With the right pieces, you don’t have to change much about your running routine, even when the weather gets downright nasty! Let’s get down to it:
Keep Your Core Warm
LAYER #1: BASELAYER
Your baselayer is the most important part of the operation. If you mess this one up, the other two cannot perform their important functions. The baselayer is made of a knit fabric, which gives it stretch in all directions. Your baselayer should be made of a poly or wool blend (no cotton) and fit closely to the skin. It will trap your body heat and grab sweat from your skin.
LAYER #2: MIDLAYER
Your midlayer will help further insulate your core. It should also be a poly or wool blend and will be a knit material with a lot of stretch. As the baselayer brings sweat off of the skin, the midlayer will grab it and bring it further away from your skin’s surface. A midlayer will generally have a half-zip for some ventilation, and will often have a pocket or two and some reflectivity.
LAYER #3: SHELL LAYER
This is an important part of your wardrobe in either extreme cold conditions or precipitation. The outer shell will generally be a woven material (less stretchy than a knit) and offer either wind/water resistance or insulation (or both). An outer shell will offer you a few pockets and some reflectivity, and sometimes will have a hood.
Keep Your Legs Warm
LAYER #1: TIGHTS
Layering is less of a factor on the lower body – keeping the core (where bloodflow originates) insulated will help warm the extremities. But a good pair of tights is still important during the winter months. In mild weather, go with a light or midweight – it’s just about coverage. In very cold weather, we’re looking at lined thermal material. Look for a brushed lining (feels fleecy) or a thicker material to insulate the legs. Tights will also provide a pocket or two and some reflectivity.