Over the last 3 weeks, our Saturday morning running group (we leave at 9:20am if you care to join!) has endured drastically different temperatures and levels of precipitation.  As we move into the colder months and unpredictable weather, here are some tips for venturing outdoors for your run.

Cold Weather Running

Dressing for cold weather running can be a challenge. If you dress so that you are warm at the start of your run you will probably be over-heated by the end. When running in cold weather always remember one word - layers. The layers of clothing will keep you warm by trapping heat against your body. As you generate heat during your run you can remove layers to avoid overheating. 

When dressing for cold weather running, wear either two or three layers depending upon the weather conditions. Each layer has its own purpose.

Layer 1 
The purpose of the first layer is to wick moisture away from your skin. A long snug-fitting shirt is a common choice for the first layer. The best choice would be one made from a fabric that wicks the sweat away from your body. 

Layer 2
The second or middle layer should insulate your body and keep you warm. This layer should be made from an insulating material such as fleece. It should also be able to absorb a small amount of moisture so that it can assist your first layer in keeping your skin dry and warm.

Layer 3
Your third or outside layer is there to break the wind and keep rain or snow away from your insulating and wicking layers. This outside layer should be made from a waterproof material such as Gortex or nylon.  This outside layer includes both a jacket and running pants.

One rule of thumb when dressing for cold weather running is that you should be a bit cold when you step out the door. If you are comfortable or warm at the start of your run, you will overheat rapidly. 

Dressing for cool to moderate weather (5 to 15 degrees C)   
This is the most difficult weather to dress for. A single layer of clothing is the best bet. Wear either a long sleeve or short sleeve shirt depending upon the exact weather and your personal preference. Shorts are sometimes enough for these conditions while some may prefer to wear lightweight tights. Running gloves and a headband or hat will provide some added warmth, especially if it is windy. If it is raining add a water resistant outer layer and a baseball cap to keep the water off of your face. 

Dressing for cold weather (minus 9 to 4 degrees C)
You will want at least two layers of clothing in cold weather. Start with a long sleeve shirt and heavy running tights. Add a water resistant running jacket for the outside layer and if it’s windy or rainy, a pair of water resistant running pants. You will definitely want running gloves and a headband or hat. 

Dressing for very cold weather (Below minus 9 degrees C)
In this severe weather you will want three layers. Start with a long sleeve shirt and tights made of a wicking fabric. Add an insulating middle layer and possibly some heavy weight running pants. Use a water resistant running jacket as an outer layer. Always wear running gloves and an insulating headband or hat in the severe cold.  A balaclava may be useful in these conditions to protect the skin on your face.

Source: www.runningplanet.com

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