Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cold Weather Running

I've been reading a number of blog posts lately about the joys and challenges of cold weather running. It's been a colder-than-usual winter thus far on the East Coast, so I've had to pull out the cold weather gear earlier than usual. I actually prefer running when the temps are in the teens and 20s, compared to the 90 degree/ 90 percent humidity we get in July and August, but you have got to have the right gear. And a lot of magazines and websites suggest that you've got to spend a lot of money for that gear. Not the case! Here are some great sources of inexpensive cold-weather running gear:

1. Target -- really. My warmest fleece zip-up was purchased at Target three years ago for $10 on sale. I used it on my coldest run, in Long Island when the temp was 11 degrees F, with the wind blowing hard, over a silk undershirt. Halfway through my run, I had to unzip the jacket because I was too hot. They probably don't have the same bonded fleece jacket at Target anymore, but do check out their workout clothes.

2. Lands End. Check out their overstocks page for great deals, especially now, on fleece, long underwear, gloves, hats, and earbands. If you are a small woman, their larger kids' sizes will fit you (check the size guide), and are usually cheaper. I bought a great wind-resistant fleece earband from their kids' catalog for about $6, which is my go-to on my coldest morning runs. I also regularly turn to a long-sleeved silk undershirt which I purchased from the kids' catalog for $10, more than ten years ago (OK, it has holes in the armpits, but nobody sees those...). Wish I had bought more of them!

3. LL Bean. Obviously, great quality always, and excellent customer service. Sign up for a LL Bean credit card, and get free shipping and free returns. I just ordered (yesterday) some long underwear, on sale for $18, which I plan to wear under running tights. I also bought wind-resistant fleece mittens from their kids' catalog, which I wear over glove liners (source: Athleta). They also have a good headlamp for about $30, for those of us who run early or late in the day in the wintertime and need to be visible. Check their online sales now, while the getting is good! (A little off-topic, but their coolmax t-shirts are wonderful for summer workouts and indoor (treadmill) runs -- good quality fabric that feels almost like cotton.)

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