The Marathon Diaries: Cold-Weather Training Essentials


Yes, I know, the temperature outside is a balmy 70 degrees, so I should be giving you tips on what to run in this spring. But, to be honest, I've just started testing the warm-weather apparel so I thought I'd give you feedback on items that I can comfortably call “tried and true.” Plus, just because summer is on the horizon doesn't mean there aren't 40-degree mornings when an extra layer makes everything just right. And, you can always mix-and-match these items into your summer running wardrobe. –Alicia Carr

1. Helly Hansen's Multi Graphic long-sleeve, $45

This silky-smooth baselayer features Helly Hansen's HH One technology, which basically wicks moisture away from the skin. For fast-paced activities like running, this is ideal. I always stay dry (no matter how long my runs are) and the fabric actually feels cool on my skin, which is refreshing during the shoulder seasons when it's possible to overheat. Flat seams make it chafe-free and UPF 50 makes it a great protector from the sun. Plus, I like the flowery print.

2. Icebreaker Chase Beanie, $35

Over the winter, icy-cold runs mean you're never leaving the house hatless. I find that most of my beanies are too bulky for endurance sports. That's why I like the Chase Beanie: it's slimmed-down, minimalist profile makes it lightweight. I barely notice it when it's on my head, but the Merino wool makes sure my ears and scalp are warm.

3. Lululemon Wunder Under Crop, $68

Capris are a great cross-over product for going from winter into spring into summertime training. These are thick enough where you won't get cold legs if the mercury dips, but the capri length gives you a little breathing room in warmer climes. Like the Helly Hansen baselayer (see number 1), these pants have flat seams for no chafing. They also feature Lulu's four-way stretch material so they are never restrictive when it comes to moving. My favorite feature? The stash pocket in the waistband that holds my house key or even money for if I happen to pass an adorable boutique along my route. Completely unplanned, I swear.

4. Moving Comfort Phoebe Bra, $36

There's nothing better than a comfortable bra. Especially when you're running. This simple, pullover style is breathable with perforated mesh under the arms. The racerback style fits well under most sport tanks and there are no poorly-placed seams that will show through from under your shirt. This should be a staple item in your running ensemble–winter or summer.

5. Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Glove, $27

When your fingers are feeling numb (which means you actually won't feel them at all), you'll want something like these Power Stretch Gloves which are smooth on the outside but fleecy on the inside. They might seem thick but my hands never got hot thanks to the Polartec material which is very breathable. These gloves also came in handy (har-har!) for pretty much everything else this winter like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and just bobbing around town.

6. Patagonia Houdini Full-Zip jacket, $125

Some windshells can act like a plastic bag and make you drenched. If yours does this, go donate it. There's better out there, like the ultra-light Houdini which works as a barrier to the elements (wind, rain, cold) without creating a sauna-like environment. A DWR-coating makes it water resistant–sometimes I wear it over a tank top in the summer when rain clouds threaten overhead; it never gets too hot. The side pocket–great for your iPod, ID, cell phone–moonlights as a stuff sack for the jacket itself which makes this jacket also an ideal travel accessory, as does the weight–four ounces.