If you’re a dedicated runner, missing a run due to weather conditions just isn’t an option. Mother Nature will not keep us from our workouts! To help ensure you’re prepared, here’s what to wear running in any weather.
Running in Cold Weather
Deciding what to wear running in cold weather can be tricky, because your body will be cold at first but will naturally get warmer as your run progresses. The goal is to dress in a way that will keep you comfortable at the start but not lead to overheating later on. You also need to maintain enough flexibility to make a full stride without feeling restricted by your apparel.
Layering is Crucial
The key to solving this puzzle is layers. By using light layers, you can easily adjust during your run based on how you feel. For instance, you might wear a standard running t-shirt with a lightweight pullover on top. The pullover will be comfortable at the start, and when you begin to get warm, you can take it off and tie it around your waist (or just carry it with you) for the rest of the run.
Two other items to wear on cold day runs include a stocking cap (“beanie”) and a pair of gloves or mittens. Your head and hands will almost certainly feel cold at the start of a winter run. If you find yourself getting sweaty mid-run, both of these items are easy to remove and stow in a pocket or running belt.
Running in Snow
If there’s snow on the ground, you know it’s cold. In addition to the pieces above, here are a few others to consider:
- Socks. Wool socks can help to keep your feet warm while you run. You may consider technical running socks, which often have some waterproofing, which will help if snow or slush gets inside your shoes.
- Your shoes. Waterproof or water-resistant shoes can help to keep freezing moisture out. To improve traction, you may also want to consider using ice grips (also called “ice cleats”). These devices attach to the bottoms of your shoes and feature spikes to improve your grip on ice.
- Leggings. Also referred to as running tights, leggings will protect your legs from the cold and the elements. They’re easily worn alone or under shorts if you prefer, and they’re great to double up on really cold days.
While a run in the snow can be great fun, be careful to avoid black ice. Even if the pavement looks clear, there may be ice waiting to send you to the ground. You’re usually better off running on the snow itself, as it can provide some traction under your feet.
Running in Hot Weather
Running in the heat can be grueling if you’re not used to it, but the right clothes can help you to stay cooler and take down your miles in comfort. Here’s what to wear:
- Moisture-wicking clothes. Moisture-wicking clothes use synthetic materials to pull sweat away from your body, keeping you cooler. Be sure to avoid cotton clothes, as cotton will absorb your sweat and get heavy as you run.
- Options on top. Consider wearing an extremely lightweight long-sleeve shirt to keep the sun off your arms. If you do opt for a T-shirt, tank top, or even no shirt at all, be sure to use to avoid getting burned.
- Hat. A hat is a great idea when running on a hot day, both to keep the sun off your scalp and to keep it out of your eyes. If you don’t like hats, sunglasses with UV protection are a good substitute.
Running in Wind
Wind might seem like the least of the conditions we’ve listed, but it can be tough to get comfortable and complete a long run on a windy day—especially when you’re running into the wind. If it’s cold and windy, stick with the idea of layering and try to cover as much of your skin as possible. Windburn is no fun. On a warmer day, you can get away with less clothing, but tie up long hair and avoid wearing a baseball cap that may fly away. Also, think about the surface you will be running on: Pavement is no problem, but on a dirt or gravel road, you are more likely to get pelted with flying debris, so wearing leggings could be more comfortable than shorts.
Running in Rain
There are two general schools of thought regarding running in the rain—try to stay dry or just accept the inevitable. With the right equipment, you might be able to stay dry for a while, but water tends to find a way in eventually. That said, there are a few gear-related tips that can help to make the experience more comfortable:
- Don’t overdress. A common tendency is for runners to put on more layers to try to keep the rain out. No matter what you wear, the fact is that if you run in the rain, you will get wet. The more layers you put on, the heavier your clothes will get as they collect rain, so keep that in mind as you choose your outfit.
- Bright colors. There is low visibility in the rain. If you’re running on the road, be sure to wear bright colors and/or reflective gear to help ensure drivers can spot you.
- Hat. A brimmed hat can help to keep the rain off of your head and face as you run, which will make the experience far more tolerable.
- Think about your feet. While there are technical running socks available on the market that may help to keep some moisture away from your feet, it will be very difficult to keep your feet completely dry in the rain. Consider wearing shoes with a water-proofing treatment like Gore-Tex, or just wear an older pair of shoes you don’t mind getting soaked.
Keep Your Running Gear Clean & Odor-Free
It’s important to stay comfortable while you run, and wearing the right clothes for the weather is a big step in that direction. When your run is finished, use WIN Detergent to properly clean all of your synthetic activewear garments. Have you noticed that your running gear never smells quite right when it comes out of the wash? Using the right detergent can solve that problem—and WIN is perfectly suited for the job. Order a bottle, and smell the difference for yourself!