Now that we seem to be in full blown winter it's time to contemplate what exactly you need to stay outside enjoying your runs. I'm always surprised how many people move to the treadmill this time of year. It takes a little more thought, and you may lose some consistency but the adventure and beauty of wintertime running should not to be missed.
Some of your favorite runs might be impassable once the snow flies so be flexible and when you have the time don't forget about the great trails out East and at Smith Rock.
You don't have to change at all just because it's winter. Fit is king and you still need a shoe that matches up with your biomechanics. Some will be drawn to Gore-tex or weather resistant shoes and those options are increasing and getting better. However, be wary of an ill-fitting or inappropriate shoe simply to keep the moisture out. Whatever you decide, a good pair of warm socks that will move moisture are essential.
I used to laugh at these. They look obtrusive and awkward and they are just one more thing I don't want to think about as I head out the door. Unfortunately, its also awkward trying to keep my feet under me on those frozen over days or picking my way down the side of a trail because the center is to slick to contemplate. Traction devices work and can be essential to enjoy the winter running in Bend.
The options are endless and there is no right answer for everyone but here are a few generalities that can be helpful. If you're comfortable when your start your run you might be dressed a little warm. Always carry an extra layer in case you get held up or the weather changes. Wear fabrics that keep you warm even when wet (synthetics or wool).
Gloves and a hat are a must. I'd wear these before a jacket. A headlamp and reflective gear helps with the short days and closer proximity to cars. Wind briefs or an extra sock can be very helpful for the guys. Like it or not, a cell phone is a good idea considering one wrong slip could leave you severely hobbled. Ask us the story about our long-time co-worker Tracy and her hour+ crawl through the snow.
The picture is from this weeks every expanding noon run. Taco Stand tastes awfully good after that Tuesday run. The run happens every Tuesday and Thursday all winter long. Join us! cheers-Teague