While cooler temperatures might be welcome to some runners, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to head out in the depths of winter without proper winter running gear.
Get your winter running wardrobe on lock with our advice on the best clothing for running in the cold and wet:
What to wear?
While it might be tempting to ‘make do’ when it's chucking it down, slippery or gale force wind outside, it’s always best to invest in some quality winter running kit to make your whole run safer and more enjoyable.
Base layers: The most important feature in a base layer is its ability to wick sweat away from your body, as this can make you colder when running in winter. The best way to go is long sleeved, lightweight and snug fitting.
Our favourites: Ashmei Merino Hooded Sweatshirt
Long tights: Keep your legs covered with some long running tights or trousers - look for something sweat wicking. Make sure these are comfortable for you as your legs are the parts that will be moving! Other things to consider is whether you need pockets for keys on the days you're not wearing your jacket.
Running jacket or gillet: There's nothing worse than getting soaked in the rain, so make sure you've got a water repellent jacket in your winter running arsenal. It's also a good idea to have some wind protection, particularly if you're running in unsheltered, open areas, as the wind can make it feel even colder than it already is. Whether you want a jacket with a hood or a high collar to protect you from the elements as well is up to you and the other winter running gear you have in your wardrobe. Finally, make sure your jacket fits well as baggier jackets can catch the wind, making running in the winter even harder!
Running gloves: A must have in your winter running wardrobe is a pair of solid gloves that keep the warmth in. Some newer gloves now have fingertips that are compatible with touchscreens, so consider this if you have a smart watch or phone that you use to track your run.
Our favourites: Nike Dri-FIT Tempo
Hat or headband: While it’s a myth that you lose most of your body heat through your head, it’s worth making sure you have a hat or headband ready for crisper and windier weather to protect your ears and forehead while running in the cold
Our favourites: Nike Knit Headband
Just as you would any time of the year, make sure your footwear is still coping well to avoid going into winter training with old trainers that have lost support. It’s best to invest in a new pair of trainers every 300-500 miles and have another gait analysis to make sure you’re in the best shoe for you.
You could also invest in a trail shoe to cope with wet, muddy, or frosty conditions if you're running in more rural settings. The better grip and support will help prevent injury will ensure your usual trail routes are achievable rather than having to stick to pavements and roads. Of course, if it's icy on the roads, it's best to stick to the treadmill.
Don't forget your socks! If you're running on trails, it can be difficult to avoid puddles. We recommend investing in some warm, waterproof socks to avoid wet feet and blisters.
With shorter days inbound meaning you’re more likely to be running in the dark, it’s important to stay visible. Make sure your clothes have reflective elements, particularly if they’re black, or invest in some reflective armbands and a head torch to stay safe on the roads.
Our favourites: LifeLine Arm Band Safety Light
Layer up sensibly with a quality wicking base layer, and then allow the first 10 minute warm up section of your run do its job and raise your core temperature. This will make your run comfortable as long as you keep moving.
But don’t over do it! Resist the temptation to bundle up too much while it’s still relatively mild because as soon as you’re moving, you’ll quickly overheat. Start with gloves, then layer up gradually as the temperature decreases. As a general rule, dress as its 5-8 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.
Good luck out there!
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