Winter running gear

Probably because I share so openly the kinds of winter weather I’ve run in (pretty much anything you can think of) I’m often asked what people should wear in given conditions.

I always struggle with these questions. Not because I’m trying to hold back top secret information but because I truly don’t know. Different people need different gear in different conditions.

If I tell you that I go from shorts to lightweight pants in the high 30s and from lightweight pants to thermal pants in the low 20s, that doesn’t tell you what you need. It tells you what works for me, which may be very different than what works for you. I’ve lived nearly my whole life in Wisconsin, I’m well acclimated to the cold. If you’ve lived your entire life in Florida, you will almost surely need to wear more than me even if we’re running together.

You can see this in Wisconsin very plainly when the temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. Some people will pull out the pants at 50 degrees, others keep wearing shorts until the temperatures are well into the 30s. It’s quite possible that people at both ends of the spectrum are doing exactly the right thing, dressing as their bodies demand.

When dressing for any weather, don’t worry as much about what someone else is wearing. Figure out what you need for yourself. This may require some trial and error. It may get a little unpleasant when you occasionally overdress or underdress. However, you will pretty quickly learn from these errors and find what is just right for you.

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