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Winter running gear: essential kit to make you ready for good winter running

I have been running regularly in winter for over 13 years. I've had my ups and downs, I've made good and bad purchasing decisions. But whether you like winter or not, the fact is that winter running undoubtedly has powerful benefits for your health and well-being. Going for a run when it's dark and cold most of the time requires perseverance and internal motivation. However, it is worth paying attention to a few issues that can make this winter adventure easier. Today we will cover the basics of choosing the right outfit. It's important to feel comfortable and safe. In the winter season, it is very easy to both get cold and overheat. Here are some key aspects to pay attention to to ensure you can enjoy running even in the colder months.

1. Layered Outfit

Winter running requires an appropriate layering system. Starting with thermoactive underwear that retains body heat, it is worth adding an insulating layer later, and outside wearing clothes that protect against wind and moisture.

2. Thermal Hoodies and Pants

Choose clothing made of thermal materials that provide adequate insulation. Sweatshirts with a short zipper allow you to regulate your temperature while running. My personal favorite! You can unbutton them when it gets too hot or fasten them when the wind blows unpleasantly around your neck.

3. Compression Elements

Socks, leggings or compression gloves can help keep you warm and improve circulation, which is important especially when running for long periods on colder days. Personally, I don't use it. I tried and they didn't convince me, but it's definitely worth knowing that there is such an option.

4. Head, Neck and Hands Protection

My Achilles heel. I don't like it when something bothers me, and I include hats, scarves and gloves in this group. However, a warm hat (ideally intended for running, classic woolen hats do not work in my opinion), a neck warmer and gloves are a must-have when running in winter. Pay attention to models that provide protection against the wind and at the same time allow the skin to breathe.


5. Rainsuit

If you run in a place where the weather can be unpredictable, take a light rain suit with you to protect you from rain or wet snow.


6. Reflective Elements

Due to shorter days and often dark mornings and evenings, make sure that your clothes have reflective elements. They will improve your visibility and safety on the route. A lot of winter running clothing already has such reflective elements, but it's also worth having something extra with you. For example, I often put a regular reflector on my ankle when riding a bike. In winter, there is one rule: it is better to have one too many reflectors than one too few.


7. Appropriate Footwear

The choice of running shoes is crucial. Models that are resistant to moisture and cold are recommended. But... that's in a perfect world. In my world, five-toe shoes are the best. They allow water to pass through (unfortunately), but the cushioning and rebound are fantastic and consistent with the biomechanics of our foot and body motor skills. However, if you prefer classic shoes, consider using special anti-slip pads. They will be useful on icy surfaces.


Dress as if it were 10 degrees C warmer.

While running, we warm up quickly, our heart pumps blood at a dizzying pace and our temperature perception changes. Dress like it's 10 degrees C warmer. You may feel cold at first, but after a few minutes of running you'll agree that I'm right.

To sum up, my winter running kit consists of the following elements:
bra, panties, thermal underwear (long-sleeve blouse and, when it's extremely cold, thermal leggings), leggings, insulated sweatshirt, raincoat, socks and five-toed shoes, insulated ear band, neck warmer, insulated gloves.

Remember that comfort when running in winter largely depends on appropriate clothing. Choose clothes adapted to the temperature and weather conditions, and winter training will become not only a challenge, but also a source of pleasure. Run safely and enjoy every step!


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JUSTYNA WENECKA | medical trainer, an author of the Absolute Body Control training method