Winter gear

Most people seem to put on all their running clothes when the temperatures drop below zero, you probably don’t need to.

I’ve just done a lovely 9 mile trail run to work and when I set off it was probably a degree or two below zero (Celsius) but I still wore shorts and a lightweight jacket. A lot of friends on Twitter mentioned that they were deciding on which tracksuit trousers/tights they were going to wear in the meantime.

winter-running-clothesI do own a pair of running tights, I think I’ve worn them once. Quite often I run with compression sleeves which I mainly wear for warmth and a bit of protection from flying mud or brambles etc but I didn’t bother today and went with this rather natty spiderman inspired get-up.

What’s all the gear?

There are a couple of things I’ve found invaluable, one is a the polar buff [1] I wear as a hat, I rarely run without it in cold weather. They’re versatile and extremely warm. I’m one of those people who put a wooly hat on in September and it barely leaves my head until spring. I think if you limit heat loss from your head you will always feel a lot warmer. The other item is my bargain Karrimor gloves [2]. They’re thin enough to take the edge off the cold but not too thick you end up carrying them after a mile.

As an added bonus, you can actually operate a touchscreen phone without taking them off.

The rest of the gear is fairly standard stuff, typically I will wear 2 tech shirts (again, bargain basement Karrimor stuff) – 1 long sleeve and one short/vest. A pair of standard running shorts with lycra under shorts and then a pair of shoes. In today’s case Brooks Pure Flow which are excellent on frozen trails. The jacket is a lightweight Montane H2O [3].

I do run pretty much everywhere with a rucksack which does add some element of warmth and back protection because I have to carry my work clothes but when I run at weekends without one I still wear the same gear.

The oft used rule of thumb for running is to dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer. Sure you’ll be cold when you step out the door but it doesn’t take long for your body to heat up and all those layers to become stifling.

Backup gear/longer runs

This is my fairly typical workday commute gear, I don’t run more than 13 miles to work and I’m never far from civilisation so I don’t carry much to account for weather and variable conditions although I’ve run in rain, sun, wind and all sorts in this and been fine. It’s a balance I’ve reached over the last 6 months of varied running.

When I go out on longer runs or more technical trails etc then I often carry a pair of tights and a fleece to wear under the jacket along with food etc if I’m going a long way.


  1. Polar buff – £23.99
  2. Karrimor gloves – £3.99
  3. Montane H2O jacket – £search for offers

What sort of gear do you wear when it gets cold?