Ultimate Cold Weather Running Gear

Think winter. What comes to mind? A warm fire? Fuzzy slippers? Hot chocolate + caramel popcorn all amidst 0 degree temperatures that you’ve promised yourself you’d stay out of?

While these things sound unfairly enticing [+ arguably reasonable], we all know us CHAARG girls have something different on our minds this season. Ending this month with 31 miles [or more!] under our belts [or should I say Hyperwarms ;)] is what we have our eyes set on + before you tell me I’m crazy, crawl back into bed + shield yourself from this grueling polar vortex that is about to hit, give me a chance to explain. We’re sharing the ultimate extreme weather condition get-up to ensure that this snow, wind, or 0 degree temperature isn’t excusing you from achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself this New Year. Follow these guidelines + you’ll be sure to achieve the [seemingly] impossible — breaking a sweat + retaining your body heat in 0 degree temperatures + below.


Head-to-toe coverage is crucial for an outdoor winter run. As extremities such as your head, hands, neck + feet retain the most amount of body heat in your entire body, covering them up is essential in order to stay warm. Running hats + gloves are offered in sweat-wicking material, so that they can evaporate sweat + keep you nice and dry. Also, try an infinity-style neck warmer so that you don’t have to worry about it unravelling during your run.


Layers, ya’ll. A good base layer would be something thin. I personally prefer to tuck this into my leggings so that I know my mid-section is sealed tight + won’t be exposed at any point during my run. Throw a long sleeve tee on top, + finish it off with a thick outer layer [either a jacket or hoodie]. Aside from the outer layer, the material you wear, specifically during winter season, shouldn’t ever be cotton. As moisture takes an extremely long time to evaporate from cotton, you’re likely to be soaked [+ freezing cold] by the middle//end of your run. Instead, look for moisture-wicking materials that are designed to allow sweat to evaporate quicker + keep your dry longer.


You have a few different options. If you’re the type that doesn’t mind a little bit of chill on your thighs throughout your run, a think pair of tights will definitely suffice. If you’re a Chicagoan like myself, you might need a little extra protection to break that wind + avoid the need for a thawing out session at the end of your run [eek]. In the instances when you’re feeling extra hesitant to embark on a run in the freezing cold, throw on a pair of loose fitting sweats or wind breakers on top of your tights.


Although your Nike Frees are good in almost any situation [nights out included ; )], you’ll need something a little heftier for your winter runs. With snow, slush + harsh temperatures, we suggest a running shoe that will provide full water proof + harsh weather protection. As always, make sure your running shoes have adequate cushioning + support, since we are running 31 miles this month [eeee!], we will need all of the support we can get — from both our CHAARG community + our gear. : )

When in doubt, follow the age-old rule: dress as if it were 25 degrees warmer. Layers are key, as you can always shed if needed. Stay dry + warm by covering extremities + wearing moisture-wicking material. Most importantly, though, have fun! Hitting your stride in unique weather conditions can be a beautiful experience. With the snow falling lightly + Christmas lights lingering, you never know what sort of revelation or experience you’ll have once you finally reach your destination. Preparing for a run in the freezing cold might be half the battle, but the feeling you’ll have after completing what you’ve set out to accomplish is what we call winning the war. LET’S DO THIS.

+ Mariah, DePaul CHAARG // Photography: Andrea [@andrea__inCHAARG], DePaul CHAARG

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