by Mike Evans
Mike has been running for 26 years and has been buying accessories and footwear for Salt Lake Running Co. for 3 years.
We have just entered one of my favorite times of the year when the temperatures get a little cooler and the running gets a little more interesting with all of the different elements we get to encounter. I’m a total running geak (I’ve been running since I was 11 after all) so part of the enjoyment comes from discovering all the cool little product that make exercise a little more enjoyable. Below I have listed the products that every person should have in order to brave the elements during the winter season. The other products listed are products that may be necessary based upon individual circumstances.
The Bare Essentials:
Beanie or Headband: I’m not shy so I’ll tell you upfront, I don’t have a lot of hair on my head. So a beanie with a brushed polar fleece material on the inside is ideal. If you don’t suffer as much in the cold a headband may be a better solution for you. Some headbands have the brushed fleece on the inside, some have a hole for a ponytail, but either way, headbands provide the necessary warmth that your ears need. On extremely cold days where the wind is blowing I will even double up, wearing both a beanie and a headband.
Gloves: For myself, my hands are rarely warm and I usually have to find the warmest gloves out there. With 1,000 kinds of gloves out there, finding the perfect one for you may be a little tricky. The key to a good glove is finding something that fits your hand well and then adapts to the conditions that you usually exercise in. Some gloves will have wind protective devices and others will be brushed with the same material as the beanies mentioned above. If you are like me and lose things easily like car keys, you may also consider having 2 or 3 pairs of gloves so that you are guaranteed to have a pair ready when you head out for a run.
Reflective Gear: These types of products will increase your safety while you are exercising. No matter your taste or preference, there is a visibility product for you. So no excuses for not being seen in the dark! Some of the types of visibility products are flashing lights, reflective tape that can be applied to clothing, reflective vests, headlamps, and reflective bands that can strap around an arm, wrist, or ankle. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you have a bright color shirt that you will be sign when it is dark. Bright colors are designed for low-light conditions such as dusk and dawn. They only work when it is light by giving some contrast between you and your surroundings. For the dark, you better get yourself some reflective tape, some flashing lights, or a combination of the two.
The Personal Stuff:
Running Mask: I know what you are thinking, “I’m not a bank robber and don’t want to be mistaken for one!” But, the Salt Lake Valley is famous for our inversion which can produce some of the worst air in the entire United States. This can create problems for some people. If you plan on running outside during the inversion consider a running mask that will filter out the harmful pollutants. One of our employees wore this mask last year and was able to run in any air conditions. Let’s face it, if it comes down to the treadmill, some of us will go to lengthy measures to stay away.
Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses goes a long way during the days when the sun is bright and creates a glare from the fallen snow or wet sidewalks. Trust me on this one, none of us want crows feet from squinting every time we hit the pavement.
In closing, I have discovered that by having an arsenal of products that will allow me to adapt to the changing circumstances of the winter season that running is really fun during this time of year. Start building your collection, I promise, you will love it!