Although the weather in Ottawa has been unseasonably warm and dry – there is no avoiding it, winter is coming. Winter in Ottawa can be brutal: lots of snow, ice and very cold temperatures. Although I have to admit that I tend to avoid running outside on the really cold and icy days, I have run in temperatures below -20C and last year I actually enjoyed a run or two in the snow. If you want to run an early spring race like Around the Bay or Boston, winter running is part of the game.
There are a number of strategies that you can take in order to get yourself out there and run outside. My number one strategy is to go out and run with friends. Last year, I went on a number of runs at lunch time with some staff and students and for whatever reason, running with other people made the temperature feel not so bad. There are a number of group runs available and if you feel up for a challenge, a winter race!
Another winter running strategy is to have a warm beverage waiting for you at home for after your run. Maybe on a long run day, a trip to Starbucks or wherever you get your special coffee is in order.
One last thing to consider when you are starting to prepare for winter running is your winter running gear. You do not need lots of winter gear, but you need enough for the varying weather you will encounter. Generally, I have a few pairs of running tights, several long sleeved shirts, various kinds of running jackets and good quality hats/gloves/anything to cover exposed skin. The colder it is, the more layers I have one but typically I just have a pair of tights, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket and I’m set.
Brook’s has a number of great options for your winter running gear. Brook’s sent me a couple of items to try out including:
Fiona Sports Bra (ok – not so much winter related but a different kind of sports bra!)
The Distance Long Sleeve Shirt is perfect for a base layer but also great on its own as well. The shirt is semi-fitted which I like because I do have a bit of a tummy and really don’t like restricting tops. The material is a Dri-Layer burst fabric that is super soft unlike some tech fabrics. The fabric is also odor resistant which for most of us runners, is a very good thing. I have found some of my tech shirts get that awful ‘sweat smell’ after awhile.
The shirt does not have thumb holes, so if you need thumb holes, this shirt may not be for you. It fits true to size, but again is semi-fitted, so it does fit a bit loose. But as you can see in the picture above, it is still flattering. Personally, I love the colour of this shirt! It matches my Glycerins! Like most Brook’s gear – there is a Run Happy message on the clothing:
The Streaker Tights are something different. All of my other tights are black, so having a bit of colour is a nice change. There is an ombre colour design that gives the tights a more funky look. However, there are horizontal strips which might not be the most flattering. The tights are made out of DryLayer Adapt fabric that is moisture wicking and shapes to your body for a custom fit. However, the forms to your body is something I’m not really liking about the Streaker tights. When I opened the package, I thought that the tights seemed a bit small. I order a size small which is my go-to tights size as mediums tend to get a bit baggy after awhile. When I wear the tights, they fit fine, but feel a bit tight around my quads/butt area. However, the waist feels just right. Usually when something is too small for me, I get the whole muffin-top thing, but I don’t with these tights. The tights fit really well on the waist and do not bunch up in a certain area (if you know what I mean). Looking at the size chart, I could totally go either way with a small or a medium, so next time I would probably size up. When running with the Streaker tights, they feel just fine and don’t constrict at all. Maybe it is just the different kind of material?
Moving Comfort’s Fiona Sports Bra is unlike all the other sports bras I own. All of my other sports bras are the “pull over your head” kind that isn’t adjustable like standard bras. The Fiona Sports Bra is the best of both worlds: supportive for all your active sports, but adjustable for the perfect fit. The Fiona Sports Bra is part of the stability collection of Moving Comfort sports bras. I prefer as much stability as possible. The Fiona Sports bra comes in a variety of colours and sizes like a standard bra with cup and band specifications. To complete the comfortable and custom fit of the bra, the sports bra features hook and eye closures as well as the adjustable straps.
You can totally make this sports bra fit perfectly and not have to wrestle it off after a sweaty workout. The only thing I do not like about the bra is the material of the adjustable straps – it is a bit scratchy on my skin. The Fiona Sports bra provides the perfect amount of support for running, especially with all the adjustable features.
The Fiona Sports Bra is made out of Drilayer material and will hold up to whatever amount of sweat you bring it. The Fiona Sports bra is one of Moving Comforts best selling bras and is pretty affordable.
Did you know?
Brooks has a True Blue Guarantee
You can take your Brooks Gear, purchased at BrooksRunning.Com for a test drive (run?) and return it within 90 days if the gear doesn’t work for you. Even if you have worn it. If you have unworn, tags still on merchandise, you can return it up to a year later.
Sometimes we purchase running gear that doesn’t quite work for us when we actually wear it to run. Having a True Blue Guarantee is pretty amazing as there have been countless times that I have purchased something and even though it fits – when I start running around in it, the article just doesn’t work. You can pay for your running gear and have assurance that if something doesn’t work out, you are not stuck with it. In terms of the items I mentioned above, the True Blue Guarantee would come in very hand for the Streaker Tights. If I sized up, the tights would fit me quite a bit better and not seem so tight. As mentioned, on the sizing chart, I could have gone either way and would probably prefer a medium.
So – what are some of your go-to winter running items?
Disclosure: I was given these products from Brooks for review purposes. All opinions are my own