Updated: September 21st, 2021

Sometimes the most challenging part of running training is figuring out the perfect gear to wear at different weather temperatures. We’ve all made the wrong decision at some point in our lives – not a great idea when your running though…

Getting the right equipment for your running will no doubt, aid your comfort levels, making running an enjoyable experience. Throughout your run training there will be a constant balance, you need to keep warm but not too warm. Don’t rush out and buy lots of loose fitting, bright colored run gear and be done with it just yet..

because throughout Winter the game totally changesand so will your wardrobe. You not only need to take into consideration the elements and season, but also the weather temperature and how your clothing materials react (and you definitely don’t want to get that one wrong!)

Choosing tech materials over cotton

Cotton materials absorb sweat and moisture and will feel heavy rather quickly. During hotter weather, it will be challenging for your sweat to evaporate; hence you’ll be overheated (big risk to feinting, heat stroke, dehydration).
Similarly, wearing cotton materials in the cold weather will make them cling to your body, making it hard for your body to stay warm. It’s best for you always to consider tech fabrics materials for your running workout.

Observe the 10-degree rule

The 10-degree rule is a great deal to consider as you dress to go for the run. According to the thermometer, it’s where you dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than it is. The 10-degree rule accounts for your body temperature as you work out, helping you get the right clothes for running.
Thermometer

Adding sleeves before pants and gloves before sleeves

Some people may find it silly to wear a short-sleeve tee and/or shorts with gloves, but in actual fact, your hands will get cold before the rest of your body as the temperature drops. The blood gets pulled from the extremities towards the organs (afterall you can survive without a hand, but not without an organ). That being said, the next body part feeling the chill will be your arms, then lastly, your legs. Your legs warm faster since they work hard as you run; muscle generates heat so they can be good for a while.

Go tight in winter and loose in summer

In colder climates, wearing running gear tight to your body as it will trap heat as you work out and make it easier to regulate your own body temperature. Opt for an ‘second skin’, lycra/spandex material clothing for the winter, and loose-fitting layers for the summer. The looser clothing allows your skin to come in contact with the air, thus helping the cooling thermoregulation and the evaporation of your sweat as you run in a hotter climate.

What to wear during windy forecasts

When running in the wind during winter, consider wearing temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees lower than what it actually is because the wind will be cutting through your clothing, thus making you feel colder as you run (I’ve been a victim of this one, its not fun).
For instance, if the temperature is 40 degrees outside, you’re to dress as if the weather is 30 – 35 degrees outside.

Windbreakers are excellent for this and definitely worth investing in (suppose the clue is in the name) A thin sometimes-waterproof material jacket really does the job keeping the wind at bay.

What to wear when running in the rain

During rain in the winter, wearing a waterproof jacket is common sense but actually a great idea during winter as the waterproof jacket will also trap your heat inside – keeping you warm and slightly moist (due to the build-up of sweat inside your jacket). However, having a waterproof jacket will eliminate the discomfort from rain you may have as you run. – and lets face it, sometimes, in the summer months its rather pleasant to run in the rain.

You need to dress at a temperature of between 5 and 10 degrees cooler than the actual temperature outside to run comfortably in the rain during winter. It will be easier for you to get cold with the rain soaking your clothes. So consider wearing a hat (with or without a headband) to keep you from rainwater so that you can have a clear vision is also recommended – safety first folks!
woman running in the rain
Figuring out what to wear during cold weather feels like more of a workout than actually running. However, layers layers layers (and more layers) are the secret to help keep yourself comfortable and warm.

Below 0 to 20 degrees temperature

Most people will prefer to stay indoors and hit the treadmill when the temperature is below 0 degrees. If that’s not your thing, you’ll need insulated tights or at least two layers on the bottom and three on top. To keep you from cold air and wind, you’ll need a running jacket for your outer top layer.

Wear Gortex running shoes and thick running socks to avoid extra air from entering your shoes. A neck scarf, a hat, and gloves will be essential in keeping you warm. Depending on under 20 degrees, you should consider two long sleeves and at least one thicker long sleeve.

What to wear during hot weather

Dressing for runs during hot weather always seems to require the least amount of effort. However, to run all through comfortably, you’ll need some tips… The critical thing for you is to choose pieces that wick sweat supremely great and breathable, more so if you’re living in a humid area.

Put on loose tops and shorts, both to be of light colors (no not necessarily a fashion statement but more as a tool to reflect the heat). A loose layer will aid the better airflow around your body, making it very easy for your sweat to evaporate. So lets leave the spandex capris for the cooler days of your running.

What to wear when it’s humid

Consider all the moisture-wicking materials. When the weather is humid, it will be difficult for your sweat to evaporate off your skin as you run. Meaning you’ll not be able to stay calm and feel comfortable, especially as Your body will be working significantly harder in humid conditions, help it out a little, go for the moisture-wick stuff.
man running topless

Your limit

There seem to be no universal set numbers that dictate specifically when weather conditions are not manageable or safe for runners. We all have our limits. Running outdoors at 1 p.m. with high humidity and when the temperatures are over 100 degrees isn’t fun and safe (but you can use your common sense for that, right?) Likewise jogging out through a 15-degree windstorm isn’t safe and fun either, no matter how brief…

Final verdict

Your running training should not stop due to the doom and gloom of lacking light, snowfall, or rain downpours. No matter what level of runner you are, you’ll need to figure out precisely the perfect running gear for you to wear depending on different weather conditions and climatic change. Running with the right equipment will enhance your performance, making you realize your set goal, as you also feel more comfortable.

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