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January 09, 2015

All About That Base Layer

Sarah Mac

Ahh nothing like that bitter, err beautiful, northeast winter to remind me of the value of the noble base layer. Get it wrong and your winter wonderland becomes a winter nightmare. Too hot, too cold, too sweaty, too…distracted to enjoy those crisp miles.

Ten days split between Massachusetts and Vermont means running in all kinds of weather - sub 10º windchill, slushy 35º with rain, calm 20º and everything in between. Here are the layers I wore from the base up.

winter-layers-frost.jpg

10º with strong north wind / easy 5 (above)
Wazzie Wool Base Layer
Katron Vest
Moto Tights
(hat + mittens)*

20º calm and cloudy / easy 5
Lucky Long Sleeve
New Flyer Jacket
Go Joggings
(hat + mittens)*

winter-layers-flyer_0.jpg

35º slushy snow on road, rain / long run (above)
Pro Kit Leggings
Flyte 2000 Short Sleeve
New Flyer Jacket
(headband + gloves)*

45º and light rain / hilly 4
Wazelle Short Sleeve
Arm Warmers
Roga Short

* Oiselle hasn't introduced a hat or gloves yet. Someday soon! In the meantime, my favorite hat/headbands are Sauce, created by a cross country skier. And for gloves I love the $1 throw away ones from the drugstore. You can blow your nose in 'em or even throw them out midrun and not care!


WINTER RUNNING: WHAT TO WEAR 

If you’re new to winter running here are some tips to help you get out the door in the right threads. Overdressing is easier to do than underdressing and can be uncomfortable and distracting.

Temperature
Take the temperature (make sure to account for windchill) and add 20º. Now pull an outfit together you’d wear if you were to be standing around in that temperature.

Example: It’s 25º out. What would you wear to stroll around in 45º? For me that would be tights, long sleeve base layer, light jacket (gloves and hat).

Everyone has their ‘shorts-ready temperature’. You’ll learn yours. Personally, I don’t wear shorts if it’s 37º or below unless I’m racing. In my younger days it was 34º.

Precipitation
It’s easy to over dress when in precipitation, especially if you go out the door into rain or snow. Just remember if you’re warm before the mile mark you’re overdressed. The Flyer Jacket is a great layer solution - amazingly warm and so lightweight – it’s easy to wear until you’re revved up and then tie it around your waist.

Workout Dependent
Dress for the work. For instance if you’re going long at a decent clip dress lighter than if you were going for an easy four miles. If you’re hitting a workout, dress a layer above for the warmup and cool down and strip them off for the meat of the workout. It’s is the perfect time to run in a snuggy French Fleece number like the Oiselle Trials Hoodie and double pants like Hayward over the Pro Kit leggings. You should be toasty on that warm up and cool down.