Cold Weather Running Must-Haves by Leslee Sholomskas

Runners are tough, no doubt. But winter runners are unbreakable. Here’s a few items you’ll want to have on hand for the upcoming season.

Holy crap, someone turned the heat off on Philly! We’ve had some brrrr-y (<– see what I did there?) chilly days and they are just going to keep getting colder. But that’s no excuse to stop being active and running! Sure, the treadmill looks pretty great when it is negative 14 degrees outside, but the ability to run in cold weather is a great skill to possess as a runner. You may recall I ran a race in the beginning of September (ya know, when it should be nice out) in 40 degree weather wearing only a t-shirt and capris…I’m pretty sure some cold weather conditioning would have been pretty great then. I had my first cold run of the year on Monday and these are the items I found to be useful in staying warm (but not too warm) on my route.

1.) Under Armour Running Tights. These babies were great! My legs felt just fine on the run. You know when you first step outside and you think you’re going to a die a little bit from the arctic tundra that is the surrounding air? Yeah, that didn’t happen. They were warm from the start, and as I was running I never felt over-heated. Plus, they’re sweat wicking, thank the lord. Ever try running in long cotton pants? Don’t, they make sweat really noticeable in all the wrong places. Yeah, you know what I mean.

2.) Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. Advice from a girl who has chronically dried lips: go ahead and buy yourself some of this magical crack. Seriously, this stuff is legit. I swiped a layar on my lips and it stayed on the entire run. It didn’t vanish when I was huffing and puffing my brains out and it didn’t wipe away when I had to occasionally spit. I can’t help it, homegirl makes a lot of spit while running. Anyway, please remember to treat your lips right, the cold temperatures really make you susceptible to chapping.

3.) Running Gloves. Okay, I don’t actually own these fancy Oakley running gloves, but boy do I wish I did! I actually ran without gloves and had to keep my hands tucked inside of my jacket sleeves the whole time to not risk losing any digits. My next chilly run will definitely involve a pair of gloves. What’s great is now most companies are making gloves that allow you to still use your touch screen devices, win!

4.) Compression Running Socks. I think we are all aware of the magical love that is compression clothing. I layared a pair of these under my tights and I had some very happy feet and calves. Wearing short socks is a definite no in the cold. That gap between where short socks end and running tights begin is torture, no one needs that half inch of bare frigid skin. Tall socks, people. Do it.

5.) Ear Warmer Headband. Again, I am but an impoverished scientist and do not own this adorable Lululemon ear covering headband, but I definitely did rock some outerwear ear protection. This serves so many purposes: it keeps my earbuds in place, prevents my ears from becoming icicles, and it keeps all that lovely forehead sweat out of my face.

6.) Sunglasses. I’m sure many of you smart individuals already bring sunglasses with you on outdoor runs. But if you are anything like me, you always forget your shades. One time when you absolutely do not want to forget your shades? Ready for this? Don’t kill me now, but God forbid you go on a snowy run. The sun just seems so much brighter and more intense reflecting off tons of white snow and directly back into your face. Keep in mind that those snowy runs are quickly approaching and you’ll want to get a sporty pair of sunglasses that can keep you from being blinded. I recommend a mid-grade pair of shades. Get something polarized (if possible) and nice enough that they can last you a long time without breaking. Don’t go with the $400 dollar pair that you’d be heartbroken over if they became scratched. I like this pair.

My final word of advice is get yourself a great running jacket. I’m still on the hunt for one that will help me stay warm in temps in the 30 degree range. I went running in this jacket in 40 degree weather and felt fine, but I’m not sure it could withstand much colder temps.

Do you still run outside in the cold weather? Prefer the treadmill?
What are some of your cold weather workout must-haves?

Leslee Sholomskas is the writer behind the healthy living and lifestyle blog, Her Happy Balance. She is a twenty-something, enjoying post-grad life in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Leslee works as a scientist in the field of cancer research and is currently exploring furthering her education in nutrition. She is a newbie runner, lover of yoga and weight training, frequent beach-goer, food enthusiast, and a believer in the power of positive thinking. You can find Leslee on these additional medias: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Learn more about Leslee at


Kyle Weiger

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