essential accessories for winter running
posted: January 3, 2014
We all know that running has some seriously good side effects, but according to Outside magazine, “your morning run could be the fountain of youth.”
That’s the groundbreaking conclusion reached by a team at Canada’s McMaster University. As per Outside: The scientists, who were looking at the impact of exercise on aging mice, found that a lifelong endurance regimen may help your body look and perform younger than its age. “Three times a week—not a lot of exercise—caused a complete reversal or arrest of all the symptoms of aging,” says study co-author Simon Melov, director of genomics at California’s Buck Institute for Research on Aging. “It was an extremely dramatic and novel result.”
It’s definitely another reason to lace up your shoes and get moving.
Venturing outdoors for a run will also awaken your senses and clear your mind. And if winter weather is causing you to hesitate, consider that as opposed to the taxing effects of heat and humidity, cold temperatures put less stress on your body, making it much easier to run.
But it is cold.
We learned how to layer for warmth and comfort, but did you know you can lose up to 30 per cent of your body’s heat through your extremities?
So, how to maximize your warmth? Accessorize! Not only because a pair of brightly coloured gloves are exactly what every winter runner covets, but also because properly accessorizing your winter run is key to your comfort.
Keep your hands toasty
When it’s 0°C/32°F, pick a moisture-wicking wind- and water-resistant glove. Chances are that you will warm up and not need the gloves, but it’s better to stash them in your pockets when you are too hot than to endure burning cold fingers at the start of your run.
During sub-zero temps: reach for a pair of mittens or, better yet, gloves with a convertible mitten cover. Your fingers will share body heat in a glove keeping them toasty and warm.
Find a glove with touchscreen-friendly fingertips that let you control your music or text without pulling off your gloves. A few seconds without gloves on can make for long minutes of burning cold fingers.
The Frisky Brisk Run Gloves.
Stay hot headed
A hat is not 100 per cent necessary in all winter conditions. An ear warmer, however, is. When it’s not frigid and or snowing, reach for a lightweight breathable ear warmer to keep the wind out of your ears. When it’s below 0°C/32°F or there is any hint of winter moisture in the air, double it up. An ear warmer under a hat is a great combination; the wind stays out of your ears and the hat keeps the elements out of your eyes.
In wet and or snowy conditions go for a waterproof hat with a bill in order to prevent frozen eyelashes and eyebrows.
Foot comfort makes or breaks a run
First thing’s first: please tell me you aren’t wearing cotton socks. Summer, winter, whenever, cotton socks will hold onto your foot sweat and leave you in blister city.
Winter running socks are a very personal thing. Some runners swear by wool socks for their wicking and temperature regulating powers, while others prefer a slightly more padded dry max sock. Personally, I hate hot feet, which will ruin my run faster than a blizzard. So I use moisture wicking socks that are mid-calf height to ensure that my ankles are well covered.
Many of us wear thicker socks in the winter. This could mean that you need to size up a half size in your shoes. If you are feeling shin splint-y or seeing any bruising on your toenails, your shoes are too tight.
The Run For Fun Sock.
Protect your beautiful face
In sub-zero temperatures a neck gaiter is a beautiful thing. Not only will it keep your neck toasty but you can also pull it up over your face and utilize your warm breath as a heater. I tend to love a long sleeve with a neck gaiter more than a turtle-necked running shirt. My lips and face need a break from the elements on a very cold day.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are just as important in winter as they are in the summer. Blinding sun reflecting off a white landscape = burnt skin and painful eyes.
The Brisk Run Neck Warmer. “A total must-have! I love the drawstring that keeps it on your face or around your head.”
“I also use leg warmers like the Knit Happens Leg Warmers all the time, they are a great thing to pull over your tights for a little extra coziness on a brisk run … not exactly run gear, but it works and looks adorable!”
Inspired? SeaWheeze registration opens January 23…stay tuned!
Gia Alvarez is a run coach dedicated to helping individuals to achieve a better, healthier lifestyle through fitness and life balance. She strives to maintain her own life balance while chasing after twin toddlers, and has big plans to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon and take part in an UltraMarathon.