Choosing Winter Running Clothes For The Off-Season

One of the worst things about the winter is that it can destroy our will to go out running. If you have a job or spend all day at school, it is pretty hard to muster up the strength to venture into the dark during the evenings, shivering with freezing cold hands and stinging painful frozen ears. But things don't have to be like that. All the top brand running gear manufacturers make winter running clothes these days, which are designed to help you stay warm and comfy whatever the weather.

The first winter investments you should consider are base layers and windproof lightweight jackets. It is always better to wear several thin layers for cold weather running, rather than opting for a giant toasty overcoat. With layers, if you get too warm once you have started running, it is easy just to take one off. You'll still have your base layer and running top to keep you warm. On the other hand, if you had chosen badly, and gone for a running vest with a big coat over the top, you would then be in a position of either being way too hot or way too cold. Very uncomfortable.

Ideally, when choosing all your running clothes, each garment should be able to wick moisture and keep you dry. It is far more problematic getting wet in very cold weather because your body heat will be conducted away from you more easily. The jacket you wear should also allow moisture out while being waterproof or water-resistant on the outside, to protect you from rain.

For most climates, your regular running shorts will be fine, because your leg muscles are the ones that do the heavy lifting when you run, and they will become hot quickly once you get going. If you are in a particularly cold country and see a lot of snow in the winter, you should wear full length running tights or tracksters instead, to give you some added protection from the intense cold.

A final thought about running clothes for winter is to remember the parts of your body which are fine in the summer - and therefore neglected - but which can lose heat surprisingly rapidly in winter. So for the hands, it is a good idea to wear a pair of light running gloves. And for your head, try a beanie, especially if it is shaped to cover your ears and keep them warm.

If you follow these tips, you should find that you can happily continue to run in the winter and retain your fitness, so that when the spring reappears, you will already be in shape for some of the early races.