It snowed here…did I mention that? I think I might’ve.
When it snows 20 inches, my local YMCA closes for 4 days. When my local YMCA closes for 4 days, I have to use the dreadmill (stole that from one of my dailymile friends). When I have to use the dreadmill, I absolutely despise running.
None of those are good. Especially when I’m training for a half-marathon.
I run outside preferably, and the following are my must have running essentials for the winter:
1. Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor.
I really don’t like exercising without this. The Polar F6 keeps track of your time, your heart rate, and your calories burned. I pay attention to all three. Obviously, I watch the time to make sure I’m not slowing down or speeding up too much while running. The heart rate I pay attention to to make sure I’m not working myself too hard (or not hard enough). The calories I use to figure out how many Activity Points (for WW) I’ve earned. Note: There’s no “WW endorsed” guideline as to how many calories burned = how many Activity Points you’ve earned. I generally stick with close to 100 calories = 1 AP (this was widely accepted on the old WW plan).
2. Convertible Gloves/Mittens. Mine are similar to these, but I got them at WalMart for around $12. When it’s under 20 degrees I wear gloves, but today (13 degrees) I started out with them and by 1 mile they were off and in my pockets. My hands get hot.
3. Running tights. I have several of these. Some from WalMart, some from Target, some from JCPenney. I don’t really care which I wear – as long as they’re keepin my legs warm. I will say, today I wore the ones below from WalMart and my legs were pretty darn chilly when I got back, but it was cold…there’s only so much you can do.
4. Ear Warmers. These are a must. The one I wore today I made very easily with some scrap fleece fabric. Not the most adorable, but anything that keeps my ears warm!
5. Goody Stayput Headbands. I have about 10 of these, and they’re about the only thing that work. I do have to put a knot in them to make them a little smaller. Yay for no hair in my face. My other favorite Goody product? Stayput ponytail holders.
6. Layers. Depending on the temps. I go by the 20-degree rule. I dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer than it really is. Usually works. I hate wearing too much and as of yet I haven’t worn not enough. Base layer is a dri-tech shirt (I buy the ones from Target for around $12). Then I’ll add a light jacket and possibly a fleece vest or a wind-resistant jacket if it’s too cold/windy.
7. Reliable Shoes. Running shoes with traction. Most of the times my normal running shoes work great, but when there’s snow…you might fall on your face. Not good. Solution? YakTrax!!
I braved the roads to make a trip to CoMO to get these – the first store was out of them. So, Bass Pro to the rescue! They had one pair left (in my size! who’dve thought!) so I snatched them up!
My thoughts? Yay Yaktrax! I got the Yaktrax Pro version – supposedly sturdier than the “Walker” version. They worked great today! I never once felt like I’d fall on my face. Now, I did run a heck of a lot slower (like a minute slower per mile), but that’s probably because um….there was snow on the road – and quite a bit of slush in some areas. Either way, SOO much better than the tread—uh dreadmill.
Question of the day: Do you like running outdoors? What do you need to workout? Do you have any essentials? Am I missing anything that you totally can’t live without? I’m always up for suggestions 🙂