If you're reading this blog, kudos to you for running through the colder months. We can't do the running for you, but we can give you the motivation to get out the door and we can prepare you with the best layering solutions so that you can tackle any distance, whatever the weather.
As the temperature drops and the nights get darker, get your running layers ready and continue to work towards your goals and keep up your fitness.
Why should you dress in layers when outdoors in cold weather?
Wearing multiple layers when outdoors will keep you warm as each layer of clothing traps air, which then insulates your body. Layering also allows you to find your perfect temperature, you can remove an item if you get too hot, or vice versa if you start to feel cold again.
How many layers should you wear in cold weather?
How many layers of clothes you wear depends on the air temperature, wind and rain. Typically in cold weather, you will need three layers. A base layer, a middle layer and an outer layer, but these can be mixed and matched if it is raining, or the day is milder. We suggest looking at the weather forecast before you head out and planning your outfit around this. If you feel the cold or are going for a slower pace, wear more. If you are running hard, wear less. Remember, you will always warm up once you start moving, but sweat can get cold quickly too once you stop.
Should I wear a hat when running?
Wearing a hat is a good idea all year round when running, but in the winter, a hat will help to keep you warm as well as stop sweat dripping down your face. It can be easily tucked away if you start to get too hot.
Best running layers
Let's start with base layers. These are the layers closest to your skin (excluding a sports bra for the ladies) and need to be breathable and sweat-wicking.
For a baselayer we highly recommend Merino Wool fabric. Merino is naturally breathable and moisture evaporates quickly when compared to synthetic layers. It stays fresher longer (read about the 'one tee, seven day challenge') and helps to regulate your temperature. This dhb base layer sits close to the skin and is lightweight. The high neck gives you even more protection in the cold.
Next up you want a mid-layer. This goes over your baselayer when it's very cold outside - less in autumn, more for winter.
Similar to the base, this dhb layer is sweat-wicking. This is important so you do not soak your clothes and then become cold. The technical fabric will see you through the colder days and the shape fits well over a base layer without restricting your movement. Another reason it ticks the boxes for us? It even has a little pocket for essentials, such as your keys, for the days you want to leave your jacket or bag at home.
We highly recommend getting yourself a good running jacket to go on top. Not only will this keep you warm, but it will keep you dry and also protected from the wind. We've written a blog on the best running jackets to see you through autumn and winter so be sure to check that out too.
We're big fans of the R7 GTX SD Trail HD Jacket from Gore Wear thanks to it being able to handle a classic British winter - what we're trying to say here is that it's extremely waterproof but also breathable, so when it's humid you don't get soaked from the inside. The 'Shakedry' technology does exactly that, meaning you don't soak up any unwanted moisture when out, keeping it lightweight.
Leggings aren't everybody's cup of tea but they sure will keep your legs from turning blue when it gets cold and frosty.
The Ronhill leggings are made from thermal materials with a brushed inner fabric - keep you cosy, but won't let you overheat. They fit tight against your body with great coverage giving your muscles support, but with plenty of stretch so your movement is not restricted. Another tick goes to the reflective details helping you to be seen when it's dark, and another goes to the pocket.
When the temperature really starts to drop gloves can really make the difference - have you ever tried to do up shoelaces or open the front door when your hands are frozen?
These gloves from dhb are cheap, cheerful and will keep your hands warm and snug. They also have a different material on the tip of the index finger so you can swipe your phone without taking them off! They're easy to pack away too, so if you do start to get a little toasty, can easily be shoved up a sleeve or in a pocket.
The next layer to consider is a neck warmer. This can be tucked into your running top and will give your neck and lower face protection from the elements - especially when it is windy.
Can you tell that we LOVE Merino wool? This Buff is super versatile and can be used to protect your neck, face and head in the cold, or can be folded to use as sweatbands of hair scrunchies too. It feels soft to touch and because it is made from Merino, is naturally eco-friendly naturally prevents odour!