It's been a pretty cold and blustery week 'Up North' with the weather really testing not only my determination in getting out for a run but also the kit I am wearing.
Below is a small selection of kit which has really helped in getting me out of the door and enjoying a run in even the worst of winter weather!
SealSkinz Thin Ankle Length Socks
Making the top of the list is a product that has revolutionised my winter trail running! Tested on the trails in real winter conditions - snow, slush and shin deep mud...
SealSkinz Thin Ankle Length Socks are thin and lightweight waterproof socks. They are breathable with a fine merino wool lining that wicks away moisture from the feet to keep them dry and gives exceptional comfort.
During the test runs freezing cold water and slush was seeping into my shoes, yet my feet remained dry and warm throughout - even though this model only has the brand's thermal rating of 2 (out of 4). On removing the socks after the run my feet were completely dry - not damp and wrinkly as I half expected!
With every run the confidence in the socks increased and it is amazing how the guarantee of dry feet has increased my motivation to get out there - even if the shoes are still damp from the last run or the puddles ankle deep!
Only problem was that the sock has not taken kindly to accidentally ending up in the tumble dryer!
SealSkinz also do waterproof hats and gloves!
Again, not a new product, but certainly one that should be in every runner's winter kit bag! It's the Buff's versatility and light weight that make it so useful. I have used mine as a neckscarf to keep out the cold, pulled it over my nose to protect my face from the hail, used it to keep the hair out of my face in the wind and to protect my forehead from the pressure off the headtorch. It easily fits into a pocket or wraps around the wrist until needed.
GORE RUNNING's Essential BL Turtleneck
This lovely and soft, long sleeve turtleneck shirt has been a great piece of kit. The front half zip has been all the temperature control needed. As this top is highly effective in transporting moisture from the skin I never felt too hot or got cold and damp.
Finding a top that's neither too hot or cold mean's less time spent 'faffing' around adapting layers and helps ignore adverse conditions! The shirt fits well too, no riding up and the sleeves are nice and long. To top it all it washes well too!
Montane Featherlite™ Pants
There's probably not many days in the year when these are required for running, but they helped keep me snug in the freezing winter storms yesterday. They are incredibly lightweight - so much so that they don't get in the way nor was I really aware I had them on!
For a long run on a bleak winter's day they could make the difference between misery and enjoyment, between taking the first short-cut home or staying the distance!
Finally, to ward off (or shorten) those winter colds
Without any medical training I'm not qualified to give any guarantees, but we have this year mentioned and tested a few products that seem to have a reasonable claim on helping to keep you healthy during your winter training!
- Nordic Naturals' Complete Omega-3.6.9-D
Complete Omega-3.6.9-D is a fantastic EFA supplement combining fish oil with GLA [Gamma-linolenic acid] from borage oil to deliver a healthy balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 essential fatty acids. This omega-rich blend supports cardiovascular health, brain function, positive mood, as well as healthy joints, hair, skin, and nails.
Plus, Nordic Naturals has added natural vitamin D3 for additional bone, immunity, and mood support.
- NEOVITE - the dairy functional food
A personal favourite of mine! Neovite powder can be mixed with energy drinks or foods to give the immune system a boost and reduce illnesses from colds and flu. Marathon runners taking colostrum increased their levels of salivary antibodies (IgA) by 79%, their front line of defence against colds and throat infections.
Research found the immune boosting properties of glutamine so impressive, it was used to treat patients with inflammatory conditions such as infection and injury. Experts recommend around 5 grams per day should greatly help to support a healthy immune system during periods of heavy training.
Britta, originally from Austria, came to live in the Lake District in
Always in love with the mountains, the local hills and fells have
since been her favourite ‘playground’. She spends much of her spare time
exploring the hills – no matter what the season or the weather – always
accompanied by her two Border Collies.
While the fells and trails are her first love, Britta has also
completed 10 road marathons, before moving up to ultra events. Her
biggest achievements are a Bob Graham Round, the Himalayan 100 mile
stage race,the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc race and the Lakeland 100.