Dressing for cold when the running gets hot

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

It’s often difficult to determine the right amount of layers to wear in cooler weather. On hot summer days we wear as little as possible (I stop at running shirtless in public, though many don’t). When the temperature begins to drop, I find myself reaching for long sleeves and running pants but often regret those decisions some time into my run.

A check of the weather last night prompted me to go with short sleeves and running shorts this morning. I did lay out my calf sleeves that would provide more leg warmth, but I’d already put on my running shoes by the time I noticed them. I also put out some lightweight running gloves in case I felt they were necessary. I decided to forgo the calf sleeves and gloves and just ran with what I had.

The temperature was in the low 40’s at 4:00 AM, and though it felt nippy, I was satisfied with my gear. As I waited for my Garmin to acquire a signal, I concluded that I was no more uncomfortable than I’d typically be lining up for a race on a cold fall morning. I hoped that the chill would prompt me to get to speed quickly but I had some trouble pushing my pace.

I ended up running the first half of my route fairly slowly but made up for that on the second half. Although I was sweating when I walked back into the house I wasn’t soaking wet. I think I guessed correctly in terms of layers. Once the temperatures drop into the 30’s and 20’s it will be more obvious what to wear on a run. One thing I know for sure: it’s far better to error on the side of cold at the start than risk overheating later.

2 thoughts on “Dressing for cold when the running gets hot

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