What to wear for cold-weather running | NPNparents.org
With another Chicago winter right around the corner, now is the time to start preparing for cold weather race training! Whether you’re a seasoned runner trying to fit training into a busy schedule or a new runner looking for fun ways to stay in shape, it can be difficult to know how to stay comfortable in chilly weather. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
1. Pile on the layers. Layers are a great way to keep an ideal temperature while exercising outside. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it were 10 degrees warmer outside, since you will warm up once you start moving. If the temperature is above freezing, it’s best to start with a pair of running tights and a mid-weight long-sleeve shirt. As the wind picks up or if you’re sensitive to the cold, a light-weight jacket will help keep the wind and biting air off your torso.
As the mercury dips near or below freezing, you may want to add a pair of wind-resistant pants and jacket to your outfit, or tie a long-sleeve shirt around your waist to keep your legs warm. For extreme heat insulation, consider investing in gear with reflective thermal material. Of course, don’t forget your gloves and a hat or headband, or even a face mask for extra-chilly temperatures!
2. Find fabulous fabrics. While your usual cotton T-shirts are great for summer running, they won't cut it for those icy winter months. One of the best all-weather technologies available to outdoor athletes is Gore-Tex fabric, best known for being a water- and wind-proof material used on running shoes. Alanic is one company that uses Gore-Tex material in many of its running products.
Another great winter running fabric is polypropylene. Shirts made of this material are ideal for winter training because regardless of any sweat, it stays totally dry against your skin. Polypropylene apparel makes a great base layer, keeping you warm and dry no matter the weather conditions.
3. Heed this chilling safety advice.
- Be aware that as the temperature drops (especially below freezing), your pace will slow. Your body will also use more energy than it does in warmer temperatures, because more energy is being used to keep a stable body temperature. Adjust your pace and expectations accordingly.
- Sweat on your skin from exercising makes you a prime target for frostbite, so make sureyou’re bundling up properly. If you’re participating in a race, ask your family members to bring you dry clothes to change into afterward, or take advantage of any blankets or heat tents available at the finish line.
- Hydration is still important when running in cold weather. Since the body tries to withhold water to maintain body heat, a lack of sweat or feelings of thirst make it very easy to get dehydrated. Keep drinking, even if you don’t feel like it!
Join us at the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k in Chicago on October 30 for some cold weather running followed by warm hot chocolate and chocolate fondue with dippables. Your registration also gets you the best cold weather race swag around. Check out details and get registered at www.hotchocolate15k.com/chicago.