This time last year, I was hopping on a plane to avoid the sleet and snow that was coming down in the UK. I escaped to Australia and thought I’d avoided any further snow. I couldn’t have been more wrong, we had more snow last year than I have ever experienced in the south of England before.
And although it felt pretty mild on my run this morning, I am not holding out hope that it’s not going to get a lot colder over the next 2-3 months.
With that in mind, it’s time to update my own winter running wardrobe and share some of last year’s favourites with you. When it comes to cold weather gear, I personally think it’s worth investing in a few key pieces that will stand up to the elements, keep you warm but not too hot, and mean that no run will ever be too tough.
My legs are usually the coldest bit, in particular my thighs – not sure if that’s normal but after my 16 miler in NYC, my legs were bright red!
I have just ordered these Toasty Tech Tight from Lululemon to add to my collection of fleecy tights after falling in love with them in NYC. My favourites in my current collection are the Brooks Threshold Tights and the Sweaty Betty thermodynamic leggings (I actually have a really old version of these but they still work!)
Living in the UK means you need to have outerwear for every eventuality; light drizzle, torrential rain, hail storm, snow, wind…did I mention rain? But it’s so hard to find breathable, waterproof jackets. I made the mistake of wearing a very waterproof jacket for the Royal Parks Half earlier in the year that seemed to keep the moisture in as well as out!
My absolute favourite is the Down for it All Vest that I bought last week (lets call it a Christmas present to myself) after running in my J Crew gilet for months. I am obsessed – but very serious question, do you have to wash it after every wear? Because I definitely haven’t! For those not as Lulu obsessed as I am, New Balance have a great looking Thermal Vest.
After loving the vest SO much, I’ve also ordered the Down for it All Pullover in the Lululemon sale so be prepared to see that all over my Instagram this winter! The Nike AeroLayer jacket looks really smart and stylish whilst this Under Armour ColdGear run storm jacket is very similar to one I have and love.
Rain jackets I actually find more difficult to get the right one, and my go-to old one from Sweaty Betty sadly isn’t available anymore, however this Nike Shield jacket is the most similar I could find (and cheaper!). It’s wind and water proof, with ventilation to ensure you don’t getting wetter on the inside than out, as has happened to me on more than one occasion.
When looking for a good long sleeve running top, I always choose ones with thumb holes to pull down (or tuck into my gloves) to keep warm. I want the fabric to be long enough that it won’t ride up and expose flesh and cover some of my bottom too.
The two warmest long sleeve tops/jumpers that are pretty much worn on repeat during winter are a Merino wool polo neck and a Nike Hyperwarm tunnel neck top. Both are amazingly snuggly, and actually have to be saved for the coldest days so that I don’t overheat. They also are staples in my ski wardrobe!
Icebreaker have a Merino half-zip in the Wiggle sale, and Sweaty Betty do a gorgeous teal Merino running polo neck (the black one is also in the sale!)
If these pics are anything to go by, I need to buy some more thermal headgear! The one I’m wearing is an old Sweaty Betty ski headband (I actually wrote a whole post on headbands, hats and caps earlier this year). I love this Star Headband from Crew or for a plainer headband, this black fleece is perfect, or H&M’s light pink version.
Sockwise, my feet always seem to be cold and wet, however Merino socks like these from Inov-8 seem to do a good job. However as someone who perpetually loses socks, I tend to not be able to find my warm socks and have to make do with any old pair I can find (often unmatching!)
I recently shared my quest to find gloves that would actually keep me warm and am going to try them out for it’s own dedicated post. Stay tuned..
What is your favourite piece of winter running kit? Or the item highest on your ‘need’ list if the conditions turn *arctic* in the UK again? And for those of you who have to deal with actual snow, ice, storms every winter – what is your must-have kit??