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Top Ten Cold Weather Running Essentials


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Monday, January 11th, 2016

The winter months can bring numbing temperatures, grey skies, and icy roads – not exactly the kind of weather that inspires outdoor workouts; however, with the proper winter workout gear, you can comfortably and safely take on the elements.

Our experts at UPMC Sports Medicine compiled a list of the top ten winter essentials needed to continue running outdoors.

Gear You Need for Winter Running

  1. Base layer: Pull on a form-fitting T-shirt or long-sleeved base-layer shirt made from wool or polyester. These fabrics are warm, and more importantly, moisture-wicking to keep you dry.
  2. Mid layer: This moisture-wicking layer provides additional insulation by trapping heat; often a jacket or fleece.
  3. Outer/Protective layer: A wind-resistant and water-proof coat, often made of nylon, can protect you against the harshest weather conditions and prevent your clothing from becoming soggy and damp.
  4. Thermal tights: Moisture-wicking thermals are the difference between warm legs and frozen limbs.
  5. Safety light or reflective vest: With less daylight during the winter months, it’s important to make sure you’re easily seen by drivers. Their visibility is often compromised during rain and snow storms.
  6. Hat or balaclava: Prevent heat from escaping by covering your head and ears in an insulating, wind blocking hat. On colder days, choose to wear a balaclava to cover up from head to neck. The less skin exposed, the better.
  7. Wool gloves and socks: Prevent frozen toes and fingers by choosing socks and gloves that provide insulation and warmth.
  8. Trail shoes or traction aids: Winter running calls for a shoe that has extra traction needed for slippery surfaces and uneven terrain. Pick a shoe designed for any surface, even if you’re only hitting the roads.
  9. Heat patches: For long runs, heat patches can easily slip inside gloves or shoes and can generate hours of heat.
  10. Lip balm and moisturizer: Cold weather easily dries out lips and skin. Use lip balm and moisturizer to prevent or repair chapped lips and cracked skin.

For more tips on how to prevent injuries, improve performance, and stay active throughout the winter, visit UPMC Sports Medicine or to make an appointment with one of our experts, please call 1-855-93-SPORT(77678).

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced program dedicated to treating, training, and inspiring athletes at levels, in all sports. Our physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports nutrition, and sports performance experts are dedicated to helping athletes and active people recover from injuries, and even prevent them. Read More