Preparing to Run in the Cold

As some of you may or may not know, Rachel and I are preparing to run the Houston Marathon in January. I'll be running the full marathon (joined by my lovely friends Liz and Jake) and Rachel will be running the half marathon (joined by my lovely boyfriend). Running a race at the end of January means that the majority of our training takes place in November, December, and January. Rachel won't experience a big change in temperature during these months, but for me it's about to get really cold outside. This will be my third winter running outside in northern Germany, so I've learned a few lessons along the way about what to wear when it's cold outside. Here's a round up of what you need for winter running as well as a few cute options.

I've been following Mary's guidelines for what to wear according to weather for the last few years and it's always worked well for me, although I only wear gloves if the temp is below 40.

I recently bought the rain on train on tights from lululemon and I absolutely love them. The fit is great (I love the higher waistbands on lululemon tights), they're very warm, and the fact that they are water-resistant is great for the often wet north German weather. As a petite girl, I also enjoy the free tailoring that lululemon offers for their products. There's nothing more annoying than 10 inches of bunched up material around your ankles, and with free tailoring on the tights, I no longer have to worry about that.

3 years ago, when I wasn't sure I was ready to commit to more expensive running clothes, I bought a winter running jacket from H&M. Amazingly, I am still using that same jacket today. So for those of you who were wondering, H&M workout clothes can be surprisingly good quality considering the low price! However, I would like to upgrade to something a bit more wind/rain friendly. Here are a couple of options from Lululemon and Brooks that I've been considering.

It's important to have a good warm base layer under your jacket. Most of my long sleeve running shirts are from H&M and once again, they have worked really well for me and lasted for years. Here I am getting ready to run the Hamburg marathon in 2014, wearing one of my favourite long sleeve shirts from H&M.

Here are a couple of other cute options you can currently find at H&M.

As a woman with long(ish) hair and a small head, I find hats to be difficult, but something is necessary to keep the ears and at least part of the head warm. I like a good thick headband. Once again, a Lululemon product, the Run and Done ear warmer, is my favourite.

When the temps get low enough for gloves, I put on a pair of children's ski gloves that I've had since I was in middle school. For now at least, those work just fine for me. If you're on the hunt for a pair, these looks pretty great.

Last but not least, one needs a good thick pair of socks when running outside in the cold. For my long runs especially, I prefer compression socks, and my favourite brand hands down is Pro Compression. They're the best fitting and functioning compression socks I've tried. Plus, they always have a lot of fun colors and designs to choose from! Pink argyle, anyone?