The Winter That Would Not Quit
The winter of 2013-14 has been one for the record books here in WNC. And it seems more frigid weather is on the way. Having the right items can often be the difference between a comfortable workout and a miserable run. Here are some items that combine the best layering combos for winter conditions commonly faced by runners from Western North Carolina.
1- Long-Sleeve Top Slim-fitting top layers are a key component to keeping the upper body warm. Look for polyester with blends that wick moisture away from the body.
2- JacketLook for a wind proof, water-resistant, stretch woven fabric that can handle anything from an ice storm to a light drizzle. On some jackets, you can pull the sleeves off to make a vest, which is ideal for warmer days.
3- Tights and Pants Poly blended tights serve as a great base layer to keep the legs warm. On real windy days add a wind proof, nylon pair of pants to keep your legs toasty.
4- Gloves Picking out gloves can be the toughest task to settle on this shopping list. But, a good pair of gloves are vital to keeping the hands warm on a frigid day.
5- Headband or Beanie If it's not frigid out, all you need is a lightweight, super-wicking headband to keep the ears toasty. For colder temps, go for a beanie that covers the entire and head and ears.
With these five items your bases will be covered to handle most all of the winter in WNC. There are other items that may come in handy as well, to include: balaclava, for the extreme cold, and arm sleeves. Most common shoe company brands, like Brooks, Asics, Nike, Mizuno, and New Balance, carry versions of all of these apparel items. For best proper fit, I would suggest going to a specialty running shop to get the right advice and what types of winter gear to buy.
For those that run the trails through the winter, there are a few companies that make trail running shoes with Gore-Tex liners. The only drawback I have ever had with the Gore-Tex shoes is that my feet tend to sweat a more than usual. This can be a negative factor on a longer run.
It is real easy to look out the window on a rainy day or a day where the temperatures stay in the 20s and 30s. But some of my most memorable runs have been in 6-10 inches of snow or when it was 37 degrees and pouring rain. Thanks to having the right winter running gear, I felt no cold, only triumph as I knew so many people were staring out the window and muttering the words, “not going to run today.” Not me. I am getting mine in.