With that in mind, here's a guide to winter training essentials for women.
This is a great idea if you want to make sure your legs aren’t sore when you peel off your running tights after a run in the biting wind. They’re designed to fit over your running tights and the thermal layer in the skirt makes sure your thighs and hamstring stay warm. They look great on and do a great job of protecting your legs.
Running tights are a kit bag essential because they offer great insulation from the wind and cold, as well as providing a compression layer on top of the skin to help boost your circulation. They must be made of a breathable material to wick away sweat and a wind resistant panel is useful.
Keeping your upper body warm is essential in winter training when you might find yourself running in temperatures well below freezing. You need a snug-fitting base layer that is made of a wickable material that will remove sweat from your body and keep you warm. There is a huge range of brands on the market to choose from and some also offer helpful pouches and pockets for key/phone/snack storage.
A middle layer is a really good idea in the cold, but the key here is to make sure it isn’t quite as super snug as your base layer. It needs to be made of wickable material to remove sweat, but it also needs to keep the heat in, especially if the temperature dips below freezing. Again there is a huge range on the market.
This is very much a matter of personal choice. Some runners prefer to wear a gilet so they have the greatest possible freedom of movement with their arms. Others prefer to wear a jacket that offers overall protection from the elements, especially the wind. But whatever you choose, the important factors to consider here include good wind resistance, breathable material and comfort.
This is a garment that is often worn by skiers to protect the neck and face on the slopes, but it can be an invaluable item in the bitter cold. Some runners like to pull it up over their lower faces to cover the nose and mouth and warm the air around their face, especially at the start of a run on a very cold day.
Keeping your head warm and making sure your hair doesn’t stick to your neck can be a problem for women during winter training. But never fear. It is possible to get a hat that does both. Some hats now come with a built-in area where a ponytail can sit in isolation, so that your hair doesn’t become an issue.
The human body can leak around 30% of its body heat through its extremities, so hands are a potentially vulnerable area. Along with everything else in the running kit bag they need to be a wickable material. You can opt for a mitt rather than gloves, or a hybrid which offers cover for individual fingers and a pull over mitt if it’s really cold. Or you can carry hand warmers which will also do the job.
The sun can be extremely low during the winter months so sunglasses are a great idea, especially during the early morning/late afternoon. And it’s also worth bearing in mind that sunglasses will block out the wind to protect your eyes and stop them from watering.
This is hugely important for runners who like to go out at night and in the early morning/late afternoon. Marathon runners might be out running for hours on those never-ending long runs, so take a head torch just in case. You never know when it might come in extremely useful, especially if you get lost.