Sunday, 1 January 2017

Winter Running

I live in Saskatchewan and generally our winters are long, October-March, often quite cold ( -20C is often the norm and gets way colder for at least 2-3 weeks) and the wind can be so vicious that it cuts you right down to the bones.  That all being said a few years ago I decided that I wanted to continue running with my group of friends through the winter.  As of yesterday I completed my first full December Brainsport Streak, you must run everyday in December at least one mile outdoors or on the treadmill.  I am happy/proud to say that I ran everyday and completed 143km in December!!!! 



I will say that I am somewhat of a fair weather runner, there are a lot of hard core people around her, and generally I move my runs to my treadmill once it's -22 C or colder.  In order to continue my running outdoors there were a few items that I needed to invest in, so here is my most basic list for winter running.

1.  Mitts/Toque/Balaclava:  I have poor circulation so I wear an old pair of snowboarding mitts.  The gloves for running don't keep my hands warm enough in the cold.  I also use an older toque and I did get a Buff/ Balaclava for the cold windy days, plus it's awesome instead of a toque on the not as chilly days.



 My wish list: Balaclava

2. Pants to layer:  I have a pair of Lululemon First Mile Tech Tight  (they come in three colors) and you can wear these on their own when the weather is mild, around 0C.  For colder weather I use a pair of fleece lined leggings that I purchased from Costco and I find that's a super cheap way to keep warm.  When the wind is  nasty or the weather gets colder than -20C then I wish I had a pair of Wind Resistant Pants


Lululemon First Mile Tech Tights

3.  Top layers:  I wear my mid-layer top from lululemon all the time!!!   You need a good mid-layer that's breathable.  I love it and I use it as my main layer in fall/spring and a mid-layer for winter running; it's well worth the money.  My best purchase was my Sugio running jacket that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago.  This jacket is the best!!! It's breathable, looks good, great fit, versatile and keeps me warm.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  It is $$$  but I have never regretted it. 

Sugio running jacket

Mid-layer tops Option 1; Option 2; Option 3; Option 4

4.  Spikes!  If it's icy where you live, make sure to get some spikes.  They are cheap and I was so surprised at how well they work.  One of the things I hated about running in winter the few times I tried was that you had to be slow and cautious which ruined my stride. Not with the spikes, you can just run! 


5.  Shoes.  I run a fair amount, approximately 25-32 km/week, so good shoes are key.  They are expensive but I do invest in shoes in order to help my knees, hips and back  stay on track.  I recommend going to a running store that will fit you in the right type of shoe for you.  Also put the shoes to the test a couple of times on the treadmill to make sure that you like the fit.  I get the same shoe now, just the newest model. 

6.  Socks.  I just wear my regular socks and it's enough for me but you could invest in some

Winter Running Socks to keep your toes warm. 

MONEY SAVER TIP:  Don't go out and buy everything new because winter running gear is expensive.  Go through your toques, mitts, and current running gear and use them as layers for the time being and invest in a good coat, spikes and pants (or get a pair of fleece lined leggings from Costco like me and wear your other leggings underneath). 

For more tips for running in cold weather check out this article Running Room

Some of my favorite shots from this winter:

Linking up with: 

The Blended Blog

Get Your Pretty On

Elegance and Mommyhood

Threads for Thomas


  1. I wish I was brave enough to run outside in the winter.

    1. Well it's not for everyone and five years ago I would have said NO WAY to it as well. Having a group of friends that get out there helps a lot and slowly I've adjusted and accumulated the things I need. I do however say NO most days once it gets to (feels like) -25C. I am out and on the treadmill.

  2. You are so tough for running in those temps and running for every day in December! Congrats! I love running, and I really like running on the treadmill, so I'm always there in the winter. This is a great list for winter running, and I usually add a fleece beanie or at least a fleece earwarmer, since cold ears can be more painful that one would think!

    1. Hi Kristin, thanks for stopping by. YES a toque or a fleece beanie is a MUST! I am with you, most people hate the treadmill but I really don't mind it at all, I get to put my music on and just run. It gets a little daunting here because the winter is SUPER long so having the right gear to get outside when the weather is okay and stay inside when it's really not. Have a great day!