Winter Running Essentials

Winter Running Essentials

The investment you make in high-quality gear will pay off in the form of many safe, comfortable runs all winter long. It’s a matter of making safety a priority.

In addition to tights, tops and a running jacket that protects you from the wind and the snow, make sure to stock your gear closet with these essentials.

HATS ~ A hat or balaclava will help ensure that your face and ears are protected from biting-cold temperatures.

MITTENS AND GLOVES ~ Extremities are the first to freeze. High-quality mittens or gloves which keep you warm and protect you from the wind will reduce your risk of frostbite.

EXTRA TRACTION ~ Products like Yaktrax, spikes, or even some heavier trail shoes can offer more traction in snowy conditions.

LIGHTS ~ A headlamp or hand-held flashlight will help ensure that approaching motorists, cyclists, and runners can see you, and that you are visible to them. Always assume that drivers have not seen you, and get out of the way.

REFLECTIVE GEAR ~ To increase your visibility, make sure to wear a reflective vest, or clothing with reflective accents.

DRY CLOTHES ~ Moisture will make you colder, so be sure to have dry clothes close at hand so you can change right away after a sweaty or snow-soaked run.

IDENTIFICATION ~ Even if you don’t tune in on the run, it’s best to have a phone in case of an emergency, or carry identification that includes emergency contact information.

GO TO ROUTE ~ It’s hard enough to trust cars when the weather is good. When the weather is bad and snow banks are obscuring sight lines, it can be dangerous to run on some of your normal summer routes. As boring as it sounds, having just one route you know you can run safely in any weather will keep you running outside this winter.

Last year, I had a 1.75 mile stretch of road that I knew was safe to run in any weather. I would go out my front door and run back and forth until I hit my goal for the day. For three months I ran that same route every day, going as far as 20 miles just back and forth. It wasn’t glamorous or exciting or all that fun, but it was one of the best winters of training I have ever had.

— Activity Maine


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