Feels like winter got here early this year in the Northeast, but that’s no excuse not to get OUTSIDE. The key to keeping your outside running/exercising going year-round is proper dress. Let’s talk about what to wear when the temperatures dip…
GET LIT: Safety is number one. Try your best to run during daylight hours. However, for a lot of us that’s just not possible. (Present company included.) Stick with neighborhoods that have streetlights and/or sidewalks. Invest in a headlamp and/or reflective vest so that you can be easily seen by drivers. Find a running buddy or group for safety in numbers!
Gloves: The need for gloves varies from runner to runner. I’m the kind of person that’s going to wear them once it gets into the 40’s, but I’ve also run with people that won’t put a pair of gloves on until it’s in the teens. You can’t really go wrong here. Sweaty hands aren’t going to make for a bad run, so err on the side of caution. Just make sure that you have a pair that have a SOFT thumb/index finger. Your nose will thank you.
Hats: Very similar to the glove situation. There’s a lot of variation here, and I know many people that will begin a run wearing a hat only to take it off midway. I’m a fan of using old t-shirt sleeves as ear-warmers. If I get too warm, I’ll just roll it up into a headband, or take it off and wrap it around my risk.
Upper/Lower Layers: Here’s where things get tricky when the weather really get cold. There are two general “rules” that you may have heard. First, if you can stand still outside in your running outfit and feel chilly (not freezing), you’re dressed ok. Another rule states that you should dress the way for a run that you would if you were just hanging out outside if it was 20 DEGREES WARMER. Example: If the actual temperature is 30 degrees and you’re going for a run, think about what you’d wear to a trip to the grocery store if it was 50. That being said, here are some clothing suggestions associated with temperatures. Please keep in mind that everyone has different preferences. The BEST way to find out what will work best for you is to experiment and take some notes that you can reflect on.
45-50: Most people still wear shorts, but a long sleeve upper. At this temperature, the shirt could be dryfit material of cotton. A lot of runners start thinking about gloves.
40-45: Depending on your preference, transition to light running tights/pants happens. Upper wear is the same as above.
35-40: At these temperatures, the headbands start to come out, but probably won’t stay on for an entire run. A wicking material upper is a must, because cotton stays too wet and you’ll become too cold.
25-35: We’re definitely in pants or tights. Now is when you start using two layers up top. Your base layer should be a wicking material, like Under Armor cold gear. Never wear anything UNDER that material, as it’s meant to work best right against your skin. You can wear a short sleeved t-shirt over an under layer like that for some extra protection, especially on windier days.
25 and below: We’re all bundled up now. A long sleeve wicking cold gear underlayer with another long sleeve shirt (dryfit or cotton) over top isn’t a bad idea. You should have a pair of thicker tights/pants for these temps as well. A lot of people start to use one of those neck-warmer thingies than can also be pulled up to cover your mouth and nose as well.
Again, these are some general guidelines. Get out there and try some different clothing combos to see what works for you! If you’d like some specific suggestions for clothing reach out and I’ll be happy to help!