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Running Warm - On A Budget

Posted Nov 24 2012 4:14pm
Hello, Hello!

I hope you are having a great weekend, so far. It is a cold one here in Michigan. It has warmed up since I woke was 31 and now it is 32! Ha! Add in the wind chill and the temp that you feel is 23. If you have never lived in a cold weather place before, you may not get that. But the actual temperature gets trumped by the windchill. So, even though a thermometer says 32, the other weather factors cause it to feel colder. In today's case, nearly 10 degrees colder. It is windy, and the sky is filled with the dreaded snow clouds that drop white stuff every now and again. It is like Mother Nature has a mild case of dandruff...fabulous!

I figured I would post about dressing the part of a runner in the cold weather. I am no expert, but I don't think you have to be when you know what keeps you warm and what doesn't! In addition, running isn't the cheapest 'sport' around. I prefer to spend on some items and save on others. Shoes? Spend! Gloves? Save!
As it has gradually gotten colder, I have modified my running gear. Yes, I want to be in my running shorts and a sports bra tank and not multiple layers! But this is what I've found that works for me, head to toe...
It is moisture wicking and has a pony tail opening in the back. No elastic to pinch your brain either! ($15)

I have several. This is a wicking headband. They stay put and wash nicely. I love that I can cover my ears with them. ($8)

Layer 1
  • Wicking Sports Bra - This particular one came from a big box store. I have several. Make sure you look for the support level on them. For running, Maximum Support is best...even if you have minimum sized girls to put in it! Moisture wicking is a must. I found a bunch on clearance for $7.99, but $12-$15 is average.

 Layer 2
  • I love these tops! I think I have 5 of them. They are made by Danskin and are from WalMart, yep...WalMart. Comfortable performance wear, washable and they look cute on. Best part? $8.96

Here I am posing after my 4 miler in my black one...I think it was just above 40 degrees that day and it was perfect. Oh, and yes...the Bondi Band came in handy, too! Ha...gloves and shorts, that's how I roll! ;)
  • This is my newest layer 2 top, it is from the Target men's department . I do not understand why the women's version was $3.00 more! Irritates me just a bit. Anyway, wicking fabric and mock turtlenck. It is a compression fit and I wore it for the first time today. It was super comfy and I was warm! ($20)
This was after my run this morning, so that explains the rosy cheeks and the 3rd nipple courtesy of my heart rate monitor...HaHa! Keepin' it classy!

  •  I also have two of these from Target (do you detect a theme? I LOVE Target!) They are active line thermals . Moisture wicking, comfy and cute ($17). I have worn them alone and under other tops; they work either way. 
  • I also have the bottoms in plain black. They look like regular leggings. ($17) I have raced in them as my bottoms. Today I wore them under a pair of yoga pants. I don't like running in yoga pants but it was 30 degrees! I was too warm, by the way and I am always cold.

Layer 3 - Outer Layer
  • Love this from Target !  It is fleece on the inside and moisture wicking. Pull over hoodie with a reflective strip. It is warm and even has thumb holes! ($28) I love the semi-fitted cut and it is nice and warm! So far, it has worked for me on cold runs.

  • I wore this soft shell jacket from JCP today. This one is waterproof and more of a wind breaker. It is the first time I ran in it. It was warm, more comfortable to run in than I expected it to be and it blocked the wind. ($35, but on sale for $24 right now!) It's a winner!

  • Socks! I am in love with my Feetures! wool socks. They are anatomically correct and so soft and warm! They have a lifetime guarantee and totally worth the $16. I am a sock snob and struggle to find socks I like and that don't bother my feet. The wool keeps me warm and they have a light support in them. Awesome!

  • Last but not least - Gloves! If my hands are warm, I can pretty much manage with the rest of my body. I have about 15 pairs of gloves that do ok in a bit warmer weather. But, I found these little convertible mitten/gloves at a box store for $10. They flip down when you need to use your fingers. You know you text and take pics just like me! Ha! They are warm and they have a little magnet that holds the mitten part back. Love them!

So there you have it, my list of items to keep you running in the cold weather without freezing to death or having to take out a loan. I mix and match everything depending on the temps. I make sure everything I get is washable. I use Arm & Hammer Delicare on all my workout clothes. I wash them in the gentle cycle and dry them on low.
As for cold weather running you want1.) Moisture wicking fabric - No t-shirts or cotton stuff that will hold that wetness to your skin. And yes, you WILL sweat when it is 30 degrees outside!
2.) Layers, Layers, Layers!
3.) Dress as though it were 20 degrees warmer outside. If it is 32, dress as though it were 52. You do not want to over heat.
4.) Keep your head covered. Your heat will escape through the top of your body.

I was too warm this morning and again, it was 18 degrees outside with the windchill. I can not run in hoodies or anything bulky. I need to have my ears covered. I'd rather be slightly cool than too warm. I hope this helps and gives you an idea of what you can buy. There are amazing product lines for runners, but they don't meet every budget! Clearance racks are awesome! It is about the fabric, not the name brand.

Happy Running Everyone!

Stay Warm & Keep Streaking!
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