Don't let all of those hard-earned miles you logged this summer fade away just because the days are getting shorter. It's as easy as trading in your shorts for some cold-weather gear, or upgrading your old sweatshirts with the holes.
"The key to a faster pace is continual training," says Kathy Butler, a two-time Olympian and coach. "Don't let the weather stop you, once you are out there things are just fine. The key is to stay dry." With that in mind, here are five products to help you keep logging the miles once the temperature starts to fall.
The most important part of your body to keep warm is your core. It is what keeps the blood pumping everywhere else. Protect it. The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket is a multifunctional top layer that can adapt depending on the conditions. With built-in wind protection, water resistance, and a high collar, it will keep the elements at bay. Even better, the sleeves can zip off for warmer days and be stashed in the large back pocket. With several vents, you can adjust cooling as needed, and the new BioViz designs enhance visibility. "I love this coat. It's perfect for cold-weather training," says Lee Troop, a three-time Olympian and owner of Fleet Feet Sports.
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You need something that will keep you warm in the beginning of the run, but won't overheat you later on once you have logged a few miles. "Breathability and wicking are the key to any winter activities," says Butler. "If your body can't breathe, you are in real trouble." The Icebreaker Merino Comet Long Sleeve Crewe is the perfect shirt to wear when sweating in the cold. Made with 87 percent Merino wool, it naturally repels the stench of sweat and will retain needed heat regardless of how sweaty you get. The long sleeves have thumbhole cuffs to help close any gaps to outside air. Added bonus — it's perfect for the ski run.
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Winter running means you'll likely be running in the dark. Nathan LightFit BlackLight Vest will help drivers see you, even with dirty windshields and blinding headlights. When the three white LEDs on the front, and three red LEDs on the back are paired with the reflective tape, drivers will see you from over 500 feet away. "It might seem silly, but I would say being visible is the most important thing in the winter," Troop says. "If a car hits you, everything you have done is gone."
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SUGOi Firewall LT Gloves / $35
"Your hands are constantly moving through the wind as you run," says Butler. "While not an issue in summer, in winter, they can go numb quickly." Coming from British Columbia, SUGOi knows something about unforgiving winters. The Firewall LT Glove incorporates wind-resistant fabrics that keep out the chill but allow venting so your hands don't get clammy. The thumb-wiping surface and touchscreen compatibility make them perfect for cold nights.
"You need grip in the winter. You never know what you are going to encounter when out," Troop says. "I recommend a good pair of trail running shoes. They are rugged, yet offer performance." The Brooks Cascadia 10 are perfect shoes to have underfoot when dealing with uncertain terrain. The pair's four-point pivot system means you stay upright and the moisture management mesh helps keep water out of the shoe. At 11.6 ounces, you will hardly be able to tell the difference between them and your summer shoes. Pair them with the Balega Enduro V-Tech Quarter socks ($14) for added comfort.
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