What to wear running when it's freezing or raining or windy or snowing... basically what to wear when it's winter? We got you. First, our lead designer (and Founder and CEO) Sally Bergesen breaks down the technical details for us.
Why is temperature regulation important for performance when running in cold weather?
In general, you don't want your core temperature to get too high or too low. The biggest danger in cold weather is hypothermia. This might not be a risk when your body is working hard, but once you stop, and there is sweat/moisture next to your skin, your body temperature can begin to drop rapidly. Keeping body temperature regulated while minimizing exposure is important in winter running.
Should runners dress differently depending on the type of run they're doing?
Yes, harder, shorter efforts won't require as many layers. Slower, longer runs should include more. It also depends on the duration of being outside. Layers might be needed during the warm up and drills of a track workout, but then very few for the workout itself (but then coverage again when done). Having a set of completely dry clothes for after a workout or run is also the best way to preserve warmth. A hot shower + dry clothes + hot drink (coffee/tea/etc) = the ultimate!
What guidelines or cues can runners use to make sure that they're dressed appropriately (not too much or too little clothing) for running in cold weather?
- Check outside temperature
- Know your local weather patterns (cold/dry, temperate/wet, etc)
- In cold/dry weather, you want insulating layers and wind protection. In temperate/wet climates you want thin but performance-based layers that keep your core warm. In hot climates, you want layers that promote evaporative cooling.
WHAT WEAR WHEN? LOOKBOOK
Okay, now you're armed with the information you need to dress for the winter weather no matter the workout. But what to wear when the rubber, or snow, meets the road? Okay, first take the temperature outside + 20° and imagine what you'd wear standing around. So if it's 40° out, imagine it's 60° and you're not running. Probably would wear shorts + long sleeves or knickers + long sleeves. Boom. Add gloves, hats as needed. You know your body.
Perfect for short shorts and long sleeves. As it dips closer to 45° add gloves if needed.
35° - 45°
You'll get to know your shorts cut off temperature. For me it's 42°. When it's lower than that pair your long sleeve with knickers. Again, add gloves and earbands if needed.
If it's raining, add the Wallace, Burke or Gilman from 32° - 55°. Any colder? That's called snow. I like to pair a tank under my Burke when it's 45° and raining. It's perfect!
28° - 35°
Now it's winter! Time to layer. Wool solo is perfect at 35°, anything lower and you'll want layers. Burke over Wool is perfect in the 20°s, otherwise a wicking long sleeve is just right. And a vest is a great layer! You'll want to add gloves or mittens and a hat in temperatures this low.
It's all about the layers now. Wool next to skin, Katron on top. Double tights.