How to Dress for Winter Running

Going running in the winter doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.  Many new runners will initially grab clothing items from their closet.  Since these items a not considered athletic wear, most times they are bulky and as you sweat, they get heavy and by the time you get home you seem to be dragging an additional 10 pounds with you.  Not fun!

What you need is athletic specific apparel.  All running store retailers in your area will carry a wide selection of clothing.  Unlike running shoes where I suggest you not buy these online but go into the store.  Clothing can be purchased online and tried on in the comfort of your home.  You may even get some good discounts this way.  As usual, unless you know what you are looking for online you will miss out on the advice a local store in the area can provide.

So how do you dress for winter?  Simple answer, in layers.

Depending on how cold it is, you should wear three layers.

Base Layer

This is a layer that fits closely to your skin. It should be made of a wicking material and not cotton. The wicking properties will not allow sweat to accumulate and make the shirt wet.


The mid-layer should be insulated and light. This will allow the warm air to get trapped between the base layer and the mid-layer while still being light and not make you start feeling like you have added bulk.

Outer Layer

This layer can be a shell or a wind break type jacket. If it is very cold, a more insulated jacket should be worn.


For your hands light weight cotton gloves can work, but a slightly heavier tighter fitting glove may be needed for colder conditions. Do not get gloves that have the fingers cutout.


For your legs, tights. There are many options. Tights are what they are called, they fit tightly to your legs and ensure that the warmth stays where it should.

Head and Ears

Wear something over your head. There are many options, caps, beanies, and balaclavas that cover your head, neck, and mouth. Some even have venting options that allow you to breathe out of it without exposing your mouth to the cold air.
Bottom line is you want to dress warmly, but not over dress that you sweat profusely and are uncomfortable. Part of dressing will also be experimenting with what works best for you and at what temperatures.

How to dress for winter running

Become a Centurion by taking part in the Centurion Challenge! The Centuion Challenge is a virtual event and Yes you can do it.  A big plus is you can start anytime you want and have until the end of the year (December 31) to see how far your have gone.

The Challenge is great way to train for a goal event or even just use it as a training log to keep track of your activities for the full year. Even after you finish your goal, you can still continue to log miles.

There are three events you can register for*;

  • 50 Mile Challenge
  • 100 Mile Challenge
  • 200 Mile Challenge

*If you register for the 50 mile you can continue onto the 100 mile and if you achieve that you can continue onto the 200 mile. You only need to pay one fee.

Chip timing and finish line services provided by Speedy Sneakers Racing using IPICO timing systems.

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