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3829 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2009 5:25 PM by QuickLittleLizard
QuickLittleLizard Rookie 7 posts since
Nov 23, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 2, 2009 5:30 PM

What not to wear?

Hi all,


I didn't see another post like this recently so I hope I'm not repeating the obvious.


I bought running pants, a shirt (both Matrix) and I'm getting new shoes. But it's getting cold out and I don't have a proper running jacket, nor can I afford a new one after my little spree. So here's my question. I have fleece jackets, and I also have a nylon spring jacket that are all lightweight.


I've been indoors so far and have no idea how much the cold vs sweat is going to factor in, is fleece bad? Is nylon bad because it doesn't breathe? Should I layer and wear both?


Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!



  • 96Yankees Expert 59 posts since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 2, 2009 5:46 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    Hi Marcy.  There's a lot we'd need to know before we can help you.  What kind of climate do you live in and what temperatures are you running in?  What works for me in Virginia may not work for someone in Maine.  I usually run in a sports t-shirt and shorts until the temp dips well below 40.  Then I go with a long sleeve sports t-shirt and shorts (maybe gloves).  I haven't seen the temperature go so low that I need pants or jackets yet.  Hopefully the weather stays cooperative.  Anyway, most of this depends on your situation and how you are most comfortable.  I used to run with guys who refused to leave the house without wearing multiple layers.  I tried to convince them that it only hindered their performance, but it was to no avail.  Eventually I had to give up and accept that at least they were outside running.  So, try different things and see what works for you.  The important thing is that you're running.

    2009 Richmond Marathon 4:08:24

    2009 VMI 5k 23:18

  • TyKy Pro 134 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 2, 2009 6:33 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    This is something I have been asking myself so I don't mind sharing what I have found.  I googled "running in cold" and read several articles about what to wear.  Basically there is no general answer as to what should be worn in x deg weather.  Every person reacts different to the cold.  So, not being very helpful, the best thing for you to do is trial and error.  As a "general" rule it is said to dress 20 deg warmer outside than it really is, but make sure its in layers.  Especially layers that are easy to come off.


    For me running in the 20's so far here is what I have found.


    I have to wear the full length compression gear.  The tight spandex kind of stuff.  In the 30's I can wear the pants and a t-shirt but in 20's I need the longer shirt.

                 -I know this is different than most runners, but my legs really don't like the cold.


    Over that I wear a sweat shirt or fleese and baggy pants.  After about 10 min both come off.


    For socks I have to wear the ankle socks.  In the no-show socks my ankle gets gold, even with the pants over them, and then my feet soon fallow.


    I also HAVE to have a headband to cover my ears.  Some people prefer a hat, but I have long hair so that doesn't work so great for me.  I picked up one for $3 at wal-mart that works great.


    I have read a lot about gloves.  So far I have not needed them, but I have pulled the long sleaves over my hands.  For me they are long enough this is not a problem.

    For jackets I have read they are more for keeping the wind, rain and snow out.  I admit these factors have had a tendency to get me on a treadmill instead.  The wind I can deal with, but the rain and snow well.......


    Somebody here also mentioned when its really cold out they wear a scarf.  If it gets to cold to breath they put it around their neck and cover thier mouth.  I've never tried it, but I might this winter.


    FYI I have also found I need a stronger moisturizer on my face running in the cold and I've always gotta keep a tissue on hand.


    Good Luck

  • PenAimie Amateur 20 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 2, 2009 6:56 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    Hi Marcy!  I'm new at this too, but I agree with 96Yankees.  You've got to "try different things and see what works for you."

    Cold tolerance is very individual & personal.  I live near Savannah and so far we've only had 40's & 50's.  But those 50's really bother me.  And if you add a little wind, then I'm toast.

    Even in the 50's, I have to start off with a jacket at the very least.  I usually end up taking it off & tying it around my waist after about 10 minutes.  I'm still experimenting with head gear for the wind.

    Penny livin' in Savannah, GA

  • dfitz* Legend 612 posts since
    Aug 20, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 2, 2009 8:16 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?



    I know you've marked this as Answered but I wanted to share some specific types of garments that I find really useful. One good brand is SportHill but there are many others. I'll post their Products page because it shows the three types of fabrics they use.


    I have a Level 2 long-sleeve shirt that I've used down in the low 20s F, and two items in their Level 3 which adds a bit more heft and wind protection. They will keep you dry in light rain too. Best of all, they wick moisture (which nylon and cotton will trap next to your skin) and are soft, comfy. and easy to tie around your waist.


    I live in Montana where we get lots of ice and snow. I wear light, stretchy gloves (lots of brands available, including Nike) and last winter I slipped on an unexpected patch of ice, landing on gravel and broken ice that cut both my glove and my hand a little. It would have been worse without the gloves. They are lightweight and squishy enough that if my hands get too hot they just stuff into my pocket or waistband.

  • Cumbrian Amateur 33 posts since
    Aug 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 3, 2009 5:13 AM (in response to dfitz*)
    Re: What not to wear?

    You mentioned "spending spree"... the very best tip I've had as a newbie runner is to go to Marshalls and TK Maxx for running gear. Having spent a considerable sum on just a tech t and shorts from Sports Authority I went to Marshalls and came away with a Brooks long sleeved running top (complete with reflecty bits) for $24 (which is totally and utterly my favourite item of clothing), plus some excellent tights/running bottoms for $12 (my second favourite item... ). Now that we know this my wife is planning to go there for all my Christmas presents....




  • 96Yankees Expert 59 posts since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 3, 2009 5:20 AM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    Forgot to mention a little trick I learned once.  Moisturizer will help keep you warm.  It's best for extremities.  I use it on my hands, arms, legs, and face.  I wouldn't expect to slap some on an go join the polar bear club or anything, but it definitely removes the bite and may help you avoid an extra layer.

    2009 Richmond Marathon 4:08:24

    2009 VMI 5k 23:18

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Dec 3, 2009 5:56 AM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    I think the only cardinal rule about what not to wear is to avoid cotton (at least against the skin/as a base layer) at all costs. Cotton will hold moisture against your skin and when it gets cold, so will you.


    Otherwise, Luke's tip about hitting Marshalls/TJ Maxx is excellent. I picked up a great Nike vest for about $10-15, which I've used down to about 34°F (along with a long-sleeve thermal compression shirt).


    Lots of folks run in fleeces; I don't know that they're especially problematic. If you get too hot, you can pull it off and tie it around your waist. If you get the full-length zip, you can also open/close it as needed to regulate your temperature. Jackets -- even the onces that are vented -- get pretty warm. I find that a lightweight jacket over a long-sleeve tech shirt is sufficient down into ~30°F territory. Below that, I'm looking at a mid-weight jacket with the long-sleeve tech shirt (which I've been successful with down to an air temp of about -5°F).


    Of course, as mentioned, people's tolerance for heat/cold varies tremendously, so you'll need to play around and find out what works for you. In my case, I'd rather run in -5°F than in 75°F+ (I overheat really easily).


    In general, you should be chilly when you step out the door. If you're comfortable, you're overdressed. I typically feel myself getting to a good temperature (usually in the form of a warm spot beginning to form on my back) around .5-.75 miles into my run. Any longer than that and I'm probably underdressed.


    Finally, if you're doing an outside run, plan to finish it no more than about five minutes from your door. If you're much farther away than that, you'll cool to the point of being actively cold by the time you get indoors. That's no fun at all. (For instance, I usually finish my runs about the end of my street, which is a 3-4 minute walk to my door. I cool down on that walk, but I'm very rarely chilled by the time I get inside.)



    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • cyndi t Legend 1,061 posts since
    Aug 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 3, 2009 9:05 AM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    The one thing I do want to mention is what I find works best is layering.  I live in Northern NJ and the temps can dip pretty low and get windy as well.  I find that I start with my typical base layer of compression tank and capri's or tights depending on what is clean really and top the bottom off with sweat pants.  I'll add compression shirts (long sleeve), one or two depending on the temparature and if its really cold I'll add a polor fleece 1/4 zip. Gloves and a headband are a must as well.  As I run, layers come off depending on the weather, my effort, etc.  For example, yesterday was pretty cold, so I had on 2 long sleeve compression shirts, gloves, headband, capris and sweatpants.  It all stayed on the whole run. Today was warm (like 30 degrees warmer, go figure) and I started out with capirs, sweatpants, and one compression shirt over my tank.  Lost the compression shirt about 2 miles in and never had the gloves or the headband on.  Again, layering is key....wear as many as you think you need and remove as you go.  Just a tip I found works best for me.  Happy cold weather running!


  • ilianazm Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 3, 2009 11:05 AM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    You can also try and get stuff on ebay. I have gotten some fantastic Nike-pro compression tops and pearl izumi thermal leggins for nothing!


    Good running!

  • Lauri47828 Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 3, 2009 11:52 AM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    I found wearing sweat pants hard in my second 5K - but I live in rainy Seattle and the pants just sucked up all the water and it made my thighs wet! :-)


    I think the compression gear is the best I've used (borrowed from my neighbor since I'd never used it before) and it was a cold, wet day and I stayed warm and was able to keep pushing thru. By the end of that race I had my jacket tied around my waiste with my gloves in the pockets and it was a roughly 40something degree day.


    We have an outlet mall not too far away and they are having major sales right now on outdoor gear for every sport. You might find some good deals at those places as well.

  • Urbster Legend 760 posts since
    May 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Dec 3, 2009 2:30 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    Love that title.   I do think everyone is different,  I wear a cotton tank top under my compression shirt, it keeps some sweat on it, my other layer doesn't get wet. I'm not cold at all.   Might be the worst thing to do but I like it.  Seeing some sweat makes me feel like I did something.  Over both of that I have a decent running jacket I invested in a few years ago and it outlasted my other cheaper gear.  One major problem I had in a race was I had my running tights on and a pair of older shorts over them.  Well those older shorts had lost a little too much elastic and started coming down on mile 2.  VERY annoying to be fooling with them the last mile of the 5k.  Anyway for me what night to wear is baggy old droppy shorts over your tights.

  • Amigold Legend 185 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Dec 3, 2009 2:58 PM (in response to QuickLittleLizard)
    Re: What not to wear?

    You Canucks are professionals about cold weather while those of us in Texas are doing amateur night...


    I don't have very many places where I run where I can dump clothing so I like being able, if need be, to take any overjacket off and tie it around my waist. So make sure your nylon or fleece jacket is light enough to tie around your waist, or else that that you have a convenient place to drop it where it won't be seen as a gift from the gods to someone walking by.  Otherwise you may end up running hot (which is bad), or carrying your jacket in one hand.  Nylon or fleece or expensive microfiber, just be sure you can do something with it if you have to strip it.  I also like using a hooded jacket because I can toss off the hood or put it on depending on how I'm feeling; I might be hot for awhile, but then turn up a street into a stiff north wind and want the hood back.  But the hood has to fit snugly or it will be flopping everywhere which is annoying.


    I like warmer socks in the winter but the problem with warmer socks is they seem to be thicker all over, so you will have to loosen your lacelocks or laces accordingly. I didn't do this the first time and it was bad news--made my toes go numb.  Wasn't much fun in the cold weather!



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