It’s that time of year again when the temperatures drop and you huddle inside wondering how you’re going to get outside for your run. Before you give into the treadmill (a.k.a the ‘Dread’mill), consider dressing appropriately to match the elements outdoors. Wearing the proper clothing and winter gear can make all the difference in keeping you dry and warm on the run instead of wet and freezing.
Take note that what you wear – and how many layers – will depend on how cold it is. You can get away with less clothing when it’s 32F versus 14F and below. In general, when it gets to 14F and colder, I wear 3 layers whereas I’ll don 2 layers for anything warmer than 14F. But if you hate the cold, layer up to what feels comfortable for you. It’s always better to overdress and de-layer your clothes as you go versus under-dress and end up a Popsicle on a running trail.
A long-sleeved base layer shirt made of a non-itchy material such as merino wool polypropylene or bamboo will keep moisture away to keep you warm and toasty. Try the Beckons Strength Bamboo Long Sleeve T-shirt for it’s anti-microbial, quick-drying features as well as its functional thumbholes to give hands extra coverage.
Don a pair of insulated running tights that are made for winter running (versus thin tights you wear to your spinning class) for your lower half. If it’s extra chilly out, consider layering with a looser pair of wind/tracks over tights.
A good pair of wicking socks should be tucked up underneath your tights. Try a light pair of skiing or Merino crew hiking socks that also cover your calves for added warmth and compression. Avoid anything too bulky or you may not be able to lace up your shoes!
Next, you’ll want to put on a softshell jacket that protects you from elements such as wind, rain and snow. Consider the Patagonia W’s Wind Shield Hybrid Softshell Jacket.
There are few things more uncomfortable than running with cold fingers, so cover your hands with insulated thermal mittens or gloves and your ears and head with a headband warmer or hat.
Don’t forget to add a neck warmer that will cover your neck, preventing wind from blowing down your jacket. A neck warmer will also pull up over your cheeks – and even your nose if it’s bitter cold for added protection.