Running 101: What to wear when it’s COLD

So it’s hardly a few days into Fall here in Texas and I’m already writing about cold weather running. BUT, not all of you live in Texas.  Some of you live in states with seasons.  What is that like? I have no idea.  Here in Texas you wait patiently for summer to end,  trade slurpees for pumpkin spice latte’s which you drink while sweating, pick lightweight halloween costumes so your kids don’t suffocate or die of a heat stroke and then, finally…Christmas comes.  It gets cooler and we get giddy.

This may be a slight exaggeration.  However, it does seem like we have summer, a few fall days here and there, and then winter.  So, we have to have our cooler weather running gear at the ready because that cold weather can come out of nowhere.  I had a sweet reader who just started running in the summer ask about what to wear when it gets cold.  Since I happen to LOVE running in the cold..and I LOVE cold weather running clothes…I’m your girl.

*Note..First, I’m extremely hot natured.  Like,  menopause will surely make my husband run for the hills.  Second, I live in Texas, not the Alps.  Keep in mind I don’t need “extreme” winter gear here.  But, last year my marathon got canceled due to an ice storm, so I know a little.

First up on the list of must have winter running gear….

1.  Running tights
Ok, so last year we had a huge ice storm hit at the beginning of December.  I was planning to run a half marathon(originally I was planning the full but ended up having to have knee surgery) that weekend.  I went on the hunt for a fabulous pair of running tights that would keep me warm, but not too warm.  I found these Helly Hansen Charger Windblock Tights….

The race ended up getting canceled due to the ice storm so I never got to race in these tights but I continued on with my training for a full marathon in March.  So, needless to say, training through winter, I wore these a lot.  They were PERFECT in the wind. I have to say I got a little warm in them when the temps went above freezing.  But, for a cold and windy day, they were awesome.  *Be warned, these are pricey.  I have found cold weather gear to be pretty expensive.  So, when it came to these tights, I purchased one pair and that was my one pair all winter.  And will be for this winter.  Find them here.

Another option is the Brooks Utopia running tight.  I don’t own a pair of these but they were recommended to me last year by several friends who live in Utah.  I trust them completely and read great reviews on these bad boys.  They are on sale right now on the Brooks website for $55.  I may snag me a pair.  You can find them by clicking here. 

2.  Layering Piece
As I said, I get hot.  I need layers I can peel off.  But not too many.  There is nothing more annoying than taking off the jacket and tying it around your waist only to have the sleeves flapping as you run.  I’m a little sensory OCD.  To avoid this air on the side of lightweight and cooler because your body temp will heat up fast.  I love a good tank that is wicking and lightweight that I can wear as a base layer.  For example,  this Run Swiftly tank by Lululemon…

I’m also loving my new “She Will Endure All Things” tank by Chase Infinite.  This company donates $1 from every purchase to charity.  The tank is lightweight and comfortable and can easily be layered…..
Go to their website and enter code STRENGTH at checkout to recieve 20% off + shipping. 
Another option is the Gap Fit Breathe Heathered tank.  I LOVE this tank.  Select colors are on sale right now for $17.99 at  Click here for a great deal. 
3.  Long Sleeved base layer… I have a favorite and its a Lululemon.   Please don’t hate me or think I’m ridiculous.  It’s just good stuff and it lasts.  I have one long sleeved Run Swiftly shirt from lulu that I have had for about 3 years.  I wear it all the time and it has held up great.  It’s my absolute favorite long sleeved top to run in.  Plus, it has thumb holes.  I heart thumb holes.  Oh, but DON’T wear a fuel belt with this shirt.  The fabric does not do well with the velcro.  
You can find this by clicking here
Another option is the new C9 line by Champion at Target.  It’s affordable and cute and I love the way champion fits.  I feel like it runs true to size and is always cute and stylish too.  Here is the long sleeved women’s tech tee…
4. Lightweight jacket…Ok this one is important ya’ll so listen up.  This totally depends on where you live.  For me, living in Texas, I never need a heavier jacket to run in.  It simply needs to be something that blocks the wind or conditions(sleet, snow, rain) and keeps me warm without making me hot.  It needs to breath.  My mom got a great one for me at T.J. Maxx last year for Christmas that was a Columbia and I loved it.  However, my absolute favorite is another Brooks item…the Brooks womens Nightlife LSD lite jacket III.  Why the long name?  Not a clue.  I love this jacket!  It can seriously fold up so small you can fit it in your pocket.  It’s easy to run in and isn’t too heavy.  It’s currently on sale as well at  
5. Earwarmers….Ok so admittedly I don’t use these much.  Or hats.  Did I mention I’m hot natured?? But, I do LOVE my Nike ear warmer.  It stays in place and it breathes so I don’t get too warm.  Here is the one I use…it’s the thermafit reversable headband.  
here it is at Dick’s for $18
6.  Last but not least…gloves… I don’t know about you but when I run in the cold my hands suffer.  I searched high and low last year for the perfect pair of winter running gloves.  I ended up with…wait for it….a pair from Brooks.  I promise I’m not being paid to advertise for them.  Just happened to discover they make great winter apparel.  Anyway, after doing some research and again, reaching out to friends who live in colder states, these were the ones that kept coming up.  I found them at my local running store but you can also find them online.  They are regular gloves with a protective covering that turn them into mittens.  They have a flashing reflector light, which I LOVE, and you can use the protective waterproof covering for running in the rain or sleet/snow or on a really windy day.  If you don’t want that part, you can tuck it into a cute little pocket on the front of the gloves. I love these gloves.  They make a great Christmas gift.  You can find them almost anywhere but L.L. Bean is offering 10% off right now.  You can find them here.  
So there you have it.  We could talk for days about headbands, ear warmers, hats, jackets, scarves(do people really run in scarves like on the cover of the magazines?  I think not), tights and such.  Here’s the skinny, this stuff is pricey.  I get it.  I was hesitant to post some of this.  I honestly don’t want ya’ll to feel like I’m throwing super expensive stuff at you all the time.  Price can be an issue.  I so get that.  So, this is a GUIDE.  
If some or all of these items are out of your budget, that’s ok.  Look at what’s here and use it as a guide on how to dress and layer in the colder months.  It does not mean these are the only items out there.  I personally LOVE Marshall’s, T. J. Maxx and Target for running clothes.  These are just suggestions for ya.  If you love running in the cold as much as I do then I know you are dying to get your hands on some ear warmers and gloves.  Be patient.  It’ll be here before we know it!!!
Do you love running in the winter?  
Do you have a favorite winter item to run in?  
Please share your faves!!

2 comments on “Running 101: What to wear when it’s COLD

  1. Girl, obviously I replied to you in my head and not in real life haha. Ok, the long sleeved lulu top is a must splurge. It is PERFECT for this time of year bc I don’t get hot in it but it’s great for cooler temps. Let me know if you take the plunge=)

  2. I am lusting after a pair of Brooks tights…I may just have to pull the trigger this year! I am also loving that Lululemon long sleeved top…another splurge 😉

    I’m also pretty warm-blooded and have sensory issues lol…so I struggle with cold weather gear a lot! Thanks for sharing these tips and your favorite brands 🙂

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