Winter Run

You guys gave me so many great post ideas, and I’m going to start with one that requires little brain power (because this week has been more nuts than my brain can handle).

Rebecca (Hi, Rebecca!) said, “I’d love to hear more about your running outside in Winter or even just your running in general.” I tend to share a lot of my running updates via Instagram instead of here, and I’ve sent some pretty detailed emails to people who have asked about my Winter running/what gear I wear. Why I haven’t posted about it, I don’t know. Thanks to Rebecca for pointing me to the obvious.

To give a bit of climate background to the Okanagan area of BC where I live, it is the northern part of the Sonoran desert, which comes up through the US all of the way from Mexico. We don’t get a lot of precipitation and in the summers we can reach temperatures in the high 30s C/90s F. We do get some snow in the Winter — more on the ski hills than down below — but it’s nothing like the snow photos you’ll see from the Prairies or back east. We’ll get a week or two of a cold snap, but we generally hover around or above the freezing mark in the Winter. It snows, then it melts. Lather, rinse, repeat. This week has been so warm that all of the snow has melted and I ran without my outer jacket on.

Before I get to my Winter running gear, here’s a bit about my running in general. I run three days a week, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Prior to Christmas break, two of my runs were 10 km in distance, with the middle one being 5-6 km. January’s been a bit nuts, time-wise and sick-kids-wise, but I’m back to running three days a week, about 7-8 km per run. I plan to run 10 km on Monday (My birthday!) and I cannot wait. (Yes, I’m weird about loving to run, and I’m okay with that.)

As for Winter running gear, here’s what I wear for every outdoor run:

Compression pants. I bought mine at Old Navy, and they’re fabulous. I also wear them when I’m skiing.

A thermal shirt. I bought a long-sleeved Costco version of Under Armor and I wear it for both running and skiing.

Shorts. None of my tops or jackets cover my arse when wearing the compression pants and I don’t like feeling so exposed, which is the same reason I don’t wear leggings as pants. A friend recommended wearing shorts over my running pants, which is sheer genius.

Wool socks. My running partner bought me some wool running socks last year and they come in handy when it’s cold/wet. She will also wear long ski socks over her compression pants, which is super cute/functional.

A wick-away jacket. I bought this from Old Navy as well. It’s the same material as my under layer, and it takes the sweat away from my body and keeps me warm. I wear it while skiing as well. It smells pretty interesting after a couple of run/ski days, so it makes the laundry rotation a few times a week.

An outer layer. Last Winter I used the outer shell of my ski jacket, but when it rained in the spring I bought myself a water-and-wind-resistant jacket, which was much lighter. It doesn’t breathe (AT ALL), so it keeps my core warm and … dewy.

Good running shoes. Stating the obvious, yes, but you need to get fitted if you want to run without injuring yourself. I went to a local running store and New Balance shoes are the shoe for me. I now buy them online because they’re cheaper, but getting fitted is worth every penny.

Winter Trax. I bought two pairs for $14.99 at Costco (Yay, deals!), but last year I bought one pair for $19.99 at Canadian Tire and would have paid far more, because they are worth every dollar. I can run on ice and in snow, and don’t slip. At all.

A toque. Or, as many of you cute Americans call it, a “toboggan.” (A Toboggan is a wooden sled up here in Canuckia. It’s the one with the curl at the front.)

Gloves. I wear thin gloves, because once I start running and heat up, they get taken off and zipped into my jacket pocket.

I also pack tissue in my jacket pocket because my nose runs when I exercise/it’s cold/it wants to. Last summer I mastered the one-nostril booger-blow while running (Sexy!), but the cold weather makes tissue a necessity.

Did I miss anything, other Winter runners? Or do any of you have questions about the above? I could talk about running for days and days.

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  1. Kristabella January 16, 2014 11:20 am edit

    Thank you! I need to get back into running, since I signed up for a 10 mile race, and I hate the treadmill! This is very helpful!

  2. angella January 19, 2014 8:12 pm edit

    You can do it, K!

  3. Feisty Harriet January 16, 2014 2:03 pm edit

    I love this!! I am hoping to get more outdoor runs in (depending on the weather, we get a NAAASTY inversion for weeks at a time during the winter and can have the most polluted air in the world–including LA and Chinese manufacturing cities. I don’t exercise outside then, obviously, but when the air is clear I much prefer it to a treadmill, even if it’s freezy.


  4. angella January 19, 2014 8:12 pm edit

    Yeah, outdoor running! In clear air. :)

  5. Kandi January 16, 2014 4:04 pm edit

    I grew up calling a toque a toboggan and when I went to college (7 miles up the road) and met people from down state (2ish hours away) they laughed at me and told me that was a sled! I looked it up in the dictionary and, sure enough, they were right. I’ve stopped calling them that but haven’t come up with a better term yet! You made me laugh when you mentioned it though because apparently my family isn’t alone!

  6. angella January 19, 2014 8:15 pm edit

    Hee. Regional differences are funny. In the Canadian Prairies, they call lunch “dinner.” We call lunch “lunch” and supper and dinner are interchangeable.

    As for the thing on your head, maybe call it a hat or a beanie? Toque is definitely a Canadian term. :)

  7. RebeccaL January 21, 2014 1:06 pm edit

    Yay! Thanks for the advice! I’ve never thought to look at Old Navy for running stuff. I really need a pair of compression pants.

    And Happy Birthday! I hope you have an amazing day!

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