Running into the Holidays & Cold: A Guide for Runners & Gift Ideas
My alarm went off at 5:28 am this morning and after doing a quick glimpse at the freezing temp and windy conditions the bed beckoned me back to sleep until 6:15 am. It’s not me giving up my speed work, it’s simply delaying it until the conditions are slightly more favorable. Unfortunately today, favorable doesn’t seem to be in the vocabulary, and despite the fact that after tomorrow we get a slight reprieve from freezing and windy it’s time to face the music: COLD IS COMING, RUNNERS PREPARE.
Now some people love to run in the cold and that is all well and good, you go do your thing. I however, need everything in a streamlined order to tackle the harsher miles. Proper pre-run fueling, correct layers, and warm recovery techniques, so without further ado my favorite cold weather gear & products:
1. Pre-Run Fuel: Cinnamon spice oatmeal. There is nothing like some hearty oatmeal to get your whole food carbs before you hit the outdoor conditions. You have to plan ahead, but like with anything it’s worth it to get the whole nutrients this gives. Here’s a quick recipe:
Homemade Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
1/2 cup steel cut, gluten free oats (I like Vitacost brand)
1/2 organic Gala or Honey-crisp apple
pinch of salt and cinnamon
On low-med heat add a dab of butter to a fry pan and let it coat the base. Once melted down add you diced up apples, cinnamon, and salt (sometimes I add some pumpkin spice as well). Mix apples until coated with spice and let simmer on stove for 10 minutes. In the last five minutes add your 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of water and let it cook on low-medium heat until water is removed. Add in your spice covered apples and let it simmer on low heat for two minutes. Enjoy!
2. Layer Up: Nike and The North Face have the best base layers in my opinion, but you also need to accessorize. Here’s all my favorite gear I ran in during the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon which was a crisp 36 degrees, no windchill.
- Top: Warm Long Sleeve Baselayer from The North Face
- Bottoms: Nike Pro HyperWarm Leggings from Nike
- Gloves: Ulti-Mitt from Saucony
- Socks: Two layers of Balega Silver or Enduro
- Jacket: Once it get’s really cold you’ll definitely need that extra layer – check out the Women’s Shelbe Raschel Hoodie
3. Carrying on those longer runs:
- Hot Hands – usually despite gloves the wind still whips through, these long-lasting hand warmers will keep your fingers from going numb.
- Nathan Handheld – when it get’s cold it’s hard to motivated to hydrate, but it’s important nonetheless. The 12oz is my favorite, but you can range from 10-18oz
- Foxelli Headlamp – we obviously know it’s darker for longer through the winter and while my husband doesn’t love when I go it alone solo there are opportunities for group night/morning running and that means headlamp. This one is basic, but comfortable and does the trick!
- Nuun Hydration – This is one of the biggest ways to help get you those electrolytes without having to fumble around for salt sticks, or different fluids. Just drop a tab into your handheld and keep going.
- Nourishing Food – I’m going to bring it back up again, but Run Fast. Eat Slow will fit the bill for this every single time.
- Foam Roller or R-8 Roller – you might be familiar with a foam roller, and can get a basic one off Amazon here. The R-8 Roller is a more advanced system that you can move to those hard to reach areas while on the go for a more active recovery. They are pricey, but the work wonders in recovery.
- Yoga Classes – Corepower is probably my favorite with a broad range of hot-yoga offerings, but I’ve heard great things about YogaWorks (formerly Infinity Yoga) as well. Wherever you may be geographically (there are lists everywhere of great yoga studios), I have found that a consistent yoga practice keeps your muscles healthy, your core strong, and your stress down. Gift a membership to really anyone – we probably should all yoga more.
Do you feel more prepared already? Does this help with gift ideas? Do you have any different suggestions? Let me know!