As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Described here is how to dress in order to stay safe in any weather conditions.
If you decide to brave the coldest weather, layering is key. Your base layers should be made of wicking fabrics such as technical material or wool. Never wear cotton when the temperature reaches arctic status, as cotton will absorb sweat and become cold. Over your base layer should be a thicker long sleeve shirt made from a durable winter material, such as wool. Next, a vest provides a great way to keep your core body temperature warm, and the outfit can be completed with a jacket. Runners should protect their legs by doubling up on pants on the chilliest days. A thin base layer followed by thicker sweats or tights is recommended.
Accessories are also important when temperatures are freezing. A thin pair of gloves beneath water-proof mittens keeps hands warm. A neoprene face mask or wool gaiter is a great option for protecting your face. Doubling up on a headband and hat is also recommended.
32o – 60o F
In-between weather is often most difficult to dress for during runs. Here, a light layer such as a windbreaker or heavy long sleeve shirt over a light base layer is recommended. Light gloves and a light headband can also make running more comfortable. Longer shorts, such as capris or half-tights are often the perfect length for running in these conditions. For runners with a limited wardrobe, shorts with knee high socks can also suffice. A good rule of thumb when dressing for chilly – but not freezing – weather is to dress as though the weather is 20o warmer, which will account for how you feel once you warm up.
Warm weather running requires light, breathable clothing. Running clothes should be made from technical materials instead of cotton in order to reduce chafing and discomfort. Look for fabrics that naturally wick sweat away from the skin. Avoid wearing too many layers on your core to keep from overheating. A light hat can help you feel cooler by blocking your face from the harsh sun.
Running in rainy weather requires a high quality rain jacket in order to stay warm and dry. Invest in a jacket that is water resistant, as opposed to water proof, so that you do not overheat. A hat is great for rainy running, as well. If the temperature is moderate, opt for shorts instead of tights to reduce the amount of water that soaks into your clothes and chafes your skin.
Wind can make mild temperatures feel much colder. A wind-breaker jacket is a great way to make your run feel more comfortable. A hat and gloves can also help to reduce discomfort.
The same jacket that you would wear in the rain is perfect for a snowy day. Water resistant hats and gloves can also help you remain comfortable. If planning to run for a long time in the snow, consider packing dry accessories to change into mid-run.
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