Suiting up to run in the winter is a delicate balance. Dressing in layers is key.
If you wear too little clothing, you're not going to generate enough heat to keep your body warm. But if you wear too much, you're going to sweat excessively. All that sweat will be wicked off your body onto your clothes. This makes you wet, uncomfortable and cold.
There are many methods to decide how much to wear for an outdoor winter workout, but many of them fail to account for the most important factor regarding weather conditions: wind chill.
There's a big difference between a 20 degree day with no wind chill, and a 20 degree day with a 10 degree wind chill. Here is a good guideline to follow:
1. Put on as many layers as you think you need and go outside.
2. Add or subtract layers until you feel cold, but it's not so bad that you are shivering.
3. Once you start running, the heat from your body should make you feel warm within a few minutes. If you stay cold, put on more layers.
This method takes some trial and error but can keep you safe. If you're not confident in the outfit you're wearing, take a few extra layers or stay close to home. Here is some general guidance when deciding how to layer up:
1. From 32 degrees to 20 degrees: Use a hat, light gloves, a base layer and running tights.
2. From 20 degrees to 10 degrees: Use a hat, heavy gloves, a base layer, a jacket and running tights.
3. From 10 degrees to 0 degrees: Use a hat, heavy gloves, a neck gaiter, a face mask, two base layers, a jacket, running tights and winter running pants.
4. Below 0 degrees: Wear two hats, two gloves, a neck gaiter, a face mask, two base layers, a winter ski jacket, long underwear, running tights and winter running pants.
Learning how to layer this winter can keep you active, comfortable and safe outdoors.
- How to Stay Motivated to Run This Winter
- What Happens to Your Body During a Winter Run
- Sidestep These Common Winter Running Pitfalls
Find your next race.
Christian Peterson will be running outdoors this winter in Minnesota.