Trail Tip Tuesday: Cold Weather Clothing

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Fall running is probably the most favourite time of year for many runners BUT somehow during the transition we forget how we are suppose to dress. During the summer months I rarely look at the weather before heading outside because it’s all the same to me…HOT! Running attire consists of shorts and tank or t-shirt….it’s hot….you sweat, your main concern usually is how much hydration you need based on how long you are going to run.

Then comes Fall and the cooler weather hits us. I still catch myself on the first few runs questioning what I’m suppose to wear! I actually have to think about it. Then I remember that not much changes for me unless its below 6 degrees (celsius). I can still wear shorts and a t-shirt (or I might opt for capris). The difference is in the summer we adjust to the heat but now that it is cooler we actually run more comfortably.

Of course this depends on what time of day you are running, how long you are out for, is the sun shining and/or how much wind, etc.

Go to any running group or clinic in early September and you will see it all. Some runners will show up in shorts and a t-shirt and others will have a jacket, hat and gloves! Everyone is very different, some people really do not like to be cold so they dress in multiple layers.  For the general public I think dressing to be comfortable is ideal.

Male runner stretching
Sleeves, gloves and ear warmers are a great option for fall running.

So how do you dress when transitioning to cooler temperatures?

  1. Dress for about 15 degrees warmer than it is outside.
  2. When you stand outside you want to still feel a little cold, you’ll heat up quickly.
  3. Layer! I personally love arm sleeves as they are perfect to start your run and can easily be tucked away once you warm up. A light jacket can also be used.
  4. Buff/Neck Gaiter: Using a Buff over your ears on the start of your run can help keep you warm but can easily transition to your neck or wrist once you warm up.
  5. Gloves: keeping your hands warm will help keep you warm!
  6. Moisture wicking clothes help keep you from getting chilled.
  7. Have fun with colour! Bright colours allow you to be seen more easily.
  8. If driving to the start of your run keep a warm hoodie in the car to change into for the drive home!

Knowing the temperature before heading outside is probably a good idea in the Fall! Unlike the Summer where in Ottawa, Canada it’s just HOT all the time, the Fall can vary from 6 degrees one day to “feels” like 34 on another!

I’m curious, is Fall your favourite running season? OR do you prefer a different season and why?

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