My Winter Race Essentials

I just finished up my 2018 race season with a winter race. Since I live in Minnesota, it’s not the first time I’ve had a winter race so I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing exactly what I need for winter races. So today I’m sharing my winter race essentials!

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Two Pairs Of Gloves/Mittens

It can get pretty cold for winter races in Minnesota (the “warmest” ones I’ve have been mid-30s with snow still on the ground) so gloves/mittens are a must-have. With the Reindeer Run 10K, I finally found the perfect combination, gloves with flip-top mittens over them. This let me flip the mittens over once I warmed up enough but helped keep my hands warm pre- and post-race.

Fleece Lined Tights

I have a pair of Nike fleece lined tights (that I got from TJ Maxx, an excellent place to find high-quality winter running gear for a lower price) and they are my go-to tights for winter races. My legs stay nice and warm, even when standing around in sub-zero temperatures, plus they have ankle zippers so the snow stays out.


I have two Twin Cities Marathon buffs (I have so much Twin Cities Marathon gear in general because they give out awesome freebies for Marathon weekend races) and I always bring one along for winter races. I can pull it up over my mouth for extra warmth if it’s super cold and it helps just keep my neck warm in general. Plus, it can double as wide headband if I don’t want to wear a hat!

Hand Warmers

For my coldest races (especially the Valentine’s Day 5K this year where it was as a sub-zero feels like temperature), hand warmers are a must-have. Even though it wasn’t too cold for the Reindeer Run, I still had a pair in my pocket just in case my hands started getting cold pre- or post-race. We bought a large pack of Hot Hands hand warmers from Amazon last January and they helped get me through Eau Claire Marathon training without frozen fingers!

What are your winter race essentials? Share them in the comments!

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