Imagine sitting inside your warm house in the early morning. You take a peek out the window and see freezing sleet coming down. Your iPhone tells you that in your home town of Toronto, Ontario Canada it's -17° C outside, cold enough that the weatherman advises you to stay indoors. But you are a runner. You are driven to feel blood pumping through you veins, in spite of the bite of the cold against your face.
You suit up like a warrior preparing for battle against the invisible frost giants lurking in the wind. Some might call you crazy, but most people call you Holly!
Holly is a registered nurse and a certified diabetes educator. She is a mother of two and works full time. As a type 1 diabetic herself, she knows that running daily will help her body to be stronger and healthier. That's why when Holly isn’t working on her graduate degree, taking care of her children, or working at her career she loves to go for a run, even if it means facing the freezing cold of Canada. On twitter, Holly goes by the handle @chollyrun
Early in January, when Holly shared on twitter the low temperatures in which she was running, the Outersports.com team noticed, and we came up with a plan to surprise her by sending her over $150 in free base layer for runners to help her stay warm while she runs. In exchange, we would ask her to tell us which ones she liked best, from a runner's point of view.
"I was shocked! I couldn't believe that me, of all people...I thought, 'They know I am not famous right?' ...seemed a lil too good to be true!" Holly said of the surprise gift.
Here's a look at the base layer we sent Holly, and what she had to say after giving it a test run:
“I primarily own compression run gear from various companies. This is one of the first few thermal base layers that were not compression and were meant for cold weather that I got to test! I first tested the Merino wool blend set (top and bottom) on one of our usual chilly afternoons. The sun was setting and it was -17c and with wind chill was -24c. So it was COLD! My first thought as I put the garments on was “these feel like my pajamas!” They were soft, kind of lose and very comfortable. During my run there were times where the pants would lift up and expose my ankle….I am not used to this as most compression wear is snug with elastic around the ankles…this was a pain. Around 5k the moisture wicking abilities really showed off as I checked one of my underarm vents and it was dry! After I got back home I recall thinking this is one of the most comfortable base layers yet! But I cooled off faster than I wanted. An after run hoodie would be highly recommended if you aren’t changing out of these within minutes of stopping your activity."
"The day after was equally as cold and I was able to take the performance polyester blend thermal base layer out for a test run. This set was noticeably thicker in texture and more form fitting. They still felt good, like really good, like when I’m not running – I might sleep in these:) I laced up and headed out for a quickie 5k after work, I really didn’t notice too much difference while running with this set, the leggings stayed put which was good, but when I got home and took my outer layers off I didn’t cool down as fast as with the merino wool set. I appreciated this! I do a lot of interval running, start and stop activities and I don’t want to get chilled when on a walk break before I get back to running again."
"Before receiving these base layers, running in the winter was cumbersome. Don’t get me wrong, compression gear is great, but it has its place among other run clothes. Removing tight fitting sweaty run tights is not my idea of FUN! I really enjoyed the fit of these base layers and their warmth and protection. When Outersports.com sent me these products to try I feel like I won the runner's lottery! Outersports.com is your online source for base layer for running in the cold, with a risk-free return policy!”
Who wouldn’t want to go running in gear that is so comfortable you could sleep in it! Cold weather running is all about having the right apparel. You don’t have to hibernate through winter. Learn from Holly’s experience and protect yourself with the right base layers. It makes all the difference.