As cold weather is hitting everywhere else in the US (except, you know, Southern California), I asked a few Sweat Pink sisters to share their favorites, tricks and tips for beating the ice and still staying on top of their fitness game in the winter. They'll be featured here this week!
Next up... Christine, from Run Out of the Box!
Long-sleeved shirts and fleece-lined tights are important, but I’ve learned (the hard way, in some cases), that it’s the little things that make a difference when you’re running in the winter. A good cold gust of wind here or a slippery spot there, and running becomes painful at best, especially in below-freezing temperatures and on snowy days.
|Christine rockin' that winter running look!|
Here are a few things I can’t live without when I’m braving New England winters for an outdoor run:
Neck gaiter: These nifty neck warmers are over in the ski department of the sporting goods stores. As someone who had avoided skiing all her life, I was delighted to discover these. They can sit around your neck or, in really cold weather, pull up over your mouth and nose to warm your breath as it enters your lungs.
Vaseline: My running buddy advised me to slather Vaseline on my face and lips before running outdoors in the winter. She was very, very right. In addition to not breaking out from it, it’s kept my face warm and guarded against windburn. As a bonus, Vaseline also comes in a cocoa butter scent (and I think a baby powder scent, too), a far cry from the petroleum odor I remember from my childhood.
Hats/gloves/mittens: If you’re balking at wearing a hat, you can totally take it off mid-run and stuff it in your waistband (as you can with gloves), or you can get a headband that covers your ears instead. On super-cold days, I’ve been known to wear gloves AND mittens, which makes manipulating my Garmin and iPod difficult but keeps my hands toasty. I usually pick up performance fleece hats and gloves at Old Navy on sale.
Bright jacket: I have a lightweight, bright orange running jacket from New Balance that I wear when I run on snowy days. Not everyone has their headlights on, and not everyone is paying attention, and the more visible I am, the less likely I am to get friendly with someone’s front bumper.
The Heads Up
The other small thing about winter running is that, even though it’s beautiful, it can be dangerous. In the early winter, fallen leaves can obscure patches of ice. Throughout the rest of winter, black ice is definitely a concern, especially since not everyone is meticulous about shoveling sidewalks.
Basically, if it’s a shiny spot, I give it a wide berth, and I avoid running through patches of shade.
Also, I’ve tried running with metal treads on my shoes after the snow is done falling, but I find them bone-jarring. I hate to admit it, but I’ll end up heading to the treadmill on icy and slushy days.
Still, winter running can be beautiful, and it’s worth it to get a few small pieces of gear and take a few precautions to get out and enjoy it.
Christine blogs about running, fitness, and healthy food at www.runoutofthebox.com. She trained for her first half marathon in the dead of winter in Massachusetts and owns more pairs of running tights (including fleece-lined) than she cares to admits. Find her at www.runoutofthebox.com, on Twitter @cparizo, or on Instagram @cparizo.
What are your winter running must-haves?