Sunday, January 2, 2011

Play by play for cold weather running

So I frequent a message board about health and fitness and there is constantly a question about "what do I wear for a cold weather run?" But lately, I've also been getting the question from family and friends. So although I can tell you over and over again, here's a play by play in pictures(for you visual people) so you can get an idea. The temp today was around 20* but it was pretty windy so maybe about 10* with the windchill. This was what I wore for 4 miles today. The only thing I'd change is maybe putting some sweats over my tights, I was a bit chilly toward the end.

First, socks. I love my smartwool socks for cold weather. My toes stay toasty without getting too hot and they're amazingly comfortable.

Tights. I wear Lululemon Alpine tights. Today was the first time I got somewhat cold and was thinking I should have worn sweats over. Since I'm going to start longer distances, I may add sweats over. My shoes are Nike's but don't go buy them just because I wear them. I highly recommend getting fitted for running shoes.

Now, on top. My base layer is from Target's C9 Champion line. The key for your base layer is moisture wicking and tight(er) fitting. Please excuse my face in this picture.

Then on top of that, I have an REI moisture wicking medium weight shirt with thumbholes.

On top, I have another C9 jacket, moisture wicking with thumb holes. I put this on top since it zips all the way so it's easier to remove if I get too hot.

The hat is nothing special. Just a fleece hat I picked up at Target(or something). Eventually I will get a moisture wicking one. I also added some cheap gloves which came off around mile 2. Then because my husband is worried about my safety(although it was broad daylight) I put on a reflective vest, purchased at REI. My Garmin came with an extension for the wrist band so I could put it on over top all my layers. Add Ipod and my house key in the little pocket of my tights and I was off!

Now a couple other tips. I always put a mug of water in the microwave so I can make hot cocoa as soon as I walk in. I turn on the microwave, go back to the bedroom and strip all wet clothes(believe it or not you will still sweat) and put on dry warm sweats that I had already laid out on the bed.

Dry sweats, cocoa, and cuddling up under a blanket. Once I warm up a bit I make something to eat(tonight I made spaghetti) then head to the shower. When you jump in the shower after being out in the cold, you get the pins and needles feeling and it's rather unpleasant. So, there it is! Suggestions of what to wear and how to dress for cold weather running! Now get out there!


  1. Thanks for this; I'm thinking about starting running and as it is cold here too I was wondering about dressing for it. Thanks so much.

  2. Beb, make your pics bigger! And you look great! Thank God I don't have to deal with that cold ;)

  3. Em, I need a camera. Those were cell phone pics, sorry!
    And Natosha, you're welcome! I much prefer the cold than heat and humidity!

  4. Even though I run in the cold, you have a way better setup so I'm stealing yours! :) The post-run stuff, that is. We're pretty similar in our layering habits, although I tend to wear fewer layers on top because I get hot soooo easily. But then when I come in, my body goes, OMG COLD!!!! and crashes and I spend half an hour bundled from head to toe in heavy blankets. Hot cocoa and dry sweats sound much better. :)

  5. Jacki everyone is a little different. I usually end up a bit warm but that's why I wear a top layer that's easy to take off. Hope the sweats and cocoa help. :)

  6. should go check out that msg board that gets all the questions. I left you a msg and I can't find a contact you on here, so yay... :)

    I apologize for hunting you down via technology!


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