Words by Jessica Simpson
Running in winter is HARD.
I know we’ve truly hit winter training when I’m greeted at my run club by a penguin huddle of other runners, their frosty breath making clouds while they rub their hands together in a meagre attempt to stay warm. I have to slowly peel off my coat, scarf and trackie bottoms at the bag drop and then bounce on the spot like a mad-woman to get some blood pumping before we can get going.
And why do we put ourselves through all of this? For me, the benefit lies in the gorgeous spring races we’ve got around the UK. Knowing that I’ve got the miles in early on, race day is ever so much more enjoyable.
Finding the right gear is fundamental for running in winter. Put too many air-stifling layers on and you’ll be uncomfortably sweating two minutes after you set off. Go for a lighter approach and you risk staying chilly throughout the run. Fortunately though there are some really clever pieces of kit designed to to keep you temperature-perfect through the colder months.
Here are the top five qualities to look for in your winter running gear.
1. SWEAT WICKING
The mission of moisture wicking fabric is to keep you dry. Sweat-wicking fabric is engineered to quickly take the moisture away from your body and disperse it onto the surface of the garment. This stops the sweat evaporating directly from your skin and taking the warmth with it!
My favourite sweat-wicking top at the moment is this gorgeous ClimaHeat Turtleneck from adidas. With the added benefit of thumbholes, the long sleeved piece is perfect as both a top and base layer - depending how many layers you need.
Whether you’re on the side of a hill in the Peak District or zipping along the Thames, being buffeted by the wind is a sure fire way to lose heat fast! Temperature moves from hot to cold, and if the cold air is constantly being replaced by more cold air then the heat we’re supplying is in constant demand! Stay warm wherever you run with the Windproof Jacket from Falke. It’s made from a super light, rustle-free fabric and packs away easily too.
When one layer just won’t do, it’s time to bring out the insulated pieces. The beauty of Falke’s insulated gilets is how light they are. You can screw it down into a small ball, but it still provides the comfort and warmth of a small duvet when it’s on. The benefit of not having sleeves is that you maintain a full range of movement and don’t feel ‘boxed in’ by this additional layer. This lovely ‘clean slate’ number is made from PrimaLoft® insulation - PrimaLoft® was originally created for the U.S army in the 80s to keep soldiers warm even when wet, something Duck down struggles with! If it can keep an army warm, it can get you through your run with ease.
Running in the winter ultimately means it’s more likely we’re running in the dark, and therefore are harder to see and be seen! Introduce reflective details into your gear to keep yourself visible in low-level lighting.
These Reflective Compression Tights from 2xu are a brilliant pair of compression leggings (see why compression benefits running here), but the reason I’m pulling them out today is their big efforts to get the wearer seen. Everything white on these leggings is reflective, from the signature ‘X’ to the criss-cross detail on the calf. In fact, they are reflective from 360 degrees!
5. NECK COVERAGE
In order to keep our brain functioning we need a lot of blood being taken to and from our brains, and all of that needs to pass through our neck. This means that our necks are always a prime area to lose heat from!
Add an extra layer of protection with our funnel neck Threadborne Seamless Top from Under Armour. Embracing the burgundy hues of the season, this pullover is a seamless combination of different, beautiful textures. The funnel neck with drawcords, thumbholes and a longer length mean you can stay toasty throughout your run!