Runners World Articles: Archives - December 2002
Gear up for Winter
The right gear can make winter running a blast. Heres
what you need
As daylight hour dwindle and temperatures dip, many runners head
for the basement: some to hibernate until spring, others to run
on a treadmill in the comfort of a controlled environment. But those
shouldnt be your only options, because winter can be a fantastic
time to run outside. All you need is the right grear.
With help from some running-gear experts, Ive put together
a checklist thatll get you out of the basement before the
next Seinfeld rerun.
REFLECTIVE GARB. As the days get shorter, youre more
likely to run in the dark or at dusk, making it harder for drivers
to see you. Reflective gear could save your life.
How to Use: To make yourself as visible as possible, wear garments
with reflective material on as many parts of your body as you can-shoes,
pants, jackets, hats and gloves.
THE RIGHT LAYERS. To stay comfortable during a winter run,
you need to layer your clothes just right. Your layers should be
made of lightweight, high-tech fabrics designed to move moisture
away from your skin while keeping body heat in.
How to Use: Your base layer should be lightweight and fit snugly.
Its usually made of high-tech polyester so it can wick perspiration
away from your skin.
For your second layer, you need a garment that is more densely woven
and will trap in your body heat. It should fit loosely over your
base layer. Youll probably only need this middle layer when
the temperature dips below zero.
The outer layers main purpose is to protect you from the
outdoor elements: wind, rain, or snow. This layer should be loose
fitting, lightweight, and allow for some ventilation.
A JACKET WITH OPTIONS. Theres nothing worse than under-
or overdressing for a winter run. Fortunately, many jackets today
can be modified during a run to adjust to your needs.
How to Use: Some jackets come with zipper pockets big enough to
stuff the entire jacket (and possibly another piece of clothing)
inside if you overdress. There are also jackets with zippered sleeves
you can remove if you want to pare down to a vest. And what if you
forget your gloves? Some jackets now come with extended sleeves
that can double as gloves.
HAT AND GLOVES. You can lose up to 50 percent of your body
hear through the top of your head. And extremities, such as your
hands and ears, are especially vulnerable to the elements while
How to Use: Youll want to pick a hat that covers your ears
as well as your entire head. And in very cold weather, keep you
hands warm with layers. Wear a thin pair of liner gloves underneath
a thick pair of mittens.
Getting Cold Feet?
Consider these tips for your shoes and feet this winter:
Get a grip. Snow and ice can make running hazardous. So next time
you head out into these conditions, strap on a pair of Sure Foot
Ice Joggers (available at www.roadrunndersports.com).
These are metal grippers that attach to your running shoes to give
you more traction. An alternative: Insert screws into the soles
of your running shoes. If you try this, be careful not to puncture
an air bladder or gel pack.
Option three: Check out Ti-GRRRIP.
Keepem Warm. If your feet tend to get really cold on your
winter runs, treat your shoes with a waterproof spray. The spray
will protect the shoes from the elements and, in turn, keep your
Add a pair. When its cold, your feet dont expand as
much as they do when its warmer. So if your feet slide around
inside your shoes during winter runs, wear an additional pair of
socks. This will keep your feet warmer, too.
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