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Running Rambles

Winter Running: Part V –– Motivation

During the last several weeks, I have offered some advice on the best way to “gear up” for your winter running. To speed recap: layer your clothing; look into merino wool for warmth and wicking; dress like it is 20 degrees warmer to prevent overheating; try a trail shoe when it’s icy; and be visible (passive reflection and active lighting) because it seems to be getting dark around 3:00 PM these days (sigh). When it starts to look like this, you need to make yourself visible. Now that you have the gear for winter running, you may still have problems...

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Winter Running: Part IV - Socks and Winter Weather Shoes

When thinking about warmth head to toe, of course one wants to think about warm socks and shoes. The key here is to think of these things as a system with components to adjust for maximum comfort and traction. Socks Because all running shoes have breathable mesh uppers, warm socks are a must for winter running. (Mesh is great for keeping your feet cooler in the summer, but in the winter, this design feature might be a drawback.) One way to achieve an ideal balance between breathability and warmth is to wear a merino wool sock. Merino wool is soft,...

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Winter Running: Part III – Hats and Gloves

Staying warm when running on the cold days of winter has never been easier. However, when you want to be warm, hats and gloves are a must. (These are great holiday gifts for the runners in your life.) Although the idea that you lose most of your body heat through your head has been thoroughly debunked, it can still be a whole lot more comfortable to wear a hat on colder days (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/26/health/the-claim-you-lose-most-of-your-body-heat-through-your-head.html?_r=0). Personal preference plays a large role in the search for the ideal winter running hat. For extreme conditions, look for a cap that has a windproof outer...

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Winter Running: Part II – Jackets!

Winter is here! Previously, I advised you on your base layer (synthetics and merino wool for wicking action and moisture management), extolled the usefulness of a quarter zip for layering, and discussed the benefits of running tights versus running pants (short version: they both have virtues – choose what works for you). Let’s now turn to the winter running essential: the running jacket. There is a running jacket for just about any weather condition but most people don’t have the luxury of accumulating dozens of “just right” jackets and will have to choose one or two that will meet their...

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Winter Running: Part I

Well, that escalated quickly! Just last weekend, as we ran to build running community and raise money for the Regional Food Bank during Fleet Feet Albany’s Fourth Annual 24 Hour Fight Against Hunger, we were comfortable wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts. Now, cooler temperatures have appeared and sleet and snow will be our companions for the next few months. There is, however, no need to despair. With a few adjustments, you can run through the winter and be in great shape come springtime. Man, not this again… Successful winter running boils down to two ideas: have the right gear for...

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