Cold Weather Running Gear

by on

Cold weather running gear choices and options can be confusing, especially as the seasons change, and you’re constantly trying to figure out what to wear in varying weather conditions and temperatures.

Cold Weather Running Gear Tips

Whether you plan on running through the winter outdoors or just on brisk fall mornings, understand how to appropriate dress is key.  Since running is such an active sport, what you

Cold Weather Running Gear

would wear standing still is most likely too warm to wear as cold weather running gear.  The trick is to balance the warmth the cold weather running gear clothing brings with the heat thrown off by your body.

Knowing what to wear in cold weather is key being comfortable and having a successful run.  Follow these tips and suggestions to make your frosty run a jolly one:

  • Dress in layers.  I typically wear, from the outer layer in, a nylon runner’s jacket, a long sleeve tech T-shrit, and a short sleeve T-shirt.  If I get too hot, I take the jacket off and tie it around my waist.
  • Wear gloves.  For some reason, my hands are always colder when I run than when I stand around.  I normally need to wear gloves once the temperature falls below 40 degrees.  Once I warm up, the gloves come off.
  • Wear warm socks.  The extremities get cold, keep them warm.
  • Wear a hat.  My favorite cold weather running gear is the balaclava.
  • Dress for twenty degrees warmer than it is.  That means if it is thirty out side, then dress as if you are going to stand around in fifty degree weather.  For me that means wearing the equivalent of a light jacket and long sleeved shirt.
  • Guys, wear wind briefs in sub thirty degree weather to protect the family jewels from extreme windchill.
  • Drink water and stay hydrated.  Even though it is cold, you’ll still sweat, so drink fluids to maintain peak performance.
  • Check out these cold weather running gear safety tips.
  • Factor in the wind chill.  If possible alter your route so you’re running through woods to cut down the wind, or run cross wise to the wind to avoid having to run into it.

Cold weather Running Gear by the Numbers

Everyone is different, so you’ll want to adjust what you wear according to your tolerances; however, if you’re looking for more guidance on what cold weather running gear to wear check out what I typically wear according to the temperature:

  • Fifty Degrees and Up – Hat, tech T-shirt, and Shorts.  The hat keeps the sun and sweat out of my eyes.
  • Forty to Fifty Degrees – Long sleeved tech T-shirt, shorts, and hat.
  • Thirty Five to Forty Degrees – Long sleeved tech T-shirt, running tights, gloves, and hat.
  • Thirty to Thirty Five Degrees – Running Jacket, Long sleeved tech T-shirt, heavy running pants, gloves, balaclava
  • Twenty to Thirty Degrees – Running Jacket, Long sleeved tech T-shirt, short sleeved tech T-shirt , heavy running pants, gloves, balaclava
  • Twenty and Down – Burr!  I usually slip on mittens over my running gloves.
  • Fifteen and Down – I wear a fleece under my running jacket.

In addition to this clothing  I also wear yaktrax when it is really slippery outside.  They provide great traction in hard packed snow and ice.  I tend to only wear them on shorter runs, say five miles or less, as they hurt my feet if I wear them for longer distances.  Also, be sure to take your cell phone in case you have to call someone.  I once had to call my wife to rescue me from a snow storm!

If you find cold weather running intriging or even crazy, then be sure to read my blog post “Frosty Paws.”   It gives a good account of me running 15 miles in 4 degree weather.

I’d love to hear about what  cold weather running gear you use in colder weather.  I would like to get a women’s perspective, are there special considerations?  Do you get cold really easy?  Please leave a comment and let me know!  I would love to hear from you.





Previous post:

Next post: