July 6, 2022

6 Winter Running Must-Haves

Somehow Vancouver was hit by an awful (by our standards) cold snap this winter. Naturally I’ve been doing whatever I can to stay warm on training runs which means layers, layers, layers. Here are some things I’ve relied on to continue running in such undesirable conditions.

This is not a sponsored post. I received all of these items as gifts or purchased them myself.

Here’s the list…

  • Carhartt fleece hat and mask combo – My mom gave me this awesome hat for Christmas and it has kept me warm for at least 3 runs already. It works best in temperatures of 0 or below 0 Celsius. You’re covered everywhere… the mask is easy enough to pull up and down to allow your face to air out. It still gets too sweaty if I keep the mask on the whole time. I love this though and will always bring it on a really cold run… especially the long ones.
  • Lululemon vest – If you noticed my running photos on Instagram lately, you have probably seen this vest on most of them. I’ve been wearing it regularly because it keeps my torso very warm and has lots of pockets so I can bring home everything I need. It also keeps my phone from dying due to cold.

  • Fleece running pants from Costco – This (see above) was such a great find. I think it was only about $20 and it’s the warmest pants I have. I will have to go back to see if there are more so I can buy an extra pair.
  • Embrocation cream – I learned about embrocation from my cyclocross-loving boyfriend. It is a muscle warming cream best for cold weather training. During my first cold run of the season, my legs were frozen… I felt like I was dragging big blocks of ice around. I decided to use it on my next run and I loved it! It is not a magic cream that keeps you from getting frostbitten so keep in mind to dress appropriately for your climate! The only downside is that your muscles get really hot once you get into a warm environment… and especially in a hot shower. Double trouble since water also triggers the heating aspect of the cream. Ouch! At least the discomfort doesn’t last too long 🙂
  • Spibelt and ziplock bag – It’s a known fact that iPhones can’t withstand the cold. In order to keep it warm, I’ve been putting it inside a ziplock bag (to stay waterproof) and into my Spibelt which keeps it in close contact with my body heat. It keeps my phone from turning into a brick. Just limit phone use during the run as it can cool down very very quickly and potentially die.
  • Adidas Energy Boost ATR shoesThese trail shoes were an impulse purchase because I wanted to start trail running. Who knew these would save my feet from wet weather on the road too? I wore these on snowy and rainy days and they kept my feet relatively dry. They’re not perfect but if you’re not submerging your feet, they should be just fine. The downside is that they’re a little heavy and clunky.

I also have another, perhaps the most important, winter accessory on the way. I bought a pair of Kahtoola Nanospikes from MEC. These things are hard to find right now but I got lucky and managed to get one shipped from Quebec. You wear these spikes over your running shoes and they should keep you from slipping on ice. I read lots of great reviews. Most seemed to like this better than Yaktrax which was what swayed me to get it. I’ll get it in a few days and I’ll let you know how it goes. I definitely could’ve used it on my last night run… but with my luck, all the ice will melt by the time I get them lol!

What are your favourite winter accessories? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!

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