6 Winter Running Essentials

It is that time of year again as I'm filming. Leaves are falling all about me. Days are growing colder. It is now cool and cold here in the sun room. And what we're looking forward to hopefully is a beautiful winter running season.

It is that time of year again as I'm filming. Leaves are falling all about me. Days are growing colder. It is now cool and cold here in the sun room. And what we're looking forward to hopefully is a beautiful winter running season. But along with that comes the essentials that we need to have a successful injury-free and enjoyable winter season. So that's what we're going to talk about today. What are the essentials you need to run during the winter?

I'm Jesse Funk, the founder of Solpri.com and the host of this show, Runner's High, where we talk about everything running, including today's topic, the essentials for winter running. So if you like running and you like talking about endurance sports, hit subscribe. Stick around me for more episodes every single week.

Now when we're talking winter running essentials, these are the things I think are essential. I live in Kansas City, so we typically have snowy, cold, wet winters. We get a mix of everything. If your climate is different, you may not need everything or you might need a little bit more. So obviously it's going to depend.

But I think because of where I live and what kind of weather that we get, it's going to cover the vast majority of people and the things that you might need. So keep that in mind as we go along. Apply them to your particular situation. We'll start with number one.

This is actually really an all-time, all-year kind of essential, but especially so as we're putting up more and more layers, you get seams and stitching all up against your skin and that is a good anti-chafe balm. And this is our anti-chafe balm now in completely plastic-free packaging. I'm really happy about getting that in.

But to me, this is absolutely cannot go without, especially in more sensitive areas because seams for whatever reason seem to just get in where they don't belong and then they're rubbing and rubbing and rubbing and rubbing and then you don't want to go run next time because everything hurts every single step you take. And it is not a great thing.

So some kind of anti-chafe balm is going to be the thing to get. It goes along with all the other things that we're talking about pretty much. If you want to check ours out, there'll be a link down in the description. But whatever product you decide to use, I simply cannot go in the winter without for me all year some kind of use, but particularly useful in the wintertime.

Next is the old running adage if you keep your head and your hands warm, you're going to be warm. So I want to start with those some kind of hat. This is obviously an Under Armour hat. I've had this for ages.

It's double layered, but not super thick. You can get these in all different kinds of styles and sizes. I have this one. I have a lighter weight, one for not quite as cold days or if I'm doing speedwork. And then in the past I've had really big poofy ones which are nice for very, very cold days. Gloves, obviously these are as many people have seen these I refer to these as magic gloves that like one size fits all gloves.

I get these by the dozens and seem to lose them every single year. I like them because frankly, they work, they're cheap. So if you lose them, you're not really upset about it. I do have a nicer pair of Under Armour brand gloves that somebody gave me for Christmas years ago.

I don't tend to wear them very often. They're pretty thin. They have like a grippy part on the hands. It's great. What am I gripping when I'm running, what I do use them for is a second layer. So I've got my magic gloves on and it's gotten colder outside. I have that second set that will actually fit over these. You could double these up, but that's just how that works.

So hat, gloves and then if possible, multiple weights. Again, that depends on your particular situation. We have such wide varying days in the winter here where I always know that sometime during the winter we're going to get a random 70-degree day, which means around that day we're also going to have other weird days and then we're going to drop back down to like 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

So having various weights are good, but some kind of gloves, some kind of hat. Absolutely essential on that theme, though, is something that I've talked about before in one of my other videos we're talking about "does cold air hurt your lungs when you're running in the winter?" It's one of my more popular winter running videos. If you haven't seen it, we'll link to that at the end of this video.

And that is a mask of some kind. Again, I have two weights of these. This is like a typical ski mask, but the idea is that you want to cover your mouth so that you are not breathing in really cold air in your lungs. You basically have a buffer where you're going to keep that air relatively warm as compared to the outside air.

The downside, obviously, being that condensation will build up on this mask and you'll have like a beard of ice by the time you get done with your run. I use two different weights of this because I find this traditional ski mask to be a little more heavy. It also tends to. So let me put it on real quick. It tends to so you get it on.

And then as it gets more wet here, it tends to do this over time and start dragging down. Whereas the other one I have, which I'm going to have to find because I couldn't find it for this video is actually made out of like a similar kind of material to this shirt. One of those like athletic wicking moisture wicking kind of material.

It came from a company called Print Ninja. They print products for me for a different company, and I've used it for the last, I don't know, eight or ten years, however long since I got samples from them originally. And it's my go-to for the most part because it's moisture-wicking, it doesn't have so much of the issues that the ski mask has.

That being said, again, when it gets really cold, we're going like sub-20 Fahrenheit, probably closer to 15 below -- not 15 below, 15 and below. Don't <...> the ski mask.

This one will pass relatively quickly over because it's pretty given nowadays some kind of base layer. You know Under Armour started this trend. Nike has their own brand Nike Pro I'm not sure what they're calling their line nowadays.

Atop long sleeves bottom the bottoms you can find running-specific versions. They'll have like a pocket in it so you can bring a key with you. They'll have zips at the bottom so that they're easier to get in and out of it can be a little more snug against your ankles.

You do want to make sure that you're getting cold gear specific tights because as the industry has grown, you're there are more and more tights available that are used for all kinds of weather, especially football players, which is where Under Armour started was with football. You get hot gear, you get gear people wear in the gym. You want cold-specific gear that's a base layer. So that's one thing to check out. But again, it's kind of a given nowadays, so we won't spend any more time on that.

One of the things I think is really overlooked by many people and actually can substitute for sometimes for a ton of layering, especially because we're generating heat when we go run. And so you want some ability to get rid of moisture, but you also want to be able to retain heat. And some of the really specialized gear can get kind of expensive, at least in my opinion.

That being said, I think you really want a windproof or and/or rainproof layer. In the winter, it's likely going to be snowing if it's cold enough. So you're not so much worried about snow as like going out with ice and then that snow melting. But it's the wind. It's the wind's a big thing. So like two things I've got this is just like a cheap I'll say a cheap kind of jacket I bought from a target in Texas when I was doing 70.3 Texas one year, and it ended up being like 45 degrees for that race.

So I, I needed some kind of jacket to wear around. I've kept this. It was maybe 30 bucks, but I use it all the time. And then I also have for really cold days like Windproof Pants. I have repurposed these. These are actually cycling pants because you're much colder on the bike than you are running. And when I was doing all my triathlon training, I needed something to be able to get out and still ride when it was 30, 40 degrees outside.

And so I got those. They have like a fleece inside. They are windproof. So if it's below 20, I almost always have those on. The downside of those pants in particular is that you lose a little bit of mobility, a little hip mobility, but I will take that to be comfortable over just wearing tights, being frozen and then potentially kind of opening myself up to injury.

So some kind of windproof layer I think is huge. You can usually actually sub some of these extra layers out for windproof layer, especially if it's windy because they'll tend to retain heat a little bit better. The running specific stuff, we used jackets from ASICs in college.

Very, very nice product. I think now nowadays they run like $100 and $350. I haven't checked this year. They are waterproof, windproof and then have breathable seams, something like that. If you have the money to invest in it and you don't have another option, great piece of equipment to have in the wintertime.

But again, I like to use things that are cost-effective and then I also use them until they're dead. Like I have running shorts that I basically wear for almost ten years until they elastics falling apart and then I get new pairs.

So that being said, invest in something that's going to last, whether it be cost-effective or not, because this is something that we're only going to be using, I'll say, six months of the year at most. Now, beyond the obvious of clothing. One of the things that I've gone to using in the last few years after I've fallen some are these like, crampons, Yak Trax.

This is Yak Trax this is particular brand. But these little spikes that can go on the bottom of your shoes. So it's rubbery. It straps on. We'll link to these down to the description. My only qualm with this particular brand, they're probably the most popular. They may be the original brand for runners. I do have issues with this particular little spindly thing. It likes to work itself off during runs and I also have to put it back on.

That's probably a defect in my particular pair. I don't think that's a common thing. But what these do is help you with snow. Is it going to make running on snow, just like running on a hard surface in the spring? No, absolutely not. But it does give you a little bit more traction. Now, I've talked about the biomechanical differences between running in snow and running on actually high-traction surface in another video. So we won't go over that.

But suffice it to say, how you run does change some. So you want to try to mimic normal running as best you can. Absolutely essential for traction and then hopefully you're going to prevent any falls. We don't want any acute injuries, right? So that's obviously something we want to miss. So that's why I like these as a winter essential nowadays. Now that I'm older, a little bit smarter, maybe a little bit more cautious. But that's that's why these are on the list.

So let's get on to the last thing that maybe not enough people talk about. And that last thing is something for safety. This comes in all shapes and forms, but some kind of light, reflective gear, headlamp, whatever. I have this is it from Nox gear. Lights up, makes all kinds of different colors. You put these on, this guy goes on your back. You have these straps in the front.

I know for a while they were advertising on Facebook like crazy. So you've probably seen these. We will have a link down to Nox Gears version in the description below. I bought this thinking, well, I want to try it out. But then also I'm an entrepreneur. So I was like, you know, let's check it out. Let's see what it is. Let's see what we can improve.

I think this is all you need. Like, I couldn't figure out a way to make it better. And so I really think this is a great piece of equipment. It's not necessarily going to help you see. But I don't know that a headlamp is going to help you see a ton. But I think having some kind of light, some kind of reflective equipment, something like that is more essential in the winter because we're getting less light, right?

It's darker, longer in the day, which means even if you're not a really early morning runner, chances are you're still probably going out when it's dark. If you're going to go run before work, if you're running after work. And visibility is great. You want people to see you. I can't tell you how many cars over the years in broad daylight have always hit me or teammates because they're not paying attention. With this guy on, people pay attention. They see you. Absolutely. So I will say one caveat with this, not really a caveat, but there are knockoff versions.

I don't know how well they work, but as a small business owner, please support the original people. They actually do have a patent on this. And I can see that the knockoffs are actually infringing on their patents. And as somebody who has had to deal with the basically unstoppable Chinese counterfeit industry that just steals money from you, please don't buy the knockoff brands.

They are a little bit cheaper, but I think it's worth credit where credit's due and you know, you're going to get support if you need it. That's the key. You're going to get quality product and support. So again, that's from Nox Gear description down below we'll have a link to that as well.

So that is the entirety of my winter running essentials from top to bottom. Is there anything I missed you think is a winner running essential? Leave it down in the description, not in the description. Leave me a comment down below. Links to all this stuff our chafe balm, the Nox Gear, the Yak Trax all that will be down in the description as well.

But again, if you have any questions or we missed anything in this video, leave them in the comments, share. Let us all know what you think are the winter running essentials. Hopefully, I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.

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