Choosing clothing that is specifically designed for use in cooler weather can help both your comfort and performance. As extreme exercise became more popular, more companies began to make clothing for use in the elements. Typically, these clothes are designed to protect against very cold weather, and often feature sweat wicking properties that can be especially important in more intense exercise.
Layering simply means wearing a combination of clothes (in layers) to help regulate your temperature and keep you warm and dry. The layers you wear for a given activity are matched to the weather, your activity level and your personal preference. There are essentially three layers to consider: base, mid, and outer
- Your first layer, closest to your skin, should be tight fitting and made of wicking material to keep you warm and dry.
- Wear a mid layer with similar properties for an extra layer of warmth, which may also be needed to wick away sweat.
- Modern performance underwear, made from polyester or polypropylene, is most effective in moving moisture away from your skin and into outer layers of clothing where it can evaporate.
- In addition to traditional shirts and “long johns,” many other garments, including short-sleeve tops, bras, boxer shorts and briefs, are now made with polyester fabrics to wick away chilling perspiration.
- The outermost layer blocks wind and allows moisture to escape. Typical outer layers include shells made of Gore-Tex or a similar material. Extras with a variety of ventilation options are standard.
- Among those extras, invest in reflective materials for exercising on roads in the darkness. Much of this gear comes with those options built in.
- Appropriate hats (or headband) gloves or mittens, socks, proper shoes for slippery surfaces are also a must.
- Try this tip from former Olympic runner Julie Isphording: During the winter, one of my all-time favorite thing is to throw my running clothes in the dryer for three minutes before I head out on a blustery morning.