Winter training can bring solitude and beauty to your weekly exercise routine. However, it does take some extra planning and gear to keep your runs fulfilling and enjoyable through more extreme weather.
What Should I Wear?
It's important to have the proper equipment for winter running. Everything from your head to your feet should be covered in some kind of moisture-wicking fabric. This is not the time to wear your cotton hoodie and wool gloves. You need fabrics that are going to wick away moisture from your body.
Cotton and other similar materials don't evaporate your sweat fast enough. If you wear too much cotton while running, your clothing can become cold and wet. This is a great way to get hypothermia.
Here is a comprehensive list of all the clothing you'll need to brave the weather outdoors.
Merino wool wicks moisture the best and stays the warmest. Buy several. Look into buying at least one synthetic layer with a hood.
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This should not be confused with a winter coat. Your jacket should be a wind and water resistant shell coat with a little bit of lining to keep you warm. When you're running—except in extremely cold temperatures—heavy winter coats are unnecessarily warm and bulky. Your core can generate more than enough warmth to keep you toasty with just a baselayer and shell in most weather.
3. Running Tights
This is winter running's greatest invention. Learn to love them. Tights are the single most versatile piece of clothing in your winter running arsenal. They are thin enough to keep you cool in the fall, but tight enough to keep you warm in the winter. This is due to the magic of compression. Compression means more blood flow in the thighs. The result is warmth.
4. Wind-Resistant Pants
There are some situations where running tights alone won't cut it. When it's really cold, or really windy, wearing tights can feel like you're wearing fish nets. You may want a pair of winter running pants to go over your tights. You can also wear them with long underwear.