The winter is definitely upon us; cold weather and even more chilling winds. I know so many people who completely stop their running routines just because of the colder weather. I’ll admit that at -30 I’m not heading out and I’ll opt for a cross-training day instead, but not every winter day has to be ousted because of the cold.
Until this year, it hadn’t really occurred to me to layer up on my legs. Other than wearing a pair of short spandex under my tights, I would try and make it work regardless of the temperature. It was only when friends and fellow bloggers pointed out that a pair of running pants might be a solution.
There have been a few dips in temperature over the past few weeks now, and unfortunately I was seriously stuck outside and freezing on one occasion. In order to avoid this situation again I am both reminding myself and letting whoever else is interested in dressing appropriately for those freezing conditions.
Firstly, I don’t usually wear a toque when running. It tends to make me overheat so I opt for a headband even in the colder temperatures. However, -18 to -20 is my limit and I’ll throw on a hat. If the wind bothers your ears as much as it does mine, I might even layer a hat on top of a headband to avoid that chill.
On top: I always start by putting on a tight tank top (often from Lululemon) just because it’s one less layer on the arms which might both restrict your movement or make you overheat. Depending on the temperature I’ll either put on a long sleeve or a denser fleece layer to really keep me warm. To finish it all off, I don’t go outside without a windbreaker. Regardless if there’s precipitation or not, a windbreaker helps block the wind while keeping in a surprising amount of heat because of its permeability.
On the bottom: If it’s really dipping into colder temperatures I’ll throw a pair of short spandex under my long tights. Just those two layers tend to be ok until -10 to -12 but further than that and I pull out the big guns. From my realization that layering on the bottom is actually possible, I bought a pair of semi-wind-breaking pants that are loose and have a little insulation. Another huge benefit about them is their elastic bottoms which cover the gap between my socks and tights. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten frostbite on my ankles before and it’s an extremely painful experience both during and when you’re trying to warm them back up. Some examples of these pants can be found at MEC or also from Lulu and are an excellent investment.
Although the cold might scare some from going outside, in the winter I never feel a greater need to get some fresh air and enjoy the quieter streets while getting a good workout in!
And all these pictures are thanks to my friend Brianna who bared the cold with me one afternoon!