Help a newbie prepare for winter running

What gear should I buy?

1 to 20 of 27 messages
18/09/2012 at 07:19
I started running in the summer. My training for next years London marathon starts in earnest on Oct 1st. I can not afford any breaks come rain or shine. I want to get all the gear I will need to run over winter now. I only own shorts and highly ventilated short sleeve running tops. Can you tell me what I should buy? So far I have bought the following: 1x full length running bottoms 1x full sleeve running top 1x reflective bib 1x alpkit gamma head torch Obviously I have trainers. I will get a second pair so I can let one dry while other is wet. I expect to run 4-5 days per week. What else do I need and how many of each item do you recommend?
18/09/2012 at 08:38

Gloves, extra long sleeved top & a windproof gilet and you are sorted.

18/09/2012 at 08:45

i have this - it should be fine for running as well as cycling right?

Edited: 18/09/2012 at 08:45
18/09/2012 at 08:53
Might also want to consider something to keep your ears warm.
18/09/2012 at 09:00

the key for winter running is keeping your core and torso warm - and the best way to do that is via windproof kit.  best is a gilet as EC has suggested.   gloves and a running hat/buff/earwarmers are also essential for the coldest of days.   I don't bother with tights and stick to shorts - the act of running is enough to keep the legs warm.

getting wet and cold can make running hard work and if that happens either cut the run short or do a treadmill run indoors.   waterproof tops generally don't work as they keep as much sweat in as keep rain out so you get very uncomfy and in my view are to be avoided.   if it's not to cold but raining just get wet!

18/09/2012 at 09:46

I love my waterproof jackets but then I also like thermal tights when it's really cold! I'd personally rather have a jacket than a gilet as you can tie them around your waist if you get hot! I don't do treadmills or shortening runs I'm out whatever the weather! other than that as the others have said, hat/buff, gloves, maybe something like yaktrax for the snow if we get any this season!

18/09/2012 at 10:04

Thin fleece gloves are good at the start of a run, but they usually end up stuffed down my tights after a few miles.

I find a hat makes me too hot, but a fleece ear-warmer is good for keeping the ears from freezing.

If I start to get a bit too warm with that, I just push it up a little bit, so that the bottoms of my ears are exposed, and that is enough to cool me down again.

I don't tend to wear more than a long-sleeved top on my body.

18/09/2012 at 11:52

I generally carry a very small rucksack (old camel back pack) with me in winter then when it gets too hot I can divest hat and gloves and pertex top into that and carry on.  I could start without any of it but then tend to run too fast before I'm warmed up with the potential for injuries.

As for what do you need, apart from kit the most important thing is motivation - it can get VERY hard going out when its cold and wet and you still ache from you last run etc. Setting a training plan and getting in the mindset of sticking to it or preferably getting someone to run with so you can't let them down.

Good luck.

18/09/2012 at 12:14

Wtf? Woolly bobble hat. X-country stylee tiny shorts and singlet. Good slathering of whale blubber.

Works for me down to minus 10.

You're all a bunch of jessies!

18/09/2012 at 12:25
Muttley wrote (see)

Wtf? Woolly bobble hat. X-country stylee tiny shorts and singlet. Good slathering of whale blubber.

Works for me down to minus 10.

You're all a bunch of jessies!


And you sound like you are about 10 years old. Please don't feed the trolls. The other replies have been very helpful and I have ordered:

  • Another long sleeve jersey 
  • Headband (I think a hat will be too hot for me - but if i need one i will run in the beanie i wear under my cycle helmet if i can find it)
  • Gloves


I will use my cycling gilet if I need it. I have worn waterproof tops when riding my bike but i end up sweating loads in them and would rather just get wet from the rain. The gilet has a mesh back so sweat should not be a huge issue.   I have a training plan. I agree, motivation will be the biggest issue and the plan should help as well as the fear of failure (the very same fear i am really suffering from right now due to having under-trained for a bike ride this Saturday).   Thanks for your help. If you have any more suggestions please keep them coming.

Edited: 18/09/2012 at 12:26
18/09/2012 at 12:42

Oi!  Muttley isn't a troll - he's a long-standing and respected member of this forum

Where do you get whale blubber these days, Mutters?  Harrods?

18/09/2012 at 12:44

Sorry Muttley. I was just feeling sensitive - wait.. i AM a jessie /sigh.

18/09/2012 at 12:56

Just to let you know I've used a Gore cycling gilet for a couple of years as my main cold weather outer layer and it's great for this.  I was so impressed I picked up a gore running jacket in the spring sales.  The fit of both products is very similar, there is really very little difference between them.

I think you've got everything covered (pardon the pun), the only other piece of kit not mentioned is socks.  My feet don't suffer too badly in the winter (especially compared to cycling where they used to freeze) but you'll want to have a couple of extra pairs so that you've always got dry ones.

18/09/2012 at 13:01

Long-standing I can accept ... but how dare you call me a respected member of this forum

(Btw goose fat from Waitrose is a good substitute ... although some would say I have enough blubber of my own)

18/09/2012 at 13:26

stutyr - thanks that is good to hear. I am really glad i can use it for running. The thing cost so much I am glad I will get extra use out of it

18/09/2012 at 14:13
Muttley wrote (see)


Long-standing I can accept ... but how dare you call me a respected member of this forum

(Btw goose fat from Waitrose is a good substitute ... although some would say I have enough blubber of my own)

I keep the goose fat for roasting potatoes

19/09/2012 at 13:36

Sealskinz waterproof gloves and peaked beanie hat work well for me.  Reflective windproof gillet to keep the core warm, and leggings, preferably tights.  I find anything that has any spare to flap when wet feels very cold.

21/09/2012 at 08:04

Normal running tights, 2 vests and a long sleeve top (layers seem to trap the heat more) ear warmer and gloves. I use a variation on the whale blubber and use vaseline (the supermarket cheap version) on my legs as they can go a little purple if out for longer than an hour, also helps to keep you a little warmer.

21/09/2012 at 09:19

Are the mesh running shoes cold when winter running?

21/09/2012 at 09:41

I wear layers and that seems to be a great way of keeping warm but my issue with waterproof Gilets. I've yet to find one that is either truly waterproof or will not result in me drowning in a pool of my own sweat. I'll have a google for the Gore gilet to see what it offers.

@Muttley/Tortuga - regarding rubbing fat on your body. I know someone who was based in the artic circle for a while and it was common to rub lard on your legs to keep them warm so your whale blubber isnt too wrong....

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