Just because the temperature drops doesn't mean you have to stop running; it simply means you need appropriate winter running gear. While motivating yourself to run in the cold can be a unique challenge, you may also find it invigorating or excruciating. Running during wintertime takes guts and ample preparation. But it's always worth it if you can get away from the bed and resist the coziness of the couch. A winter run provides a greater sense of satisfaction than a workout in warmer weather. Again, it just feels like it's always worth it.
You’ll need to learn how to layer your clothing and make wise gear choices properly to be prepared. Make running in comfort and an all-year commitment. Match your dress to the weather and train through the winter with our guide on how to choose winter running gear to stay warm and comfortable during your winter run.
Things to Consider When Choosing Winter Running Gear
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing cold-weather running clothes:
Choose an Insulated and Breathable Gear
Natural materials such as wool or down and synthetic equivalents are often used to provide insulation. When these materials are packed together in clothing, they create small spaces for air to accumulate. Insulation can also be made by weaving a synthetic cloth into channels and pockets that trap air and heat it.
However, as a runner, you need more than simply insulation; it must also be breathable. At the same time, as you're trapping air near to your body, you want the moisture from sweat to escape, so you don't get wet. This premise means that you should opt for materials that are both insulated and breathable.
Avoid Wearing Cotton
Other materials will work just fine, but cotton is not one of them. Although cotton feels soft, it will only absorb your sweat and leave you cold. Wear breathable fabric instead, which pushes sweat to the outer surface of the garment and dries quickly.
Not only does bare skin lose heat, but it is also vulnerable to injury from exposure. Therefore, in frigid weather, make sure to protect all of the spots that are prone to cold damage, such as the head, neck, ears, nose, cheeks, and hands.
You should also protect your skin from the cold and wind to avoid frostbite and chapped skin and lips.
Make Yourself Visible
Since the days are shorter and the nights are longer in the winter, you're more likely to be running in the dark. So, to make yourself visible during your runs, add reflective or bright clothing to your list.
Dress in Layers
You also want to keep any wind, rain, or snow from chilling you. And, especially in the long run, you should be able to adjust your clothing to the weather. Again, layering is critical if you are unsure of how warm or cold you will be.
Here are three main layers to play with:
- Base Layer – This layer is all about comfort as it is the layer closest to your skin. You want a material that wicks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly. This layer should fit perfectly. Breathable fabrics perform best when they come into contact with your skin.
- Mid Layer – The first layer focuses on comfort, while the second layer focuses on insulation. Here, we want an insulating but breathable layer to keep the warmth in a while, allowing the moisture wicked by the base layer to escape. Two layers may suffice for your run in dry weather or while you're pushing yourself. However, if rain is in the forecast, you'll need to add another layer.
- Outer Layer – The standard layering system's third and final layer protects you from wind, rain, and snow. It's usually a running jacket or anorak, and it's your protection against the weather. This layer should come with a weatherproof or waterproof membrane.
What Winter Running Gear Should You Use?
When choosing gear for cold weather, keep in mind that you'll warm up rapidly once you start moving. If you overdress or wear too much gear, you will become hot and sweaty. When it's wet, your equipment will be less effective in keeping you warm. However, you cannot wear too little, or you will be cold for the duration of the run. As a result, you must find the proper balance.
At a minimum, your essential winter running gear should consist of:
- Headband, Beanie, or Hat
- Base Layer Shirt (Preferably Long Sleeve)
- Running Jacket
- Running Pants or Tights
- Running Socks
- Running Shoes (Preferably Waterproof)
Whatever option you choose, we hope you find the ideal winter running gear combination to keep you running through the winter. There is no more terrific way to feel alive than to go on a cold-weather run.
Fullscope Sports is a retailer of sporting goods, athletic footwear, active apparel, and more. If you plan to buy your winter running gear, you may shop our sporting goods online or come into our Atlanta store today!