We made it to Winter 2020! The weather has turned cold. For those of us who still want to get out and run, here is the kit that will get me through the 2020 winter.
Rain Jackets - An essential for any runner. Rain jackets are not the cheapest item, but a decent one will not only keep you dry and will last too.
A sign of a good rain jacket are sealed seams, on the inside of the jacket the stitching is sealed preventing any water from seeping through. Take a look at the zips too, these should actually keep water out by being waterproof. Nicer details to look for are the weight of the jacket (I prefer mine nice and light) and things like a hood which will sit quite snug around the face or have adjustable straps, this will keep it on your head in the rain. I wear the Mizuno 20k jacket. It has a great price point for what you get.
As the weather gets more soggy so do things underfoot. Pavements can get a bit frosty and the trails turn into muddy fun. The right trainers will keep you upright and safe.
For trail shoes judge the uppers like you would normal road shoes. The soles are so important. There is a dizzying array of soles for a variety of surfaces. Some with huge lugs for super-muddy situations, to more shallow ones. Do have a think about what would be adequate grip for where you are planning on running. A good trail shoe won’t hold on to mud as you run. I run in Wave Daichi which have good grip for my day to day trails and a supportive but forgiving upper for when I’m running on the uneven trail surfaces.
A hybrid trainer is somewhere between a road shoe and trail shoe and great for routes where you'll be switching between the two surfaces. These would also be something I would wear if it was a bit frosty outside. They offer the cushioning of a road shoe with the extra security of more grip. I wear the Rider TT’s as my hybrid trainer.
The sun goes down pretty quickly these days (if we even get to see the sun!) Being visible is vital to runners safety in the dark. A decent head torch is a great investment. Check the Lumen rating (for running you want it to be over 300 Lumen if possible) and also see what the battery situation is. Rechargeable is obviously better and probably lighter. If you are planning a long run it’s not a bad idea to carry a spare battery or battery pack. For me comfort is a huge part of a good head torch, some can be bulky and heavy on your head. I’m currently running around with the Silva Trail Runner Free.
High Vis is also a great way to stay safe. Simple reflective bands around yourself whilst you run will help you been seen. Even if you are running along the pavements in town being visible is key to winter safety. Bike retailers are a good place to find lightweight Hi Vis.
Other things: I can get really warm in my body running but still have freezing cold hands in winter. I tend to opt for thin gloves. Something on your head is a good idea. Beanies might be your thing, I use a baseball cap out of preference to hold the pony tail back!
A buff if a great all rounder. Used in the past to keep hands warm when I've forgotten gloves. Keeps necks or heads warm and these days doubles up as a face covering.
I tend to have dry/clean trainers and a change of top in the car if I have driven somewhere to run. Getting straight out of the damp gear can really stave off the cold. Ladies, keeping a damp sports bra on post cold run has meant I’ve just not warmed up. Get out of that sports bra pronto! I’ve mastered the art of taking mine off under clothes as soon as I've finished a run!