SmartWool Run Socks.  Where have they been all my life??  My feet are always cold and I never once thought about my toes during my run.  They are also super soft and seamless so no worries about blisters.  I never wanted to take them off!

Necessity #10:  Running Shoes!
Pictured: Brooks Pure Cadence 2
Finally!  The one thing you absolutely need to go for a run.  I wear the Brooks Pure Cadence 2’s because they fit my feet well and have support in all the right places.  I also like that they have a low drop and minimal padding.  The key to getting a pair of running shoes is to get fitted by a professional at a specialty shop like Fleet Feet or someplace similar.  You wear the right shoes, not the prettiest (mine just happen to be pretty!).

What is the one thing (other than shoes) that you need for a run?

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