8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Winter Running

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Flurries. Frost. Frozen fingers and toes. Yep, it’s winter. But that doesn’t mean you should resort to working out indoors — as much as you’d rather just do this.

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(Seabass is not down with winter running.)

I discovered running as a junior at the University of Michigan, so I’m no stranger to going for daily excursions in the blistering cold. But that doesn’t make me impervious to seasonal discomforts. There are mornings, especially before the sun comes up, that are so cold you wonder why you do it. I promise that even on those mornings, there are ways through which you can quell these concerns.

One thing that I’ve found over the last seven years, whether running through campus, around the paths of Central Park, or along the banks of the Schuylkill, is that most trepidations around winter running are mental. And I’m here, to tell you why you ignore them.

1. It’s not as bad as you think it will be outside. In fact, I’ve often found that it feels a lot colder up in my apartment during those first few moments after getting out of bed than it is once you step out the door.

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2. Winter running gear is SO cozy. Warm sweatshirts. Fleece-lined pants. Thumbholes! Who doesn’t love a good thumbhole? I love thumbholes.

Not long ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a wonderful company called Janji. I reviewed their fall zip-up, and have loved wearing it ever since. If you don’t quite remember, or if you haven’t heard of them yet, their mission is a simple and respectable one. As it reads on their website, “Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water.”

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I had another opportunity to check out some of Janji’s cold-weather running gear this past month, including the fun, thumbhole-clad long-sleeve shirt pictured above. I wore a medium, which I thought fit me really well.

Also on the menu: a new pair of running tights that I can already sense will be my go-to through winter.

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I wore these on my morning run along the Schuylkill today–a lovely, peaceful and incredibly cold, windy Sunday run–and I have to say, these kept me toasty and warm the entire way thanks to the suede-like heavy jersey fabric. They honestly felt like fleece, only thinner and with more flexibility. The medium also fit me well.

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The best part? Proceeds from these tights give three years of clean water to a person in Tanzania.

If you’re interested in these tights, the long-sleeve shirt, or any of Janji’s other awesome items, scroll to the bottom of this blog to enter to win a $25 gift certificate just by leaving a comment.

3. Once you warm up, the weather is delightful. Especially when the sun comes up.

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4. Get some fresh air! With fall and winter running come some vary beautiful views. And summer humidity is nowhere to be found.

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5. Quieter paths. In general, Philadelphia is a lot quieter than New York City. This is the Art Museum, one of the many stops on my morning runs. It’s typically bustling during the day, with Philadelphians seeking culture and tourists seeking the city’s most-beautiful haunts. Come 7am though, it’s empty. This is by far my favorite time.

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6. Beautiful views, especially when there’s snow. No pictures of this quiet yet, but I imagine that we’ll have a bit of snowfall in the come weeks. I can’t wait. (Though, remember to be careful if you do decide to run in the snow. It’s all fun and games until you slip and rip your mittens.)

7. BECAUSE HOT CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS. It’s winter. Go crazy. It’s so fulfilling.

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8. No, really, it’s not as bad as you think. I’ve always found that, within 10 minutes of running–or the equivalent of a mile or so–my fingers and toes start to heat up. From there, the run is delightful.

Are you looking to stock up on some warmer running items for winter? 

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You’re in luck. Janji has been gracious enough to offer one lucky Glitter Runner reader the chance to win a $25 gift certificate. You can put this toward a magical pair of tights, a long-sleeve shirt, or maybe just a nifty running headband (by the way, this last one gives six months of clean water to a person in Tanzania). Ya dig?

Want to know how to enter?

Let’s keep this easy, because we could all use a little simplicity during the holidays. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Tell me why you love winter running. And if you don’t have an answer–because you absolutely hate winter running and think I’m crazy–then tell me why you don’t. All opinions are welcome here.

Entries will be accepted through December 23rd, 2014 at 12pm EST. A winner will be chosen at random. Please leave an email or social handle where I can reach you should you win.

Good luck!