Even though the temperatures have dropped unexpectedly early this year, you can still keep your running fun outside. All it takes is some extra planning to get back into your routine of layering on the right running gear. Let’s face it unless your winter running consists of starting up the treadmill, you’ve done this before and you’ll be surprised just how good it feels to be out there, even on a snowy, cold day.
Watch the temperature
Before you gear up, or even look outside, take a look at the weather and select your gear accordingly. Although you want to stay warm, you probably don’t need as many layers as you think. A rule of thumb is to dress as you would for temperatures that are about ten degrees warmer than it actually is. Once you get running, your body temperature will increase, and you won’t want to be sweating it out in the first few kilometers, if you want to stay running comfortably.
All about the base
Wear a base layer, running top to tights! And don’t forget to tuck your top into your tights, it’s just better that way. This is the most important layer for keeping you warm yet comfortable throughout your run so choose wisely. Opt for a base layer that consists of moisture-wicking fabric that will keep the sweat away from your skin while locking in warm air that keeps you insulated against the cold. In addition to the type of fabric, the fit of your base layer should be snug to prevent sweat running down your back and pooling in areas.
Choose the right jacket
Most runners will need a lightweight to mid-weight jacket for winter. When you’re choosing one, make sure to opt for one that is wind and water-resistant, lightly insulated and with moderate breathability. When it comes to fit keep in mind you may be wearing the jacket over a base layer on warmer days and an additional insulating layer on colder ones, so you may need a little extra room.
Gloves on not off
Every runner has most likely experienced that sudden feeling when their hands getting too cold, and it can happen faster than you think. No matter what the winter temperatures are, you need running gloves. Warmer temperatures require a light running glove, and at some point during this winter season you’ll need insulated one. It’s also a good idea to keep charcoal-fueled hand warmers in your pockets, in case you have an emergency.
Sock it to you
When it comes to your feet, you need to keep warm and dry, end of story. In the same way a base layer is a must, warmer, thicker socks is the key to dry, comfortable feet. Synthetic socks will draw moisture away from you skin and keep insulating air in, the combination will keep you running strong.
You lose more body heat by not wearing a hat, and with so many options, there’s no reason not to wear one. Choose a hat that features a lining that is made from moisture-wicking fabric, with light insulation for colder days. And even if you’re not wearing a hat, you’ll definitely want to consider a headband to protect your ears and forehead especially on windy, sub-zero days.