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Marathon Layering: What To Wear In Any Temperature

Marathon Layering: What To Wear In Any Temperature

Oct 23, 2016

Sarah Mac
Team

A blog favorite from the Oiselle archives originally published in early 2016 by Sarah Mac. Now updated with new race dates, styles, and the knowledge that the 2018 Boston Marathon conditions, maybe, just maybe, called for wearing a jacket (or a plastic bag).


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You’ve been training for months and now the 10 day forecast is closing in on race day. You’re refreshing your phone like you’re playing the slots. But here’s the thing, you can’t change the forecast. I know, I know it seems like a reflection on your personal karma, but the 100s and 1000s of humans in your race will all run in the same weather no matter how many times you refresh your weather app while promising to work a soup kitchen this Thanksgiving.

The big question is what to wear. First take a breath, this is no different than choosing what to wear on workout day or long run day. Take the temperature outside, add 20°, imagine what you’d be comfortable standing in at the temperature then build your uniform. If it’s 42°, think of what you’d wear casually on a 62° day. Shorts and a sweater? Run translation: shorts, short sleeve and arm warmers. Boom.

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I personally would never race in a rain jacket no matter the downpour, but to each their own. I will say if you wear a rain jacket to race, your best bet is to go sports bra only underneath. Or a Flyte Tank, something very light under there unless it’s under 40.

For further study I’ve pulled three forecasts from actual NYC Marathon dates as examples of what a fall (or spring) marathon could deal you and built race day looks for each.


FORECAST

November 5, 2017   

High: 62°F

Low: 52°F

Mostly cloudy

ANALYSIS + RACE DAY LOOK

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Welcome to your perfect marathon scenario. Mild temperatures, no wind, the only way it could be better is if it were slightly overcast and a touch cooler. You’ll want a tank, light Jacket to warm up in, shorts, and some compression socks wouldn't hurt if you are someone who runs on the colder side. 

Flyte Tank (Volée Singlet)

Roga Shorts of your liking (RegularToolbeltSummerLong)

Tall Bird Compression Socks

Vim Jacket for warm up... or if it takes a very Boston 2018 turn for the worst.


FORECAST

November 1, 2015

High: 64°

Low: 48°

Cloudy with 62% humidity.

ANALYSIS + RACE DAY LOOK

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Oh hello sunshine in November. This is actually pretty warm to pound out a 26.2. But I bet the spectators were cheers-ing their iced coffees happily. Anyway, time to bust out those abs. If you’re in club thou shall not see my belly button, opt for a seamless tank or the Flyout Tank. Something super lightweight. And wear a hat, soak it prerace if you’re hot and then dump water on your head as needed throughout.

Flyout Tank or Blackbird Crop... which will be making a return (or Volée Singlet/Crop)

Race Day Shorts

Runner Trucker Hat or Sunglasses


FORECAST

November 2, 2014

High: 48°F

Low: 41°F

Cloudy with high winds between 30-45 mph depending on the neighborhood.

ANALYSIS + RACE DAY LOOK

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I recently re-watched NYC 2014 coverage. Damn, that wind looked bitter. So while the temperatures here aren’t shockingly low, the wind chill is a factor. Some people have a strict shorts-only rule on race day (raises hand), so consider adding compression socks for warmth. Otherwise, short sleeves, arm warmers, gloves, earband and capris. And layer up before the gun goes off, don’t waste valuable energy shivering.

Mile One Pullover while waiting for the start

Lux Short Sleeve

Pocket Jogger Capris (plenty of pockets to store all your race day essentials)

Lux Earband

Optional: Puffy Track Jacket to help with that post-race chill before you get to a warm shower

Bonus Goucher advice: don’t wear sunscreen, or use it sparingly. It inhibits your ability to sweat normally and you need all systems go in the marathon. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure the UV index is a 2 all day in November.

Alright! Now that you know what to wear, you can move on to worry about what to eat or if that tickle in your throat is the black lung. 

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