Our running expert Natalia Porotikova, MSMK in daily running and the winner of the Russian Cup in running for 24 hours in 2019, tells us how to put together an optimal running wardrobe.
Running in the winter along the street or the embankment is another test, so the decision of some athletes to spend the winter in the arena is very understandable. It’s slippery outside, you have to slow down; it is dangerous to stop — there is a risk of catching a cold; isotonic in a bottle after 20-30 km turns into a smoothie, and even into sherbet; depressive darkness reigns in the morning and evening, nothing is visible under your feet, and everything as a whole is somehow heavy and sad.
But if your goal is resilience in adversity, there is nothing better than winter training. Well, maybe intervals uphill.
To make jogging outside in the cold bring you only benefit, choose the right equipment.
In the early days of my run, I heard from one of my trainers a good guideline advice: dress for running in the cold season, as if it were 10 degrees warmer outside. That is, if it is 0 outside the window, then dress for running as you would walk at +10.
Windproof winter running jacket
This is the most expensive and most important piece of clothing for your health; Please, treat his choice responsibly.
There are winter running jackets that look like windbreakers: they are one layer and thin. Their main characteristic is windproof; it can be checked right in the store by blowing through the fabric. It doesn’t work — the jacket will most likely protect you from the wind. If you have chosen a winter «windbreaker», thermal underwear and the middle layer will be responsible for the warmth; they must be reliable.
Another option is winter running jackets with a warm technical lining that is both warm and sweat-wicking. I choose these because it allows me to reduce the number of layers to two when the frost is light. And they are somehow more reliable.
Like summer ones, only with a little fleece on the inside or just denser and thicker ones. I do not advise you in frost — as you know, the air layer warms, and in this case it is very small.
When it’s cold, it’s better to run in football training pants, in which you ran in the fall, only by putting thermal underwear under them.
Wool, cashmere and other ski luxury — aside; running requires high-tech synthetics, for example, polycolon. Carefully study all the characteristics: surprises are possible here. For example, brands that specialize in ski underwear may intentionally make leggings short and uncuffed because they think the athlete will wear high ski socks anyway. Read reviews. If possible, be sure to watch live and feel the thermal underwear. It has an important characteristic that I never thought about until I personally encountered it: ideally, good thermal underwear should be smooth and slippery on the outside. This is necessary in order to put on the top layer without torment (imagine how you will wear tights over thermal underwear) and to move easily, without material resistance, in winter clothes.
Running winter or ski socks
Winter running socks are a denser and taller version of summer ones. If you missed the length of thermal underwear, ski socks or golfs will help to compensate for the mistake; choose smooth ones so that it is easy to put on outerwear.
Middle layer: fleece
On top of thermal underwear and under a winter running jacket in cold weather, you can also wear a fleece.
It can be any style, the main thing is not to fly off. I love fleece-lined knitted hats most of all: they are very warm and do not blow through. Winter hats suitable for running are good to look for in the ski department.
In gloves, hands will freeze, and combo-type options, where half of the mitten is put on top of the fingers, do not work. Wear warm mittens for cold weather. Use the experience of other sports: look at snowboarders for mittens.
Sports snood or buff
Useful if your longsleeve does not have a collar, or for additional insulation.
Summer sneakers for asphalt are not suitable for the winter, they slip on the snow. When your main surface is slush, frozen asphalt and ice in places, it is better to choose from trail running shoes.
Winter trail shoes are usually equipped with metal studs; well, like spikes — these are such low metal pins, stiffer than the rubber spikes of a summer tread. On pavement and tiles, you will be scared to click in them. On the ice in winter sneakers, you can move quite confidently. It’s not worth running fast on ice — it’s dangerous, but on trampled snow it’s excellent.
Another important feature of winter sports shoes is a membrane that protects against water and additionally warms.
Summer trail shoes with aggressive tread can be chosen when there is not much snow, but it is. Summer running shoes are perfectly fine to run in mild frost if with winter socks, but be aware that by spring or earlier you will kill these shoes. Summer sneakers in winter are erased just like an eraser, because they are not designed for snow and ice. It might make sense to winterize old summer trail shoes that have had a good life and are no longer afraid of anything.
For winter trail races, that is, for running through snowdrifts, you need special leggings. Choose according to the reviews of people who ran in them in the winter: ordinary trail runner leggings that protect against sand can be useless against snow.
Optional. A running backpack can come in handy if you decide to run to some place where you have other things to do as a workout. My friend, a runner, got to a fitness club in the center of Moscow in this way. Last winter, I myself ran 14 km to work instead of commuting to the subway, and then running to work became recovery training.