What should I wear to run in the cold?
When you run in cold weather you should wear multiple layers of thin clothing made from breathable material rather than a single, thick coat or jacket. You can also consider wearing a hat and gloves to prevent excessive heat loss from the head and hands.
Running in the cold presents two challenges. You need to slow down the loss of thermal energy from the body. You also need air circulation to prevent the build up of sweat and overheating. Fleece hats and gloves keep you warm without absorbing sweat, making them ideal for exercising in the cold. A thick outer layer, by contrast, can lead to overheating. Instead, build up layers of soft, lightweight garments. This allows moisture to evaporate and also gives you the option of removing a layer when you start to warm up.
What are running tights?
Running tights are designed to keep your legs warm without hindering performance. The close fit prevents drag as you run, decreasing friction and chafing for a more comfortable session. Running tights or leggings can also provide compression to aid recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Running with cold muscles increases the chance of injury. Running tights help to maintain an optimum temperature without affecting the movement of your legs. The best running tights should be comfortable and snug fitting, allowing you to move without the fabric rubbing against your skin. Like other running clothes, breathable fabric will help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The elasticity of the tights prevents excessive vibration of your muscles, reducing fatigue. Some tights are designed with varying degrees of compression in different parts of the leg. This prevents the build up of lactic acid, which is the main cause of muscle soreness after exercise.
Running tights work well for both men and women. Men should look for a pair that won’t cause irritation, such as the seamless Pro Tights, which have a compressive fit and body-mapped patterns for extra ventilation. Women's running tights like The North Face Active Leggings have similar features and a fit designed for the female form.
Once you’ve filled your wardrobe with run-suitable apparel, you’re ready to hit the trails, pound some pavement, and run to your heart’s content. Happy running!