Cold Weather QuotesYou know the drill, those Floridians that live in Florida because of the year round warm weather but we often complain at the hint of cold weather when the thermometer hits 60 degrees outside!?!  Yes, we are guilty of posting those temperature pics from our outdoor thermometers and the temperature instrument in our cars.  But the truth of the matter is that most of us just don’t know how to deal with the cold weather by wearing proper clothing much less, attempting to go for a run or participate in a race in what we consider to be freezing temperatures.

Lucky for me, my husband and I travel out west to Colorado several times a year, most of those times for winter sport enjoyment like skiing or snowboarding.  So my Florida Native wardrobe is prepared for frigid temperatures on those mornings when I may be happier to stay in my warm and cozy bed than get out in freezing temperatures.

This week, several of our Tallahassee Chapter members from Moms RUN This Town got up and met for a 5:30 am 5-mile training run and though I was a little apprehensive about staying warm enough on my run, I got up and pulled out the Colorado gear and met them anyway.  When we arrived the temperature gauge on my car read 28 degrees and yes, we are well aware that the rest of the country was experiencing sub-freezing temperatures, but in Florida,  you must account for the fact that we have humidity in the air along with those frigid numbers which can make the temperature feel much much lower to our bodies.

Keep in mind, to stay warm while exercising and sweating, you always want to wear something that will wick away the sweat from your body.  AVOID COTTON at all costs!  You will FREEZE!  I love the gear that I have invested in over the past several years and here are several of my go-to items for staying warm on those frigid mornings –

TTurtle Fur Neck Gaiterurtle Fur Neck Gaiter – Constructed of unique soft and stretchy acrylic fleece, I have several of these and they are one of my essential winter accessories.  These come in a variety of colors and most are one size fits all and unisex.  I have several that I rotate on those cold-weather run weeks.  We have several sporting goods stores and a local hiking and ski store in Tallahassee, Trail & Ski, which carries the neck gaiters by Turtle Fur along with a few other brands.

Pro Compression Marathon SockPro Compression Marathon Sock – I have so many pairs of compression socks that I wear, but my favorite brand so far is still Pro Compression.  I love the Marathon Sock because while it is giving me the needed support on my run it is also giving me an extra layer of warmth under my running pants at the same time.  Pro Compression has a Sock of the Month deal, so check them out to get special pricing when available on select socks.

North Face Power Stretch GlovesNorth Face Power Stretch Gloves – When we visit Colorado, these are used as my liner gloves to go into what I call my Big Guns Gordini gloves for a little extra warmth on those days we are on the mountain a little longer than my hands and fingers may like.  Made of Polyester/Nylon/Elastane, these gloves are designed to resist wind while wicking away moisture to make sure your hands stay dry and warm.  They do not have the electronic touch tip for using your smart phones, but for me, I am more worried about warmth than social network updating while on my run.

Mountain Hardwear Nut BeretMountain Hardwear Gore Windstopper Nut Beret – Next up on my priority list is keeping the heat in on that run and the ability to keep my ears covered.  Several years ago, I stole borrowed my husband’s Mountain Hardwear Nut Beret.  It offers a draw string within the beret that allows me to tighten it so it will not move during my run and a flap that comes down to cover my ears and back of my neck.  Best thing I ever stole out of his gear bag!  this product has been discontinued now, but when looking for a head protection, make sure that you look for a windstopper product with the ability to still wick away moisture to keep you warm.

Nike Long Sleeve Running ShirtNike Miler Long Sleeve Running Shirt – Next on my list is one of very few Nike products that I have in my closet.  I save these for winter and Colorado trips all the time.  They give the needed moisture wicking I need in addition to longer sleeve coverage to my wrists and the also cover to below my waist to help prevent skin exposure to the wind and elements.  I love these and though they may cost me a little more, I try to make sure I have several of them in my closet to grab for those cold runs.

Champion Vapor PowerTrain Workout TeeChampion Vapor PowerTrain Crew Shirt – Even though I will have my Nike long sleeve shirt on, I always like to make sure I have one extra little layer between that and the jacket that I choose.  For me, the Champion Vapor PowerTrain Crew Shirt is the perfect fit.  It’s thin and breathable and most of all, it fits loose so all the layering doesn’t make me feel like I am being constrained by clothing.  It provides additional moisture wicking help and protection so that I don’t get super sweaty and cold.  Champion Brand is very affordable I have found when I am looking for pieces to finish out a running outfit.

Champion Womens PowerTrain PantsChampion PowerTrain Workout Tights – Speaking of Champion, this holiday season I received several gift cards from family members and decided it was time to replace all of my old capri tights to be ready for the cold Florida winter training runs ahead.  I shopped several online and at one local sporting goods store and found the Champion PowerTrain Workout Tights which didn’t expose my butt body parts when I bent over and also offered a draw string feature so that I could make sure they did not ride down during my run which is REALLY annoying!  I love that this brand is a quality product without breaking the bank.  I mean, we already pay enough for race entries and shoes, who needs to spend $100 on a pair of running tights!

Pearl Izumi Aurora Lightweight Hoodie ShirtPearl Izumi Aurora Lightweight Hoodie – Last, but certainly not least, picking a jacket that isn’t too heavy during my run is really important.  I love to have something a little thin since I am already layered up with 2 shirts and the Pearl Izumi Aurora Lightweight Hoodie is a perfect choice from my closet.  I picked this up last year during the summer when all the winter running gear was on sale.  It is made of polyester/spandex and it also has thumb holes which offers a little extra hand warmth in addition to my North Face Power Stretch gloves (For me, if my hands are cold, I’m going to have a miserable run).  When you are looking for a hoodie for yourself, I would recommend also going for polyester/spandex combination.  It will give you a little extra oomph in your layering, but it will not over do it.  If you find yourself having to shed a layer, this is so light that you can just tie it around your waist and you will not feel weighed down by a big bulky jacket.

So there you have it, my Florida Girl comfortable “Cold” run suggestions.  Many of these products may no longer be available for sale due to products constantly being upgraded each year, but this gives you a general guide on what you can or maybe should look for if you live in an area that generally doesn’t experience these unseasonably colder temperatures.  Shop online too, I always make sure to hit the Amazon store along with Backcountry.com, Sierra Trading Post, REI and many others that offer end of the season or prior year model gear and apparel.  A lot of them offer weekly shipping deals too.  Don’t let those cold temps keep you on the DREADmill, get the right gear and get out there on that trail or sidewalk and RUN THOSE BUNS OFF!