Attire for the changing seasons

Written by Tom McGlynn

It occurs to me that we spend a good deal of time with emphasis on the keys to our training approach:

  • Pace
  • Progression
  • Recovery

However sometimes I see even the most organized, motivated runners miss out on some of the basics.  Everyone knows to wear sweats and bundle up in the winter months, but what about the kind of cold Fall presents.  It’s tricky to dress for the 40 – 50*F (4 – 10*C) days.

As always I am most concerned that all you remain healthy.  Remember if you’re healthy, your aerobic economy can be continuously developed through stress, recovery and compensation/conditioning.

Here are a few basics for running attire in the 40-60 (4 -15*C)  degree temperature range:

  1. Wear a long-sleeve shirt and short sleeve shirt or vest over. It’s key to keep the core warm.
  2. Wear long tights or knee long tights for women. And tuck your shirt into the tights.
  3. Consider light gloves and a hat or earband.
  4. If it’s windy, a light windbreaker is a must. 
  5. Avoid cotton clothes. As you sweat the clothes will drench in making you colder.

As you run you will feel warmer, that’s your body’s engine heating up. That’s why I suggest dressing for how you will feel 20 minutes into the run then the first mile. If you are running long, bring a change or clothes of a warm sweatshirt to change into after you finish up. It’s never fun to be sitting in your frozen sweat on the drive home.