By Eric Senseman
For most runners, winter is the most difficult time of year to train consistently: there are fewer hours of daylight, resulting in more miles in the dark, and the temperatures often dip below freezing, making the cozy warmth of the indoors ever more appealing. There’s no changing those unwelcoming conditions, but there are ways to make the conditions more favorable–like staying comfortably warm in those frigid temperatures. Read on to learn how to best layer for running in cold and freezing temperatures this winter so that you can train consistently even when the temperatures drop.
Step one: Start with a base layer. A good base layer should wick away sweat to keep you dry while providing warmth. However, a base layer isn’t meant to be the warmest layer, so the material should be thin. Synthetic and wool materials are common in base layers, as both do well to keep you dry and warm. rabbit'sOutrun is a perfect place to start.
Step two: Put on tights. Stay toasty as the weather grows frosty with a thick pair of tights, like rabbit’s Defroster Speed Tightsfor women or the Defroster Pocket Tightz for men. When the temperatures aren’t quite as cold, or for those that run hot, a sturdy pair of half tights will do the trick. Try Speedsters for men or Speed Leggys for women. In especially cold conditions, layer your bottom wear with tights or undies underneath and Runners, over the top.
Step three: Add a mid-layer. Mid-layers help keep your core temperature elevated. When you need that extra layer in especially cold temperatures, a vest or along-sleeve half-zip add warmth without overheating.
Step four: Don’t forget the outerwear. The outermost layer of clothing can serve three purposes: To add warmth, block wind, or protect from precipitation. Throw on a waterproof jacket if there’s precipitation, don a windbreaker to block chilling wind gusts, or sport a zip-up jacket for added warmth.
Step five: Keep your extremities warm. A thicker pair of socks and a heavy pair of gloves will keep your toes and fingers from going numb. In extreme conditions, two layers of socks and liner gloves inside a thick pair of mittens will help you avoid the dreaded, fiery sensation of frozen hands returning to life post-run. Add a brimmed hat if there’s precipitation or a beanie if it’s especially cold. For those that run hot, consider a fleece earband and let your head breathe.
And don’t forget the old adage: Be bold, start cold. If nothing else, layering allows you to shed clothing as you warm up from the run (and eventually the sun). Check in next week for more winter running tips from rabbit’s winter running blog series.