Cold weather running essentials by Mies Bastille @LittleMiesSunshine
As the temps start to drop, and the snow starts to fall (at least up here in the Northeast) it's time to start breaking out the layers. There are some pieces that can be essential for successful cold weather running.
Base layers: With new technology, there are more options than ever before. Honestly, I could probably write this entire article just on choosing the right base layer, but for today I'm just going to give an overview. When choosing these pieces you want to keep a few things in mind: material, weight (lightweight, midweight, heavyweight) and fit. This piece needs to be against your skin, because it's going to be wicking away sweat while you're running. You need to make sure it's comfortable for this reason, but you also need to make sure it can fit under your other layers and it won't cause you to overheat. Your options are synthetic, silk or usually merino wool.
Socks: When it comes to socks, you have endless opportunities. What it really comes down to is where you're running, what the temps are, is there any kind of precipitation and what your personal comfort level is. You also want to be choosing your material, and similar to your base layers your options really come down to wool or synthetic. I tend to always be cold, so I personally choose to double up socks in the winter, and it's always a combo of my Lily Trotters with a wool layer.
Gloves: Choosing the right gloves can really make or break your run. Cold hands are right up there with cold feet in my book. Again, making this choice really comes down to the temps, what you're going to be doing, and what your personal comfort level is. When I run in the winter, I always keep a pair of cheap knit gloves in my pocket and bring another pair of heavier gloves to wear over them if it gets really cold.
Headwear: This is an important one that's easy to forget if you're in a rush or thinking it's just going to be a quick run but a hat or headband is an easy way to help keep you warm. What level of coverage you need again depends on the temps and your personal level of comfort. As I tend to always be cold, I prefer a full hat or a thick lined headband whereas my friend loves just throwing in her merino wool headband. It's good to try out different things and see what works for you.
Traction: Traction really only is a factor when you start to get snow/ice. Though choosing the right shoe with proper tread is always important for where you're working out, traction can make or break a winter run, quite literally. Where you're living also factors into this. If you're road running/running on sidewalks you will need something different than if you're running on trails. You want to look into what each grade is equipped for and choose based off of that. I always keep my traction in my car in the winter just in case I get to the trail and it's not runnable without it.
This was just an overview on some pieces that I find are essential for successful cold weather running. Some big things to keep in mind are that you want to layer adequately for the temps, but not to where you'll overheat. Sweating and then getting cold can be dangerous depending on what conditions you're running in.
It's also really important to stay hydrated. It's easy to forget about this as the temps drop, but you should still be drinking enough for the distance/activity your choosing.
Most important, you always want to be prepared. If you're hitting the trails, or just planning on running long, it doesn't hurt to throw some extra layers into your running pack. It's better to have more than you need than realize you forgot something important. Look for my follow up gifting guide where I go over some of my favorite pieces! Happy running!