winter wear

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while, but I’ve been putting it off. Today I decided I needed to sit down and get it done. It’s already March and winter’s practically over. Hopefully it’s not too late :)

Anyway, my goal this winter was to run at least once a week. Besides missing one week just because, and one week being sick I did a pretty good job meeting that goal. And I totally made up for those weeks during 5K training.

Now that I’m a somewhat-seasoned winter runner, I can finally post on something I really love: clothes. Anyone who knows me, knows my style isn’t great. I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl. Fine, but I love running clothes (it’s the only time I really feel comfortable wearing pink). Unfortunately, I don’t always have the best cash flow to sport lululemon, but I do have a few functional pieces that work well for me.

So, what to wear when running in the winter? My mom (she’s also a runner) was joking with me the other day, that you can always tell who hasn’t been running all winter. You can tell because they usually wear sweatshirts when it’s 50º out. I’ve tried running in a sweatshirt – it doesn’t work.

My typical running attire during cold days (around 30º this year) include: running pants, supportive tank bra, long-sleeve running shirt, jacket, socks, hat, and gloves. If the temperature gets colder than 30º I simply add layers.

Pants: I finally splurged on a pair of Under Armor tights this winter and I love them. They are super comfortable even though they are tight and they totally keep my legs warm. I also have some capris (cheapos from Target) that work great when it’s not super cold out (between 40º-50º). I used to wear yoga pants because I was scared of running tights, but then I realized how much you use your legs when you run and the tights keep you plenty warm.

Tank bra: I wear a tank bra because it’s a way to add a layer in winter, but gives you the support you need. Since running clothes tend to be a bit on the tighter side, I tuck it in to keep my mom belly from showing (nobody wants that). I’m not sure if that will work in summer, so I might be reconsidering tucking it in then. I recently got this one and love it!

Long-sleeve shirt: I usually wear race shirts because they are pretty similar to the baselayers I’ve found at Target and they work well. Basically, you want something that keeps the sweat off. I don’t mind wearing cotton when I need to layer, but even when it’s cold out I find that the baselayer alone does a better job than cotton on its own.

Jacket: The midwest can be windy in the winter, so a jacket is a major necessity. I decided to get a decent one this year and found this one by Mountain Hardwear. I had never heard of the brand, but it was on sale, and it had pockets with zippers. Turns out they can be a bit pricy. So far, I have been very satisfied. One thing I really like is that my neck stays warm when the zipper is completely zipped. I haven’t really needed a neck warmer this winter. It also does a great job of shielding the wind. When I ran the Red Flannel Run I wore a huge winter jacket, which I wouldn’t normally wear, but it was FREEZING (and it went with the theme of the race).

Socks: I recently discovered SmartWool and I love them! When I got new shoes this year, I was worried a bit about running in the winter due to the meshing of the Mizunos. However, I have not had a single issue with cold feet this winter thanks to my socks. I totally recommend getting some if you want to run in cold weather. Who cares if they’re $15 bucks? You’re toes will thank you.

Hat and gloves: This winter I’ve been wearing generic hat and gloves because, frankly, I don’t care. As long as my head doesn’t itch and I can work my iPhone quickly I’m happy. I usually have other things that bother me more (runny noses, stiff shoulders, etc.) than the stylishness vs. practicality of my hat and gloves. One thing I will say about my gloves is that I will not run in cold weather without them. They are as important as my shoes. If my hands are cold I am miserable. Even though they are a bit bulky, I like that I can expose my fingers for a few seconds to cool them off when my hands get sweaty.

So there you have it! I think I got a bit lucky with the winter this year, so I might have to make some revisions next year. But I really, really hope not!

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