|Running Clothes for Winter!|
Right at the start I will stress – I live in England. The winter here is mild. Very damp and rainy but far from the extreme cold and snowy weather that some of the readers may be familiar with. Nevertheless, most of the tips and advice regarding running clothes for winter will apply to any situation.
There is no doubt in my mind, that layers are the key. 3 t-shirts will provide more upper body warmth than a winter jacket worn on its own. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing,” are the words of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, one of the world’s most extreme explorers. Layering clothing allows for better heat preservation and frees up movement, which is very important when choosing running clothes for winter. It also provides for better flexibility – allowing a layer to be put on or taken off to adjust to current conditions. With regards to materials, it is synthetics that are recommended, as they allow for better breathability and don’t retain moisture. I’ve come across an interesting article, titled “Why Does Cotton Kill.” In it, the author describes how cotton retains moisture, which leads to clothing not insulating you from the cold, which can lead to hypothermia. I know this is extreme, but then again, you may as well choose to wear something that will be of better use.
It is well know that heat escapes from the top of the head most. Wear a hat. It will keep the heat in. In milder conditions, you may opt for a bandana (recently my favourite). If overheating, you can always remove it during a run and carry it in your hand but don’t leave home without it.
As the body fights to stay warm, it prioritises certain parts over others. First, it makes sure the internal organs are kept warm. Hence, fingers and toes are the first to feel the cold. Your body can survive without them, so they are the first on the list to be cut off. As the heat restores in the body when you continue to run, you will find that your fingers too get warmer. But for the first 10-15 minutes, they will be suffering. That’s where the gloves come in very handy.
Socks and Shoes
Unless you are running in very extreme weather and in deep snow, these can remain constant all year round. The feet are in constant motion, and the friction associated with hitting the ground with each step provide heat to this part of the body. Yes, very early on they will feel cold, but will warm up quickly. The only key factor again is the material of which the socks are made of. Make sure it does not retain water.
Shorts / Tights
Now we are treading on fine waters. Again I reiterate, that the weather conditions where I run are rather mild, hence, so far, I have not run in anything other than shorts. Even in below freezing temperatures, I still go out in shorts. But, in really cold temperatures, layers are key once again. Shorts can be worn over tights to keep the vitals warm, and if needs be, track pants (trousers) may be worn over tights. Why tights are the best choice? They keep the heat in and sweat out. Make sure you choose the materials carefully, ensuring they breathe and don’t collect water (sweat). And if you don’t want to buy new running clothes for winter, or in this case, new shorts or tights, you can always layer up!
Here’s something that is often neglected. Proper hydration in the winter. As your body works extra hard to keep itself warm, it uses up more fuel than in milder conditions. Hydration is as crucial in the winter as in the summer. Keep drinking water even in the coldest temperatures.
Guess this covers the basics. Remember, everyone is different and the choice is ultimately yours. Make sure you feel comfortable in your running clothes for winter and don’t underestimate the weather. It’s better to sweat just a little more and be able to go out the next day rather than catching frostbite or hyperthermia. Please share your suggestions for running clothes for winter…