It’s too cold to run outside today. Better take the day off.

I used to have those thoughts ingrained in my mind. Or if I saw other people out running I would think they were nuts. This year, I learned how to conquer the cold. It sounds simple, but all I had to do was dress for success. Heavy sweatshirts and sweatpants are not the answer for me. I get sweaty, then the cold air makes that moisture uncomfortably cold.

My apparel for cold day runs – anywhere from 20 – 40 degrees – ┬áincludes the following:

HEAD

A tobogan style cap works well. I found a sweat wicking one that is not overly hot. The knitted ones seem to be hot and itchy.

CHEST / ARMS

Base layer = A tight, moisture wicking long sleeve shirt. Usually Under Armour or Champion technical shirt. Some are warmer than others and have a little bit of a fleece feel to the inside. The key is being tight to the skin so that the sweaty material can not move away from your skin, cool down, and then make contact with your skin again. Trust me, it’s cold when that happens.

Second layer = A tee shirt. I think this helps hold some heat in. If it is really cold, I go with a slightly looser thermal long sleeve over the base layer.

Third layer = sweatshirt. Not the cottony soft ones, but the ones that are more of the moisture wicking materials. I prefer one that is not bulky.

HANDS

I have Under Armour running gloves. They are not super warm, but they keep the wind from biting at my fingers.

WAIST / LEGS

For underwear, I like compression shorts because they do not bunch up. I never thought I would like them, but I have been running in tights. I have a Nike and an Under Armour pair of running tights. I am not quite ready to run in just the tights down there, so I have been wearing a pair of shorts over them.

FEET

I don’t do anything different for my feet. they stay warm in my running shoes and socks as is.

The key to winter is dressing for success. Overdressing is easier to compensate for once you leave the house than not having enough warmth.