Winter Running Clothing Tips
On a cold winter day, having the correct winter running clothing can make your outdoor running much more enjoyable.
The most important thing about proper winter running gear is to dress in layers. There’s no one bulk jacket or pants that will satisfy all types of wintry conditions. Layering lets you dress appropriately for the specific weather you’re experiencing. Layering also lets you ditch outerwear or put it back on as necessary depending on weather conditions.
To remain as warm as possible, you want the inner layers of your clothes to draw your perspiration away from your body. This process is called “wicking”. These so-called moisture-wicking fabrics dry very fast and make a great deal of difference. Non-wicking materials, such as cotton, instead of wicking moisture away from your body, will soak it up and it won’t be long before your body starts to feel cold and clammy from the cold, damp cotton pressing against your skin – possibly causing you to get frostbite.
Wicking Run Clothing
When exercising for long periods in cold weather, you’ll find that wicking fabrics such as polyester, wool, nylon, synthetic materials will feel much better on your skin as you begin to sweat. And some companies go even further. Witness Mizuno which produces a thermal material that generates heat – activated by your sweat- allowing continuous warmth to the wearer.
For your outer layers, you want winter running clothing that “breathes” and is water repellant. Materials that breathe will allow some of the moisture from your interior clothes to vent out into the atmosphere. You’ll also find that some jackets and pants have venting zippers that allow you to vent some of the heat that builds up while you’re running. Getting too warm is not a good thing when it comes to running. It’ll only make you sweat more. Water-resistant outer layers are a must unless you want to end up being waterlogged on some of the wet and snowy days.
Bright Running Clothing
In the winter, it gets dark early as the days get shorter. If you’re running in the early morning before sunrise or the late afternoon as the sun is beginning to set, you should choose winter running clothing with bright colors (yellow, lime, etc.) and reflective clothing. In dark and bad weather, drivers can have a really hard time spotting runners that are wearing dark clothing.
If you have a problem with breathing when running in cold weather, as some people do, wear something over your mouth and nose. This will act to warm the air up a bit before passing it on to your nose. You can find winter face masks made just for this purpose. Such as AirTrim, a Scandinavian brand.
For your socks, find ones made of wicking material, such as wool. This will help to prevent you from getting frostbite.
And last, but not least, you’ll want a good pair of winter running shoes. Shoes with traction that can handle snow or ice patches. A good example is the New Balance 921 which has removable spikes for traction and is water-resistant and breathable.
Running clothing for the Elements
Besides getting the runner’s sweat off their body and wicking it out to the outside of the garment, running apparel must also provide protection in bad weather. Runners don’t take the day off from running just because it’s raining or snowing, or if it’s below zero outside. They need running gear that will keep them warm, dry, and comfortable in the winter, and cool and protected in the summer. Modern fabrics include sunscreen protection built right into the fabric of running clothing to provide maximum protection from the elements for the runner.
Perhaps the best recent innovation in running apparel is the advancement of fluorescence and reflective apparel. Runners run in the dark, especially during the winter when daylight is scarce. More and more running brands manufacturers are incorporating reflective and luminescent fabric and trim into their designs, making runners more visible to motorists and cyclists. For $20, runners can purchase a reflective Nike running vest that fits over any running gear.
Seamless Running Apparel
Another trend in Running apparel is seamlessness. Seamless apparel fits like a second skin, and there are no seams and seam bindings to chafe against the runner’s armpits, neck, and torso. Fabric content of up to 10% spandex keeps the running clothing fitted snug against the runner’s body, providing warmth, comfort, and wind resistance for the runner.