Well, fall is well underway; pumpkin spiced latte season has passed and soon it will be December. Not only is Fall a time of marathons and turkey runs but also a time for temperatures to drop, snow to fall, and Fort Wayne to attempt its best impersonation of the Windy City.
Yes, snow is pretty and scarves are fun but when the temperatures cool down and the wind picks up it can definitely affects your running. However, with the right layers and material, you’ll be able to embrace the challenge and maybe stave off the treadmill for a bit longer!
Before I get into some of my favorite transitional and warmer weather Saucony apparel pieces, it’s best to go over a few things to consider for cooler weather.
Materials: As a run specialty store, we emphasize the importance of quality fabrics. Cotton, while common, is not the best material by itself for any type of vigorous activity. Look to synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, instead. The fabrics wick out more moisture while in the vapor stage so it does not sit on your body. You will still sweat in cooler temperatures and you do not want sweat sitting on your body because it will actually end up making you colder. Wool is also a moisture managing, odor controlling, temperature balancing wonder-fabric. A lot of brands actually use wool in winter apparel (not just socks). Fleece is also an amazing material that will line apparel – that will definitely keep you warm on chilly days!
Layering: The amount of clothing and accessories a runner wears depends on their distance, intensity, and preferences. For example, say you’re running the Galloping Gobbler or Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day: you will most likely wear more layers as you warm up for the race as opposed to during the race. Personally, I’ll usually wear a pair of tights, a long sleeve, and a jacket for a pre-race warm up in temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees. But for the race itself, I’ll usually wear shorts and a long sleeve or singlet with arm sleeves. That is a situation where a runner/walker dresses based on intensity.
At Three Rivers Running Company, we have a variety of brands whose apparel will be comparable for weather conditions. These are pieces I’ve tried that can hopefully give you a good idea of how one person handles the cooler conditions.
Saucony Bullet Capris: Capris and half tights are a common warm up/winter running piece for me. I like my legs to be warm but don’t want to accept the fact that it’s time for full tights. The Bullet Capris are my favorite because they aren’t too thick and they come with a back zipper panel in which I can place my keys (or for marathoners, gels). On both sides are also larger pockets to tuck more gels into, I’ve even see a Saucony sponsored athlete place an 8-10oz bottle in them for her longer runs!
This capri I’ve worn in anything from low 30 to 50 degree weather and it’s done the trick. For anything on the cooler spectrum, I’ll partner them with Zensah Compression socks.
Saucony Daybreak/Velocity Long Sleeves: These tops are lightweight and made of quality material. This would be considered a base layer shirt. It works well by itself in 40+ degree weather. Partnered with a jacket or half zip it can sustain an outdoor enthusiast in sub-40 degree temperatures.
Run Strong Sport Top I’ve done a few runs in this top. Coupled with a long sleeve, it keeps you pretty warm when you dip under 40 degrees for a run. It also carries the ever-essential pocket for a key (or student ID for the college kids.) If a base layer is too much underneath this top, the half-zip can be worn on its own. This is a good post run top if I’m going to the gym as well or curled up in sweats.
Saucony Nomad Jacket If you want to power through the Midwest winters then you will want this jacket for bitter winds and sub-zero runs. While the price range is high, these type of jackets are made to sustain you in very cold and windy conditions. The Nomad jacket, coupled with a long sleeve underneath is something I’ll use for sub-30 degree temperatures and even into sub-10 degrees and windy. Its interior lining means the body will warm up pretty quickly so if the temperature is around 30 degrees and sunny, you may find that you’ll heat up quickly after the first mile.
I hope this helped provide you with an idea of what goes into winter running. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask your friendly 3RRC staff members. Happy Running, walking, and activity!