Cold Weather Running Essentials: Dressing in layers is the key to running comfortably all winter. You can start your run warm, then easily shed the layers as your body warms up and you need less clothing. Simply tie unneeded layers such as jackets or long sleeve shirts around your waist and keep running once you’re warm, or plan a loop run so you can drop them off in a safe spot—like your car—when you don’t need them. Remember to put your base layer on the bottom so as you strip layers off, the correct layer is underneath.
When stocking up for the cold season, there are a few essentials you should fill your drawers with:
Running tights or pants
- Long sleeve tech shirts to use as a base layer (depending upon winter temperatures in your area, you may need to invest in both a medium-weight and a heavy-weight base layer shirt) With my Raw Threads tops they are so light but warm they are easy to layer. I also include my arm warmers as a layer!
- Running gloves or mittens
- Headband - we all know I love my raw threads headbands in winter I wear them under my running hat! Layers!
- Hat with visor
- A windproof running jacket
- Running socks (tech fabric or wool blend) the raw threads socks are comfy and warm!
Tips for dressing when running/walking when it's Cold: When dressing to run in cold weather, the rule of thumb is to add 10 to 20 degrees to the outside temperature to calculate your running temperature. Keep in mind that this number is dependent upon your body size, run pace, and the length of your run.
So if you are going out for a short run, an easy paced run, or you are a smaller runner (less body mass) add 10 to 15 degrees to the outside temperature to estimate your running temperature. If you are going for a long run, doing a hard workout, or have a large body mass, add 20 degrees to the outside temp. For example, if the thermometer says it’s 40 degrees outside, your running temperature will be between 50 and 60 degrees.
But you should also take the wind-chill factor into consideration. When winds are present, look at the “feels like” temperature to determine what to wear. For example, if the outside temp is 40 degrees, but the real feel is reported to be 30 degrees because of the wind chill, you’ll want to add 10 to 20 degrees to the lower temp.
When planning your run on windy, cold days, try to run into the wind on your way out and have the wind at your back on your return. It’s best to avoid running into the wind when you are wet and sweaty because you will chill very quickly.
A quick guide on what to wear: Still wondering what you should wear? Here is a quick guide:
60+ degrees: tank top and shorts
50–59 degrees: short sleeve tech shirt and shorts
40–49 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves (optional), headband to cover ears (optional)
30–39 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves, and headband to cover ears
20–29 degrees: two shirts layered—a long sleeve tech shirt and a short sleeve tech shirt or long sleeve shirt and jacket—tights, gloves, and headband or hat to cover ears
10–19 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and windbreaker jacket/pants
Our Training Tips are written by our Raw Threads Club Troop Counselor Jo Roberts.
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