What to wear for winter trail running
Maybe you got a taste for trail running at this year’s Ecotrail in Wicklow and want to keep it going over the winter months? Don’t let a bit of wind and rain stop you! Mark and Enda from The Sports Room go trail running every week, whatever the weather. They run at night so a good headlight is a must. Take a look at some of their other run essentials.
In the summer months you can head out on the trails in just a t-shirt and shorts but no matter what the season you need a good pair of trail shoes. Just as Enda wouldn’t go mountain biking with a road tyre, he wouldn’t wear his regular runners on the trails. The difference between your road runners and trail runners is the sole. You need a shoe with lugs that grip the ground so you’re in control as you run over mountains, hard trails and muddy ground. You also want a shoe that is lightweight, responsive and breathable. We recommend Inov-8 trail shoes.
Both Mark and Enda run in the Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260. This shoe gives them maximum comfort, grip and protection for long soft and muddy runs. Perfect for winter running in Carrick. But this pair have been running the trails for a long time; what if you’re only just getting into trail running and aren’t sure what the right shoe for you is…
The Ultimate All-Rounder
The Inov-8 Roclite G 290 is a good shoe to try if you are looking for a trail shoe that can master all terrains. It’s a super versatile trail running shoe with the lowest drop in the ROCLITE range. Weighing just 290g, this flexible and responsive shoe is designed for running fast and in comfort with a breathable mesh upper that adapts to the foot and a POWERFLOW midsole for increased cushioning. Graphene grip (G-Grip) gives superior traction over mountain rock, hard trails and muddy grass. For the best advice on what shoe to choose, pop into The Sports Room.
What to wear on the trails in winter
Like regular running, the best way to dress for the trails in winter is to layer up. Avoid cotton tops – they don’t dry very quickly. Opt instead for polyester mix fabrics or merino wool. Lots of light layers is a good solution – you might start off a bit chilly but you won’t be long heating up. Choose tops and jackets that have breathable elements e.g. vents under the arms, zips. Check out the adidas Terrex TraceRock 1/2 Zip for men and women – the moisture-wicking build on this lightweight top sheds sweat for quick evaporation to keep you dry from trailhead to summit and back. The recycled polyester blend is soft against the skin and offers the ideal amount of stretch for a full range of motion. And you can feel good about your run as this top is made with recycled polyester to save resources and decrease emissions (yay!). The adidas TraceRock Hooded Fleece Jacket is another good one – a nice soft feel against the skin and the slim fit and fitted hood help seal in the warmth.
The adidas Agravic Windweave Jacket is a very clever jacket! One, it’s super lightweight so it won’t weigh you down as you scale that mountain but more importantly the windbreaker features zones of greater and lesser breathability to provide protection from the wind while allowing heat and moisture to escape. It also keeps the rain off. Bonus points here. The water-repellent coating sheds rain (or snow) and dries really quickly. Also available, the adidas Agravic Windweave Jacket for women.
The adidas Agravic Hooded Jacket (click here for women’s version) is also a great jacket for keeping the wind out. The wind resistant overlay keeps you warm and Polartec® Alpha insulation provides lightweight, breathable warmth even when wet.
The Inov-8 Softshell Half Zip is another great jacket for wind and rain protection. Also zoned with added protection on the chest and shoulders to keep the cold air out, this jacket is smart enough to know when you need to cool down too. Air permeable softshell enables airflow across the back and underarms. The side zip and front pocket can also be used for additional ventilation. And for the ladies, the Inov-8 WMNS AT/C Raceshell is a fantastic, versatile jacket designed for really cold and wet weather. You’ve no excuses not to hit the trails now!
If you’re going on a long run, you might want to invest in one of Inov-8’s hydrapacks. A great introductory hydration vest, this pack can carry three litres of fluid or four litres of kit. Easy to use and adjust, the Race Elite Vest is an all-mesh construction with stretch pockets and no zips for cold and numb fingers to deal with. Alternatively, for shorter runs you could take a waist pack or simply hold a flask – this handily fold up when empty for easy storage.
While not essential a good trail running sock does make a difference to your run. Choose one with merino wool or the Inov-8 speed sock which has great wicking properties and padding to help avoid blisters. A lightweight water-resistant gaiter stops debris from entering the shoe when running off-road. The Inov-8 buff is a versatile, multi-use headwear that protects the head from all elements, including wind, rain and sun.
Running at Night
As we mentioned at the start, night time is when Mark and Enda hit the trails fully equipped with some Led Lenser head lamps. These are available in a wide range of lumens. Mark is currently running with the NEO 10R – this light is the top performer in the NEO series – showing you paths where there aren’t any! If you rather not wear the light on your head you can wear it on your chest.
If you’ve any questions about what you need for trail running give The Sports Room a ring on 0404 62380 or drop us an email. If you’d like to start trail running, contact JuJu or check out trail running wicklow or ecotrail…..
Check out other run brands at The Sports Room including New Balance, Saucony, Hoka One One and more – why not sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with events or check out our facebook page for events.