The fall and winter running season is an interesting one, especially for those brave souls for venture out into the elements. But how do you dress for the various conditions you will face? Here are a few rules and a guide on what you should wear for the various temperatures.
It will be mentioned a lot in on this page. Layering is the best way to ensure you are at your warmest all the time.
If it is 40˚F out, dress as if it is 50. You will warm up as the run/walk progresses.
All the information below is thought in generally perfect condition. Remember it is going to be cooler in the early morning and night. Weather conditions will also alter what specific top layers you consider. And finally, you have to take in account how well you deal with the cold. If you need to add one more layer, do it. Do not take any chances.
Temperature: 50˚F – 40˚F
This temperature range will probably be the broadest in terms of what to wear. It will be the beginning stage of layering. For your base layer, you can start with a short-sleeve technical top or a long-sleeve technical top. For your second layer, you can use a long-sleeve technical top or ½-zip top. The ½-zip top is a great temperature-regulator, especially if you start out early and it gets warmer throughout the run.
If the weather is less than ideal (rain or wind), you can keep the base-layer short/long-sleeve top but replace the ½-zip with a shell jacket, specifically made to resist the rain and wind.
As for the bottom, this will vary person to person. If you are a warmer runner, you can continue to wear a technical pair of shorts. If you are colder runner, it is best to start wearing a technical pair of pants or capris.
A knit hat and gloves may be appropriate as the temperature gets closer to 40˚F, but this again will vary person to person.
Temperature: 40˚F - 32˚F
Now we’re talking! It is definitely cooler out, and you definitely have to think about layering. Again, begin with a base layer, most likely a long sleeve technical top. For the second-layer, go with a thicker ½-zip technical top or jacket. Again, if the weather is getting nasty, make sure the jacket is wind and water resistant.
For the bottom, it is time for pants. You can be brave and try shorts, but to be safe, go with a nice pair of tights or pants.
A good technical knit hat and gloves will be needed to keep your extremities warm. To keep your neck and face warm, you could purchase a balaclava. Unique looking, but a life saver.
Temperature: 32˚F and below
Be careful being out in this temperature for too long. It can sometimes be dangerous for long periods of time. But if you are brave and venture out, it is time to really layer. Start with a long sleeve technical top, a thick ½-zip, and a warm shell jacket. It may seem like a lot, but each layer is thin enough to not get too bulky.
You will definitely want a warm, thick pair of pants and possibly tights underneath. The tights will be a personal choice, but an extra layer for the legs cannot hurt.
The knit hat and gloves are definitely a must now, and balaclava should be included for another layer.