Cold weather runs – keeping hands, ears, and feet warm is what I think about a lot when I head out of the door on a chilly morning. Knowing what to do is so helpful to actually getting yourself out of the door.
There is nothing worse than having a cold head, freezing ears, or freezing fingers when you are out running and far from home. It is scary, painful, and absolutely no fun at all!
layering up to keep your hands and feet snug
As you start out on your run you need to be wearing layers. You will feel a bit chilly at first and will want to head straight back inside, but don’t. As soon as you start running, you will warm up and you’ll start peeling off the layers.
This is not so for your head and hands though because your ears and fingers do not warm up in the same way.
I’ve never really experienced any problems with my toes either, but that may just be me. I can get by with my regular running shoes and one pair of socks. My toes do sometimes feel cold, but not enough for me to give them any other thought.
On the rare occasion I have doubled up on a pair of socks, and that has helped. I’ve never needed special winter running shoes or special winter socks.
keeping your hands and fingers warm
My hands though can get a bit cold. You do need to find a suitable pair of gloves though. Running outdoors in the northern hemisphere in both autumn/fall and winter may just not be possible without a pair of sports gloves. All I have is a regular pair of cheap sports gloves that I picked up at our local discount store. Nothing fancy, just made out of synthetic material and not thick. They do just fine in autumn/fall and keep my fingers warm throughout the whole run.
When I am feeling a bit cold then I do hand ‘exercises’ – I move my fingers around, I think I look a bit silly but it does get the blood moving into my fingers. This helps a lot. You cannot shove your hands in your pocket! Ask me I have tried to run with my hands in my pockets, weird and awkward.
In the heart of winter, it is another story. Here I have to double the gloves up. I have a ‘regular’, not sports, pair of gloves that I wear every day. They are made out of polar fleece and are a bit bulkier. If it is cold, then I grab those and put them over my sports gloves.
This works for me. This double layer has given me enough warmth and protection in the coldest weather that I have experienced running outside in winter. It’s not difficult to keep your hands warm, and it does not have to mean that you have to go out and buy specialist gloves, you can of course but it is not necessary.
I love to find solutions with what I have. I love buying all the fun sports stuff but you do not have to.
Keeping running real and sustainable with regards to budget and weather is possible. Being creative in all these situations is for me a great challenge and it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction when I find an easy solution to either the budget or weather issue.
keeping your ears warm
In winter it is also very important to keep your ears warm, it is very unpleasant if you don’t. I have a simple, yet effective solution. There are many ideas and good solutions out there, but this is what I do.
I wear my running beanie, it is made out of polar fleece. It could be a bit bigger and so sometimes I make use of my gaiter/neck scarf for extra protection and warmth.
I pull the gaiter/neck scarf right up from my neck until it is way over my ears. I pull it up over my beanie to just over my ears.
In my wardrobe, I have one beanie but I have many gaiters/neck scarfs and they provide me with options. I sometimes also use my gaiter/headscarf as an Alice band/headband under the beanie. This works very well. It is good to have gaiters/neck scarves in various thicknesses. I’ve slowly collected them over the years, and have gotten some ‘free’ in the race goodie bags.
cold weather runs – keeping hands and feet warm
To sum it all up. If you want to run outside throughout the colder months then you do have to give your ears, fingers, and toes some thought. If you do, then you will get to enjoy some super runs.
The views change so much throughout the seasons, and I for one, love to see, feel and experience the changes. I love the crisp winter air but I am careful too.
When it is super cold then I do pull up the gaiter/neck scarf over my mouth and nose. The very cold air can do some damage to your lungs, so do be careful.
I have also run indoors on a treadmill during these months when I lived close to a gym. It was okay, but definitely not my first choice. This is a good option and a personal choice for everyone. I no longer have the option to go to a gym and so I consistently head outdoors.
There is always a surprise when you head out. One year the snowdrifts completely covered one of the roads that I had to go down in order to get home. It then became a walk and not a run. The little girl in me had so much fun though.
So, friends – let’s get outdoors, stay snug and who knows?! There may be beautiful scenery waiting for you around the next corner.
Where do you love to run during the cold months? Are you like me? Do you love the outdoors? Or, is it straight to the gym for you? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you and discover a few of your tips and tricks.