It’s the new year, and with it comes the urge to burn off the post-Christmas scoff. Or to take a new hobby, like running. Now is also about the time people start ramping up their training for the London marathon (in April).
Getting yourself out the door is the hard part, especially when it’s frosty. So, if you’ve made it that far, well done. But it can also be a bit of a minefield working out what winter running outfit to wear. It’s not quite as simple as pop on a pair of leggings and start running.
When it comes to running outside in the cold, there are a few winter running outfit essentials you need. The key? Layers. You’ll warm up pretty quickly, and you want things you can tie around your waist easily. Think gilets, long sleeved tops with thumb holes and thick double lined socks.
Don’t forget about the extremities! A mistake I always make when I head out for a run – your fingers still get cold even when your body warms up, so you’ll need a hat or some sort of headgear, gloves, or long-sleeved tops with thumb holes.
In my experience – of which I have a lot, I run and also play netball, outside for months on some of the coldest mornings (brrr) – it’s always better to have too many layers, than too little.
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Though if like me, you’re warm blooded and the idea of covering every bit of skin in thermals makes you sweat at just the thought of it, there are winter running outfit hacks to know. Instead of a scarf or snood, I prefer to run in a top with a high neck that I can zip down when I warm up. I choose a cap or headband over a woolly one. And wind breakers, instead of fleeces, etc.
Whether you’re taking up running for a new year health kick, starting to train for a marathon or attempting your first couch to 5k, keep scrolling for my top cold weather gear tips.
Running leggings need to be breathable and trap heat like Under Armours heat gear pair, I always think it’s worth it to invest a little bit more to get good quality. Most importantly, they need to stay up when you pound the pavement.
Puresport’s designs have clever silicone that grips to your skin, and Nike have hidden drawstrings to keep them up. I look for leggings that have nifty side or back pockets that you can slide your phone into too.
The warm tops
Adidas, Nike and Lululemon do some of the best running kit, and they all have a huge range of tops from racerback vests to thermals and puffer jackets. And when it gets really, really cold you might want to wear a second long sleeve layer like this Adidas training one or Lululemon zip up jacket, that you can easily undo.
The outer layers
We’re lucky enough in this country not to reach freezing temperatures that often, so you’re pretty safe to leave your full on puffer coat at home. Plus, imagine trying to run in your duvet!
To stay warm running when it’s chilly, try layering a gilet over your long sleeved top, like this Lululemon one. If you want to be covered, or in the likely event it’s rainy or windy, try a windbreaker or this gilet shell from On for a more lightweight cover up.
The all-important socks
Like shoes, there’s a different style of sock for each kind of run. Whether you’re trail running or jogging around the block, you’ll want different things from your socks. Warmth – and thickness – is key. You want a bit of padding, but not too much that your shoes become uncomfortable as your run goes on. Hoka are the go-to brand now for good running footwear, and their socks do not disappoint.
For longer runs look for double layered socks which won’t rub, like this anti-blister Runderwear pair. Or, opt for a lightweight ankle style like these from Nike for a shorter run.
The must-have accessories
And finally, don’t forget to accessorise. This is mostly down to your personal preference, as long as anything covering your head or breathing is lightweight. Choose from snoods or scarves, woolly hats or caps and gloves (top tip, choose touch pair so you can change the song on your phone). This Under Armour version is the answer to every ponytail owners praises, with its genius hole at the back. I can attest, it works to keep your hair off your sweaty back!