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winter running

5 Essential Items for Winter Running

David Nathan

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This year, you’re determined not to lose your motivation when winter arrives. You’ve decided to continue running throughout the winter. This is a great idea, but you have to make sure you have the right gear. Here are five essential items for running comfortably in cold weather.

1) Winter running shoes
Even though some people use their summer shoes for winter running, it’s preferable to have better footgear when the snowflakes start to fly. First of all, the soles of winter running shoes are better adapted to snowy conditions and provide better grip. But it’s also about comfort: snowflakes that come into contact with shoe uppers can melt and soak the fabric. So to keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of slipping, you can equip yourself with a shoe with Gore-Tex uppers, such as Adidas’ Kanadia 4 Trail or Nike’s Pegasus model.

2) A warm, lightweight jacket
Every day, thousands of joggers go out for a run even if the mercury dips below the dreaded zero degree mark. Don’t let the cold weather stop you; you can beat it! That said, it is important to dress appropriately. The jacket you choose for running is the final protective layer. The base layer could be a shirt made of synthetic fabric, such as polypropylene, to reduce body moisture. As a general rule, stay away from cotton. You can then put on a garment made of Gore-Tex, and finally, your jacket, which will also act as a windbreaker. It’s important that this last layer be lightweight. Don’t hesitate to visit the cross-country ski department of your sporting-goods store, which often carries a good selection of winter jackets. Also, be careful to avoid overdressing, because your body temperature will increase over the course of your run.

Examples of clothing: http://ca.icebreaker.com/Quantum-Vest/IBSA15D34S,default,pd.html?start=17&cgid=mens-jackets-vests (Men’s)
http://www.lacordee.com/fre/product/manteau-salomon-active-iii-softshell-femmes-/56653 (Women’s)

3) Winter gloves
If you’re aware that about 30% of the body’s heat is lost through the feet and hands, you’ll understand the importance of wearing gloves when running in the winter. The weather will determine whether you wear thin or thicker gloves. Some people choose mittens, but that’s a personal choice. Others go for the layering technique, putting a thicker pair on over a thinner pair. Certain gloves, such as Nike’s Livestrong model, have a small pocket for storing keys, a practical feature. And here’s a model by North Face.

4) Running tights
Still following the principle of layers of protection, the use of tights in very low temperatures (below -10 Celsius) can be a smart choice. Several models are available. Opt for a pair of thermoregulating tights in preference to a pair made of wool. On the other hand, don’t forget your legs generate a great deal of heat, so they won’t need to have as many protective layers as the upper body. If the temperature nears -20 Celsius, it is preferable to wear two lower-body layers: tights and a windbreaking layer, such as the bottoms of a tracksuit. If you run in -5 Celsius weather, you won’t need this.

Check out this model by Under Armour  and this one by Sugoi.

5) Face protection gear
Face protection gear should be used when temperatures are very low. With a balaclava, only your face, or often, a part of your face, will be exposed. If you run in really low temperatures, (-20 Celsius and below), you can wear a mask of this type, designed for expeditions in severely cold weather.

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