Well, I guess "hate" is a pretty strong, totalitarian word, huh. And, treadmills aren't all THAT bad, but the one sitting in my house has been dormant for the better part of the 2016...and let's just surmise it to say that both the treadmill and myself are quite content with that. No love lost (for either of us).
I have been asked to share some of my go-to winter running gear (and a few of my tried and true cold weather survival tips)....so here they are. Keep in mind, these are what work for ME. I have been running in the cold weather for more than 10 years, and my body (and mind) have had plenty of time to acclimate to the special and unique nuances of cold weather running. Most of these have been learned by trial and error (more errors than trials, just saying).
1 - A puffer vest
First and foremost on my list of gifts for the outdoor winter runner, is a puffer vest. I don't have any particular brand loyalty, but the prettier (and brighter) the color, the better. Why a pretty or bright color? Because you will want something that is highly visible against the stark white backdrop of snow and dark silhouettes of bare trees. (Obviously, if you're running in the very early or late hours, you also should have some kind of reflective details). A vest will give you most of the same degree of warmth as a jacket without the underarm "bulk" of sleeves. I usually have a (fitted) thermal-lined base layer and a fleece jacket under the vest. On an extremely cold day (sub-freezing to single digits), I might add an extra layer under the fleece or opt to wear a full jacket if it's just for a short run (2-4 miles).
|Nothing comes between me and my puffer vest (unless it's a layer of fleece)
One of the best investments I could recommend is a pair of fleece-lined tights. Often times, I layer these under my "prettier, funky-patterned" tights for additional warmth. There is a broad price range for these...you can pay upwards of $100 for name brand items, or get decent ones at Target or Old Navy (priced anywhere from $25-$40). I have had very good luck with the lower-priced ones, and with a little TLC they have lasted me for almost four seasons and are still looking good. Here's a hint....these can also be worn under jeans or leggings to football games.
|I love my funky tights!
I use this term loosely...meaning virtually everything from the shoulders and above. I have a bit of a fetish with fleece headbands, but I'm slowly transitioning to a deep fondness for stocking hats/beanies. Bottom line, you need to have your ears covered, at the absolute minimum. I also recommended you have a scarf or gaiter or something to protect your neck (and pull up over your mouth or nose if it's windy). I have moderately long hair, and although it's more stylish to wear the headband under one's hair, it will actually keep your head warmer by wearing it "over" your hair instead....it will hold your hair in place (instead of having it blow freely as you run).
|Sometimes the frigid air demands a double layer of hats (and a scarf)
Trust me on this, your extremities will feel the cold temps the most. I will drop a name brand here...SmartWool (and it's not because I'm an ambassador or make any profit by doing so). I have been wearing SmartWool socks for many years, and I wear them year-round. Wool socks are great for their moisture-wicking properties (especially in the summer), but they're also a great heat barrier in the cold weather. And your hands and fingers? In general, mittens are warmer than gloves (it goes back to that scientific -or is it math?-principal of surface area). That said, I do have several different gloves at my disposal depending on the temps. Often times, I pull my fingers out of the "finger parts" and ball them up in fists inside the "palm" area of the glove...kind of works like a mitten. Other times, I'll layer a pair of medium-thick gloves under mittens...then as my hands get warm, I'll take off the gloves (if they've gotten sweaty) and just go with the mittens. Options aplenty.
|Look closely...I'm wearing two pairs of socks here...
Yes, sunglasses, even on cloudy days. I have very sensitive eyes, and the cold air really does a number on my tear ducts. The sunglasses act not only as a barrier from the wind and cold air, but they also help reduce the brightness of the snow. My skin is also very dry, hence the delicate skin around my eyes is wrinkle-prone.....I'm in no hurry to show my age with excess wrinkles, so I'm doing all I can to prevent "aging" myself.
|Yes to the sunglasses!
I'm linking up with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0...and today we're chatting about gift ideas. Also, I'm linking with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up. Head over, check out the hostesses' blogs, and do give a read to some of the other linked blogs as well!