One of the truly great things about running is that there is so little stuff that you actually NEED to run. And at the same time, there’s an endless list of things that you could have. Which is why runners find themselves inexplicably drawn to good running stores and race expos.
I get asked all the time about winter running gear, so here are the ten things that I’ve accumulated over the years that are most indispensable to my running habit — especially in winter.
1. Music player – I use my Ipod or my Android phone with the Doubletwist music player app and Sennheiser sport headphones. I have a Zen Mosaic music player for the times when I must have music and can’t use headphones. I’ve tried external running speakers and found them useless — not enough volume to compete with road noise.
2. Garmin 305 GPS – Someday I’ll upgrade, but this one is just fine!
3. Gymboss – For interval runs. Perhaps the best $20 I ever spent.
4. High visibility shirt – My flaming yellow Brooks pullover half zip shirt is a great third layer in the winter that provides for maximum visibility on snowy days or on early morning/late afternoon runs.
5. Nike shirt – A dri-fit thin long-sleeve half zip pullover is my second layer of choice anytime I need more than a T-shirt.
6. Reflector/Blinky – Mine attaches to the front of my half zip shirts.
7. SPI-Belt – Just the basic version hold my phone and/or some Gu for long runs.
8. Glove/Mittens – EMS brand fingerless fleece gloves with mitten covers are perfect for cold mornings and may be my all time favorite running gloves. The mitten covers have a piece of velcro to keep them from flapping when you run. http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12323123&cp=3677351.4461670.4471973.12257714
9. Earband – My ears are sensitive, so a medium weight earband is essential anytime it’s below about 45 or windy.
10. Balaclava – A thin fleece neck gaiter can be pulled up over nose and mouth on the coldest mornings.
What’s your essential winter running gear?