This weekend I finally got the chance (er...motivation) to go for some runs outside. Last weekend I failed at running, I blame it on my lingering sickness + overnight shifts + Halloween parties. Sunday afternoon after visiting the grocery store I decided to suit up and get moving. But before I went I had to sort through my closet and drag out all my cold weather running gear. And that is the inspiration behind this post.
I want to talk a little bit about the gear that I have for running. I am often a little disappointed that running has become this consumer sport. When I line up at races I am surrounded by runners dressed head to toe in Under Armour, Nike, Lululemon or other really high end stuff.
My favorite part about running is that you don't need good stuff to win. After Alpine Ski Racing for 7 years I got really tired of needing $700 boots, $2000 skis, and a $100 wax job to win. (Even though I didn't have these things I still won, I can thank my thrifty dad for that, who was also one heck of a ski tech!)
So here are my absolutely favorite Fall weather running clothes:
$10 Wool Headband with a Fleece lining.
I spotted this gem at the student bookstore, and promptly charged it to my student account. (Thanks Mom and Dad...or student loans!) The wool blocks the wind and insulates, while the fleece makes it so I don't itch my head off while running and it adds some warmth too.
Free with my purchase of 2010 football tickets Long-Sleeve polyester t-shirt.
I now have two of these since my roommate gave me one! YES! The best shirt for running are the less involved ones. All those shirts with complicated supports and seams only seem to ride up while running and the seams cause major chafing on long runs. Not worth the money! I love these shirts in particular because the fabric breathes, is light-weight, and dries super fast. You can usually find really cheap 100% polyester shirts like this one on sale racks for under $10.
$50 Under Armour Lined Leggings.
Now these are my one "splurge". Good shorts, capris, and leggings are pretty essential to running comfortably. Once you experience the pain of chafing in weird places you will agree. That being said I have had these leggings since my Sophomore year in high school, that's about 6 years ago. These are also the ONLY pair of winter running leggings I have. You don't need a huge variety of gear to run in, once you buy one thing that works it lasts! (I originally bought these as long underwear for skiing- I still use them for that too!) My dad still runs in leggins from before I was born...that's 20+ years old. You don't need to buy expensive leggings like I did, I'm sure there are a cheap Target version of these, and I have also been known to layer two pairs of regular leggings for a run (laundry day strikes!).
$90 Asics Running Shoes (GT-2160 or GT-2150)
Running shoes are the one area where you want to continually renew your gear. After about 300-500 miles on a pair of shoes you want to buy some new ones. Otherwise you will suffer the consequences. Running on old shoes I developed a nasty hip pain, my roommate's BF ran a marathon in old shoes and shredded his patellas. Youd don't need to buy the really expensive shoes, expensive shoes with excessive support have been shown to actually cause MORE injuries than less supportive cheaper shoes. I suggest these basic Asics for beginning runners, pretty much my entire cross country team in high school ran in them. I run in them and I have a knock-knee problems when I'm running (for skiing I had to get $300 inserts because of my knock-knees, they wanted to make sure I wouldn't tear my ACL). Find a pair of shoes that fall in the middle range for support and cushion that work for you and stick with them.
$1 Magic Mittens
I love these beyond belief. Cold hands make running miserable. These mittens/gloves are perfect. They keep your hands warm at the start of your run, and then in the middle when your hands inevitably get sweaty and hot you can take them off and easily tuck them into your pant's waistband. Because they are so light-weight you don't even notice them in your waistband.
$15 Timex Sport Watch
Would I love a GPS, heart rate, mileage tracking Garmin running watch? Yes. Do I need one? Not at all. Some of the very best runners, at any distance, don't even run with watches. They run based on feeling. I would love to get to that level of self awareness while running, but I am a novice. I competitive novice at that, I love to know how long my runs take me so, for now, I love my running watch. I've had this watch forever, I have no idea when I got it but I think it was freshman year in high school. I have changed the batteries once, seriously this watch is a trooper. It works great for track/speed workouts as well because you press one button and it will record your splits.
Other gear not pictured:
$17 Target Sports Bra
Ok some are less fortunate than me and do not have a chest built for running (i.e. I am almost as flat as a pancake) But for me these cheap bras work. I have even found some ugly colored ones on sale for $7-10!
I get my socks at Target, I have no idea the brand but they are very light weight ankle socks with ribbing around the arch. I love them. They are tight and fitted, thus they never rub against my feet on long runs or roll down into my shoes. Perfection.
And that is everything I wear on lovely Fall runs! Running is the perfect low impact activity, it's cheap, requires no fossil fuels (hellooo ski lifts!) and you can run virtually anywhere, anytime. Which is why it is my current sport of choice.
Are you a runner?