Cold Weather Running

I love when people ask if I run when it is cold outside.  I giggle now, but I used to be one of those people who hated to be outside when it was cold.  Yes, I still despise being cold, but I think that I am becoming acclimated because I am finding my cold weather runs more & more enjoyable.  Part of the enjoyment is probably due to being properly outfitted in gear that is made for running in the cold. 

Last year was the first year that I really ran outside through the winter and it was a doozy.  Not only did we run through snow and ice, but temps that dipped below zero, too.  Then, just when we thought it was over in the spring, monsoon season hit, but that is another post.  I had some cold weather gear and it definitely did the job, but it was time to upgrade & replace some of the stuff that was worn out. 

First on the agenda was insulated tights.  I had been running in Nike tights, but I really wanted something that was insulated with compression, too.  I have some CW-X compression capris and love them, so I thought I would check out their insulated tights.  They have some really nice ones, but at $115/a piece, I decided to look elsewhere first.  I finally settled on Under Armour Cold Gear Compression tights in black/pink.


These tights were $59.99 (just about half the cost of the CW-X), so I was able to buy a matching top, too (review to come later). More about the tights:

  • Brushed knit traps heat, keeping you warm and comfortable when you need to be active in the cold
  • Lightweight, 4-way stretch construction improves mobility and accelerates dry time
  • Anti-odor technology prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes, keeping your leggings fresher, longer
  • Flatlock seams feel smooth and prevent chafing
  • Envelope waistband provides ultimate fit and comfort
  • Stitching color matches the color blocking on calf for an extra hit of style
  • Polyester/Elastane
  • Imported

I took these out for a 3 mile run on Tuesday morning and was very pleased!  While they don’t seem to have as much compression as my CW-X capris, they had more than my Nike tights.  They were very comfortable and kept me plenty warm (temp was roughly 25 or so).  I liked that they weren’t too tight at the waist, as that drives me nuts!  I ordered a size M (previous experience with UA and knew their S is too small for me).  For comparison, I wear a S in both Nike & CW-X.  Another bonus – these tights were plenty long enough for me.  Being 5’7” tall, I often worry that pants like this will be too short. 

Next up, gloves/mittens.  After my purchase Monday night, I currently own 4 pair of running specific gloves/mittens. It took me that long to get it right, so I am hoping this review saves someone some money.  I have Raynaud’s Phenomenon, which really drives me nuts when I run outside in the cold.  Ask my MIT friends, they have heard me complain many times.  I felt like I had tried everything and every combo out there and was on the verge of buying heated gloves (don’t laugh) until I decided to try one last option – Brook’s Utopia mittens.   While mittens aren’t my first choice, I was desperate, so I bought them.  Keeping the fingers together in one compartment is the best way to keep them warm.  These mittens were $44.99 (and worth every penny).



More about the mittens:

Waterproof/wind-resistant shell with removable Wanganui™ Fleece interior mitten handles all conditions and features incredibly soft and breathable film lamination for weather protection.

• Fit: Fitted
• Waterproof/wind-resistant shell
• 100% moisture-transfer liner
• Removable Wanganui Fleece interior

I wore my new mittens on their maiden voyage Tuesday morning.  The temperature, as mentioned above was roughly 25 degrees.  I am pleased to report that my hands were sweating by mile 2.  While some may think this is gross, I am thrilled!  Not having frozen, numb fingers was such a nice treat!  These mittens have a fleece lining and outer shell and I had both pieces on.  I may have been able to do without the shell, but I wanted to test them out.  Previous runs in similar temperatures with Brooks HVAC gloves and Sugoi wind resistant mittens (both at the same time) still resulted in frozen, numb fingers. 

I think I may just be a tad excited about winter cold weather running this year!!  Or, I am just plain crazy.

***These items were unfortunately purchased with my own money and therefore have left me with no money in my wallet (just kidding).  Any companies wishing for us to test future samples for review are much appreciated! 

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