For most of the country, winter running is coming! Those frosty, snowy runs where you can’t feel your toes or you fingers or your face. Yeah, that lovely time of year. There’s plenty of winter apparel that works well to keep runners toasty—some of us need quite a few layers while others are perfectly fine with a little less.
Finding your that sweet spot where you don’t overheat or end up too chilled is really up to each runner and takes a little trial and error. But there are some winter running essentials that you probably didn’t know you needed and should stock up on now.
Ever struggled with cold toes on winter runs, despite countless layers of wool socks? If you deal with frigid feet then grab a roll of duct tape and your shoes and get taping. Most running shoes are constructed with extremely breathable material, which is what we need in those hot summer months. But in the winter that breathable material turns into a window for the wind, allowing freezing cold air to move of your toes. To prevent cold toes simply tape the toe of your shoe with duct tape to stop cold air from entering your shoes. Leave the sides and back of the shoe untapped so there’s still some breathability.
When the temps dip low enough your skin can really suffer. Protect exposed skin with a layer of Aquaphor or Vaseline. This can prevent skin form being chapped by the wind or dry cold conditions. In a pinch chapstick, will also work to cover cheeks and other exposed areas. And don’t forget that sunscreen is just as important to protect from sun damage.
Hydration is still important during winter months, even though we aren’t sweating as much. Chances are you may have experienced a frozen water bottle or two while running if you’ve gone out on really cold days. Consider filling your hand-held with a warm (not hot) herbal tea. The warm liquid can be a welcome relief from the cold (and prevent your hydration from turning to ice water) and if your handheld has a pocket for GUs and gels, you can help prevent those from freezing, too.