Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gear Guide for Running In Bad Weather

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day was sunny and temperate? It sure would make it easier to run (or perform other types of outdoor activities). However, the weather just doesn’t behave like that in most places and if it did, it might be boring.

snow, cold weather, umbrella, two persons, 20
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There’s something fun about running in the rain or the cold. It wakes you up and challenges you to work harder. The key to a safe and fun bad weather run rests in your gear choices. Here are a few recommendations and tips.

Protect Your Feet

In cold weather you will likely want to wear warmer socks. Yet it can be difficult to find socks that are warm but not thick. Thick socks won’t fit inside your running shoes, or can make them too tight which inhibits circulation. Consider wool socks. There are some wonderful wool socks designed for running. They wick away moisture and keep your feet warm. They’re also good for running in warm weather too.

Rainy, slushy weather also results in wet feet. Wet feet mean blisters. Sock choice is important. However, you can also protect your feet with gaiters. Gaiters are little water proof sleeves that strap over your shoe and rise above your ankle. They sit on the outside of your shoe to keep the water out.

Stay On Your Feet

In the winter trails and sidewalks can be slippery. There are a few solutions to help you stay on your feet and off the ground. YakTrax are one brand of traction device that straps to the outside of your shoe. MicroSpikes are another option. They screw into the bottom of your shoe to provide traction. There are many choices to consider depending on where you run and the thickness of ice you’re dealing with.

Strickstrumpfhose 1
Lined tights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stay Warm

Many times you don’t need much to keep you warm even on the coldest of days. True, you may be chilly for the first half mile. However your body warms up quickly when you run. On the coldest of days consider wearing a hat and gloves. Wool is a favorite however fleece and other materials work well too.

Tights keep your legs warm. Standard tights may not be enough on cold days. You may want to look into buying lined tights. They’re wonderful under snow pants for sledding, snowshoeing, and skiing too.

Upper body warmth can be found by wearing layers. A silk or thermal base layer topped by a thin fleece and a windbreaker should be enough to keep your body warm. If not, consider adding a vest to keep your core warm.

Get Waterproof

Not everyone wants to be protected from the water. Many waterproof items don’t have the ability to breathe. However, if you dislike being wet consider looking into water resistant instead of water proof. Several main sporting lines have recently come out with water resistant fitness wear to protect athletes in inclement weather.

Bad weather isn’t a reason to stay indoors. With a little planning and preparation you can run in just about any type of weather. You may find that these runs are the most fun - enjoy the brisk air, the crunchy leaves or the winter wonderland around you!

Bad Weather Running Gear:
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