Wick-ed preparation

It’s pretty evident from the comments I’ve received on SGR that running outdoors is a requirement for good training. And since I don’t own any good winter athletic clothes, I’m turning to professional runner friends and strangers for advice. (I’ve already been advised not to wear cotton underwear while running in the winter.)

Let’s get one thing straight – I hate being cold. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I’m living as far north as I probably should, and even now, during some winters, I start looking at the map to find a warmer place to relocate.

I’ve been checking out a few sites about proper attire, including wicking gear. This handy little tool from Runner’s World says I should wear a winter cap, a long-sleeve wicking shirt, a jacket, tights (oy) and gloves during frosty mornings excursions.

I have to admit that the thought of wearing tights doesn’t get me excited. I’m guessing I’ll be able to wear a pair of pants/shorts over them. Will that defeat the purpose of the wicking feature?

Spandex isn't for everyone.

Alright, alright. I can deal with the tights if they promise to keep me warm. Any suggestions on brands/types or where to buy them? I’d like to keep things local, but I haven’t mustered the nerve to walk into Ken Comb’s Running Store or Fleet Feet just yet.

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8 responses to “Wick-ed preparation

  1. Nike pro is the way to go…I have tops and bottoms and they keep me toasty. Layer…you’ll freeze at the start of your run and they wonder why you thought it was so cold at the end. Hats, gloves are a must too. In my book, if my hands are warm my body is warm. One other piece of advice…run with someone, their chatter will keep your mind off the fact that your freezing your ass off and wondering what a stupid thing to be doing at 32 degrees!

    And last(my shameless plug), run for Fred’s Team…Run for Olmsted Parks Conservancy. It will help justify running in the freezing cold because you are doing something good by raising money for the awesome Olmsted Parks!! (msg me, I’ll tell you more!)

  2. A rule of thumb that I always try to follow is that it will feel about 15-20 degrees warmer once I start running. If I start my run out feeling comfortable from a temperature/weather standpoint, I have too many layers on.

    CWX is a brand that makes these running pants that I LOVE (aka “magic pants”…just ask Eileen and Kyle). They are a bit of an investment but they have this really cool stitching pattern that helps with muscle fatique and keeps your legs feeling fresh. And I think they offer a style that can be worn during multiple seasons.

    Oh – and I never dry my running clothes. I heard a rumor that drying them is no good on the wickiness.

    And p.s: cotton is rotton in any season 🙂

  3. I went with Nike Pro for my first pair of running tights too. I tried on over 6 pairs before I mustered enough nerve to finally buy them. Yes, you can wear shorts over them. You will (and should) be a little cold when you begin running, but you will warm up quickly. I overdressed the first few times running in cold weather. It takes a little while to figure it out and everyone is different- but I prefer running in colder temps than in warm. I normally buy clothes from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, TJ Max etc, but get shoes from local running shoes. I prefer Fleet Feet. They are fabulous. It’s overwhelming at first but they are there to help- so don’t worry!

  4. I do LOVE my CW-X Stabilyx tights, sans insulation. For men and women, they provide good support in impt areas, so you don’t have to feel self-conscious running commando. You can order them through Zappos, and they are expensive. Also, I find they run a little small. If you like a little extra *warmth*, Asics, Brooks, Under Armour and Nike Pro sell runderwear, but I don’t have any frame of reference on this type of gear. Might be a better option than split shorts over tights. Finding what apparel works for you, from shirts down to socks, takes a little trial and error. Good luck!

  5. Fyi. Tights don’t have to be “tight”. There are loose fitting pants/sweats that are wicking. Save true tights for when it’s really cold and they are a base layer that you put sweats on top of anyway.

    Arm warmers are also key Think sleeves without the shirt. Awesome for those days when you start cold and warm up quickly or if you are like me and my extremities get cold but too many layers have my torso too hot.

    Keep a log. So you know what works at what temp.

    Then get out there! Yeah you’ll think it’s crazy sometimes but (as Lindsay told me this wknd) crazy can be “bad ass” !

  6. Wow, guys. Thanks for the input/advice. I’m going to check out the Nike Pro line to see what best suits me before I head outdoors. Today’s weather (rain/snow mix) hasn’t done much to quell my anxiety, but I’ll get over it.

    • Joanna and I walked two laps around Seneca last night in the drizzle. I can’t stress the beauty of a training partner. They will push you to train when you don’t want to and vice versa.

      But yeah, just get over it 🙂

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