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Dressing for the three C’s of winter: The crisp, the cold and the cruel.

Not sure what to wear when you have to brave the cold temperatures for your long run? You’re not alone!

Many runners have difficulty knowing how to dress for winter’s ever-changing conditions. Whipping winds, slippery snow and brutally cold temperatures often make for challenging- but not impossible- training runs. Investing in durable and functional gear allows for runner to comfortably train through the majority of winter’s extreme conditions.

Athletes who intend to run through winter are wise to invest in gear for winter’s various temperature ranges: the crisp (30 degrees or higher), the cold (15-30 degrees) and the cruel (15 degrees and below).

All winter gear is not created equally. While some gear is intended for days where the air is cool and crisp, other gear was crafted to help runners effectively brave the brutal elements that comprise a raw, real winter. Runners often mistakenly report, “I have a pair of gloves/tights/hat), so I don’t need another.” If you plan on effectively training through winter it is in your best interest to purchase gear specifically designed for each temperature range.

Investing in a few key pieces of gear will make winter training not only possible, but significantly more enjoyable. Athletes training through winter need (at minimum) the following five core pieces of gear:

Five Core Pieces (with links to my favorite pieces)

1.    Long-sleeve fleece lined -half-zip

a.    The North Face momentum ½ zip ($90) (men’s/ womens)

b.    Lululemon Swiftly tech ½ zip ($88) (womens)

2.    Thin running tight

*The North Face GTD tight ($70), (men’s/ womens)

3.     Fleece-lined running tight, ideally with wind proofing material.

*SUGOi midzero tight ($85) or even warmer Titan Thermal/Firewall 180 ($110-150) (mens /womens)

*The North Face Isotherm Pant ($140)- (mens/ womens)

4.    LS base layer that is snug to body (if possible, wool or fleece lined and higher neck line)

*Nike Pro Hyperwarm series (men/ women), Craft stay warm series – Active windstopper crewneck baselayer ($89 men/ $124 womens),

5.    Durable running jacket with hood, wind proof and weather resistant, zippers under arms for proper ventilation

*Asics Stormshelter Jacket $135 (mens/ womens), The Best Running Jackets of 2015 Article

6. Quality accessories: North Face balaclava, Craft mittens, Darn tuff wool socks.

The Crisp: Wear it now & shed it later (30-40 degrees)

Core- Thin running tight, fleece lined LS ½ zip

Accessories- thin hat/ear warmer, thin gloves/liner, low cut athletic sock

Optional- If you run hot you may prefer shorts down to 25-30 degrees, if you run cold you may prefer a t-shirt under your long sleeve

The Cold: The art of layering (15-30 degrees)

Core- Thick running tight, base layer, windproof running jacket*

Accessories: hat, mid-weight glove, high cut sock to minimize skin exposure

Optional- Neck warmer/neck gator; *if you run hot a base layer plus thick LS may be sufficient

The Cruel: Show NO skin and NO mercy! (15 degrees and below)

Core: base layer, running jacket and windproof pant (optional- 3rd layer of tank under base layer)

Accessories: Balaclava, thick running mittens and high cut, wool socks

Optional: additional liner glove under mittens for sub-zero temps and hat on top of balaclava, some men prefer wearing a running tight under a looser fitting wind-blocking pant

Warm runners are happy runners. Happy runners are consistent runners. Consistency is KING in progress throughout training. Now go invest in quality, functional gear and attack your winter training season!!

We got this-

Kass Berry

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