Cold Weather Running

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Everyone loves fall running, but when winter begins to nip at thier heels, that's when it starts getting real! Here at Fleet Feet, we subscribe to the philophy that running can be wonderful in all seasons, as long as you're properly prepared. By arming yourself with a few simple tips and the appropriate gear, you can enjoy running all year round.

In general, you will want to dress 15-20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. If you dress too warm, you will most likely start to regret that decision after about a mile into your run. At some point, every runner has has experienced the urge to abandon a jacket on the side of the road with a promise to retrive on the way back. Although you will start cold, you will warm up, so It's always more effective to dress in thinner layers with zippers and/or ventilation panels than it is to use a heavy layers. 

Always take into account wind chill factor rather than actual temperature. You will need to know what the temperature feels like outside rather than what it actually is. This will determine how you will be affected by the weather and therefore dictate how you should outfit yourself for your run. Below are some examples of how to dress in varying degrees and conditions.

Try these combinations during the following conditons

30–39 degrees: light weight to medium tech socks, a long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves, and headband to cover ears (feels like 4059 degrees)

20–29 degrees: two shirts layered—a long sleeve tech shirt and a short sleeve tech shirt or, long sleeve shirt and jacket—tights, gloves, and headband or hat to cover ears (feels like 3049 degrees)

10–19 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and windbreaker jacket/pants (feels like 2039 degrees)

0–9 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, windbreaker jacket/pants, mittens, headband or hat, ski mask or balaclava to cover face (feels like 1029 degrees)

When temperatures dip below freezing, just be sure and pay attention to local weather information and warnings. Cold temperatures and dry air can aggravate some health conditions, so use your best judgment as to whether you should run outside or hit the gym instead. 

Always be aware of ice on the pavement. If you do intend to run in icy or snowy conditions, you could consider using a product such as Yak Trax to help you create more friction with the ground. 

Other important things to think about?

Winter running, means less daylight. It is absolutely critical that EVERY runner makes sure they have 360 degrees of reflective gear on. Without exception, runners need to be visible from every angle or drivers cannot see them in dim or dark conditions. 


30-40 Degrees

Shoes- Regualar, properly fitted running shoes

Socks-warm, moisture wicking socks

Hats, Ear covers, Mittens, Gloves, Mizuno Breath Thermo, Balaclava

Socks- Balega Mohair 

Reflective gear for the darker nights

Sunglasses to protect your eyes when it's extremely cold or windy

thin layers with zippers and ventilation, Always gloves and hats, number of layers will depend on the temp

Dress 15-20 degrees warmer than what it actually is. You will feel cold at the outset, but rapidly begin heating up. 

Always make sure cell phone and battery are fully charged in case of injury on your route




Wind protection

Skin protection- sunscreen, chapstick, body glide


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