Saturday, January 10, 2015

Running in the Cold - My Favorite Gear

This morning was our first *really* cold training run for the season. The temperature was 14 degrees F, with a "real feel" of 3 degrees. I was apprehensive about whether I had chosen the right clothes, but my run was successful and after the first few minutes of warming up I was quite comfortable. What did I choose?

Shannon, me, Jen, & Lynn on the snowy trails of Reston
photo credit: Laurentina Photography

I used this SparkPeople infographic to guide my selections. It shows up regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and there is good reason - it's a great guide. You might find that you run a little warmer or cooler than this, but for me it's pretty much on target.


Today we were facing the lowest row, below 20 degrees F. For my base layer, I wore a wicking tank top and running tights. For the insulating layer, I wore a pair of running pants and a long-sleeved compression shirt with a high neck and hood. For my protective layer, I wore my Nike Shield Max Jacket (aka "Ninja" jacket).

Lynn calls this jacket the "Swiss Army Knife" jacket
because there are so many features tucked into it

This jacket is lightweight and protects against the elements. It includes a neck gaiter that tucks into the hood and mittens that tuck into the sleeves. You can't see the full mittens in the picture above, but they completely enclose your hand. This jacket is the best purchase I made last year. Although I kind of wish I didn't own it yet and could buy one this year, because it now comes it pretty colors like purple, red, and turquoise. 

this is the color I would buy if I didn't already own it...

For accessories, I turned to Mizuno Breath Thermo socks and gloves. The fabric gets warm when it gets wet (i.e., when you sweat). My fingers and toes regularly go numb from the cold and these socks and gloves really make a difference for me.

this glove is thin enough to layer under other gloves

this sock also comes in "crew" height and in white

For the beginning of the run I wore the mittens from my jacket over the gloves and took them off when I got warm. I also started out with two hats and peeled them off as I warmed up. When I take off accessories like hats, gloves, and neck gaiters I tuck them into the front cord locks of my Nathan Trail Mix hydration belt.

I never run without this!
(unless I'm running with my Nathan hydration vest)

I can stow my stuff securely without having to stop and I have easy access to it if I need to put it back on. There are two 10-ounce bottles on the back (hydration is important in the winter, too!) and a big pocket that I can put my phone, car key, drivers license, health insurance card, and lip balm into. I also keep band-aids, advil, bobby pins, and safety pins in there just in case someone needs them.

So that's what helped keep me comfortable during today's frigid temperatures! To see more of our freezing training run, check out this cool vimeo Laura created.

The PR Reston Cold Weather Warriors!
photo credit: Laurentina Photography

By the way, I am not an ambassador for any of these companies or trying to sell you anything. There are no affiliate links above that earn me any money. Just my honest opinion about gear that really delivers. Stay warm out there!

Jen, Michelle, Viji, & me - the cold never bothered us anyway!
photo credit: Laurentina Photography


  1. I went looking for those gloves and found them on sale for 9.95 at Active Gear Up right now. Good through Friday. (No socks, though)

    1. Nice find Amy! I got the gloves at PR, ending up buying the socks directly from Mizuno.