Moisture is the enemy of any runner, especially when it’s cold outside.
Just because the temperature is low doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. You can sweat in any temperature, but the problem is keeping sweat off you so you don’t freeze. If you can keep the moisture away you will stay dry and warm, a goal of any runner in the winter.
To ensure you stay warm and dry in the winter, get rid of that bulk winter coat and dress with a base layer, running jacket, and the appropriate running tights.
We always say that cotton is rotten because it holds moisture close to your skin. It is one thing to be uncomfortable when running in the summer with a wet cotton shirt, but another thing to be running in the freezing cold with a wet shirt. Neither is desirable, but a wet shirt in the cold is dangerous for many reasons.
To keep you dry and warm you need a base layer that consists of a wicking short or long sleeve shirt to move the moisture off your skin. That’s it.
Over your base layer you should wear a running jacket that will continue to wick the sweat away from the base layer, moving it thru the layers and away from you skin.
Your jacket should also help to protect you from the strong winds, being wind proof and having a wind flap behind the zippers to keep your neck warm. It should be comfortable with soft fabric around your neck and a zipper garage to keep the zipper away from your skin when fully zipped.
The jacket should also be reflective to help you been seen in the dark, and have potentially have media and zipper pockets for extra storage. Thumb holes can be handy to help keep your hands warm, and an added touch of Breath Thermo or similar technology is always nice to not only keep you dry but actually generate heat when you run.
Pants, Gloves, Hats, and Shoes
Running tights with similar features to a running jacket is a must to keep your bottom half warm and dry from the winter elements. A good pair of gloves will help keep your hands warm, and a wicking scull hat will pull the moisture from your head and keep the heat in and ears warm. Your shoes should have some extra rubber around the toes as well as be waterproof to keep your feet dry.
The proper apparel will allow you to stay dry and warm in single digits, allowing you to keep your outdoor training consistent even when the elements aren’t in your favor.