As a runner living in New England, you get to experience scenic runs in perfect weather conditions on cool autumn days. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you unfortunately have to deal with negative degree temperatures and blizzard-like conditions in the winter. Despite this extreme, you can still get outside and get your workout in — if you’re dressed properly. The point of this blog post is to give you an overview of how to prepare for running in weather below 30 F or in the snow.
The key to running in the cold is layering. For temps in the 20-30 degree F range, we recommend that you start with a long-sleeve drifit-type shirt (even cotton will do but it won’t wick away the sweat) and then throw on a pullover, like the one below, or a wind resistant running jacket, over it.
For bottoms, a thick running tight or wind-protecting pant will do the trick (with shorts underneath). At these temps, hat and gloves are a must and need to be somewhat insulated. A super light material won’t cut it in these temps. One note here is that you should be a little bit chilly when you start your run. If you’re warm when you start, you’ll likely overheat. What you’re dressing for is being comfortable once you’re 10-15 minutes into your run.
When the temps start to get under 15 F and much below, you’ll simply want to add an extra layer of protection. For a top, start with a long or short sleeve drifit, add a pullover (like the one above), and then top that off with a wind-resistant jacket. For bottoms, tights with running pants over them should do the trick. Given the extreme cold, you may want a neck warmer or even a balaclava (pictured below). You’ll also need a pretty thick pair of gloves and socks to keep your extremities warm. Top this off with a regular winter running hat and you’ll be good to go.