How To Dress When Running Outside For The Winter

Running in the winter can be a challenge because you need need to stay warm, dry and visible. While your head is the place where you lose the most heat, your trunk is where all of the vital functions of your body happen, and so it is one of the most important parts of your body to get right when dressing for the cold before a run.

When the weather turns colder, many runners turn to running inside. But, you can get in some good workouts in colder weather. Plus, it can help you mentally by getting you outside and help you to keep from getting cabin fever. An additional benefit is that you will burn more calories when you run outside in the cold. Some tips to run in the cooler weather and keep warm include.

If the sun does come out, it is also a good idea to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, particularly if there is snow on the ground because it can be quite bright. It is also a good idea to work out during the day when you can easily see where there are ice and other winter dangers.

Of the most important things about running in colder weather is how you dress. There are so many runners that will overdress. If you do this, then you can get too hot during your run and be uncomfortable. You want to be a little chilly when you first start out. You will warm up as you start running. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than it it.

Woman running in winter

You want to dress in layers. And, you need to have your base layer be made of technical, moisture wicking material. This will help to draw the moisture away from you as sweat during your run and help you to stay warmer. Stay away from cotton. It will get wet, stay wet and you’ll be chilled during your run. Your top layer should be made of a breathable material such as Gore-Tex. This layer will also help you if it is windy or snowing/raining.

Make sure that you are wearing gloves and a cap or hat. You can lose 20%-30% of your body heat out of your head and hands. So, you want to make sure that you are keeping them covered.

If you can, and you are running out and back, try to start your run heading into the wind. This will make your run much better at the end. the wind will be at your back when you are tired and heated up from your run. You’ll feel better, and you will keep from getting chilled.

Even though it’s colder outside, you want to make sure that you are staying properly hydrated. You are still sweating and losing fluids. And, with the cooler weather you sweat will be evaporating more quickly and not cooling your body down. So, make sure you are still drinking adequately.

On the outside, you want to have some windbreaker, whether it’s a full zip or some half zip that only goes down to your chest. The nice thing about the half zip’s and the full zip shirts are that you can regulate heat well.

On colder days when you first get out running, and you haven’t warmed up yet, you can zip up all the way to protect your neck, not so much for this jacket, but you get it over your face or sometimes your nose as you are running and once you warm up you can let some of the heat out just by
unzipping it.

On a warmer day that is still a bit cool, you may want to consider a vest instead of a jacket, which will protect your torso while keeping your arms from sweating.

How to dress when running outside for the winter

Underneath of that, you are going to want to wear at least one if not two shirts. I like to have a long sleeve and then a short sleeve underneath. That provides extra protection from the wind and also allows a warmed pocket of air to collect between each layer.

Another option that you should consider are arm sleeves, which are perfect for cool days where you might be a bit chilly early in a run with just a t-shirt, but you know that once you warm up (or once the sun gets a bit higher), you will be too warm for long sleeves. Arm sleeves are also good for protecting you from the sun’s ultraviolet.

As you warm up, you can strip layers off, push up your sleeves, or unzip your jacket to keep your body temperature regulated. That way you don’t overheat, and if you hit a particularly windy stretch or the conditions change you have to clothe you can then put back on.

I recommend against wearing cotton and wearing more technical fabrics instead. The reason for that is because as you are running and you sweat, a cotton shirt will collect the moisture and get wet. The water then pools up on that spot, and the shirt is going to get heavy and may begin to freeze, which will lower your core temperature.

If you are wearing a technical shirt such as polypropylene and you get water on it, the water is just going to wick from your skin out and then once it gets on to the shirt it’s going to spread out along the fabric.

This way it is not all concentrated on one spot, you will not get as cold, and the moisture will be more likely to evaporate away from your clothing.

In fact, if you have a good running shirt or jacket then the moisture will bead up, and it will just run right off of the shirt, keeping both you and your clothing dry.

However, if you decide to work out at night, make sure you wear reflective gear and that you take a route that you know well. It is important to keep safety as your number one priority when you are exercising with your baby in the winter weather.

Running through the colder weather is good for many reasons. And, most importantly you will stay in shape through the winter season. This gives you a head start on your training when spring gets

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