By Elizabeth Jenkins
This time of year can cause for some unpredictable weather while you are running. Here are some quick tips to help you stay comfortable.
When you hands are cold, you are more aware of how cold the rest of your body is. We lose a lot of heat through our extremities, so cover that head and those hands. Some of the higher-quality pieces of apparel we carry in our stores will have built-in hand covers. Nike and Pearl Izumi pieces use these frequently.
2. Wind-proof clothing
For windy days, consider a windbreaker or a wind-stopper jacket to go over your warm technical fiber clothes. The North Face, Nike and Pearl Izumi have some fabulous options for these types of jackets. Nike even makes a running tight with wind-proof paneling in the front. Running tights are warmer than pants because cold air can go up the pant leg. If you aren’t sure you are ready for running tights, you can put a pair of shorts over them to give you a little extra coverage and a little wind resistance.
3. Wool socks
Wool isn’t only for the colder winter months. I use it all year long for its superior wicking capabilities. Wool is the only fiber that can wick a vapor away from the skin. All other synthetics have to wait until the sweat turns into a droplet before it can move it away from the skin. For this reason, your feet stay dry and warm. Wet feet means cold feet, and that’s never good. Stick to Merino wool. Regular wool is not as high of quality and will shrink up and be scratchy. Merino is the way to go!
4. Wool or synthetic underwear
Cotton underwear wont do you any favors in the cold weather (or ever…). Get some synthetic underwear STAT. Wool or synthetic, both infinitely better than cotton. We have a few otpions in our stores. Ice Breaker makes some underwear for both men and women in a couple different styles. Ice Breaker uses Merino wool and their stuff is amazing. Asics also makes some out of a synthetic material which are also great. Nike makes the nike Pro Combat short which I have seen used as underwear (yes, I saw someone in their underwear!) and I’ve also seen and used them as a cool short for the hot months. The Nike Pro shorts come in a few different lengths for both men and women.
Beware of items claiming to be waterproof or weatherproof. When you run, you sweat a lot. The moisture has to be able to leave your body and travel through the clothes you are wearing to then be evaporated into the air. Waterproof materials prevent the moisture from escaping your clothes and body leaving you wet. This could lead to a couple problems. You could end up freezing cold or you could also end up over heating. Water resistant apparel is a much better option! This goes for shoes too. Waterproof or Gore-tex shoes are great for many purposes, but for running, stick with a breathable fabric and a high-quality wool sock. Your feet will thank you!
The S-V-I-P layering system is also a good way to make sure you are dressing the right wau. Read more about that here.
The key to staying warm in cold weather it to stay dry, prepare for the temperature, and keep the wind off.
Bra/Underwear (non-cotton)-snug boxer cut bottoms are great for winter for men and women. Men can also purchase a pair with a lovely windproof panel in the front.
Next-to-skin, base layer, wicking fabrics (non-cotton), A snug technical tee shirt or long sleeve depending on what you will be using for your insulation.
Middle layer for warmth (non-cotton). This could be a long sleeve top worn over the short sleeve base layer or a running vest thrown over the long sleeve
base layer option. For pants, you may choose either a winter tight or looser running pant. Another option is a 3/4 tights for temps in the high 30′s to low 40′s.
Shell for rain, snow or wind. Not always needed and is combined on some fabrics like Sporthill’s 3sp top.