Wondering what to wear while running?

While running during FALL, WINTER, SPRING & SUMMER you must consider what to wear while running, below are a few tips you might consider. 

  1. Shoes 
  2. Clothes 
  3. Weather 
  4. Gear

Shoes: Shoes are the most important piece of equipment you’ll need to own when running or doing a work out. Many people will tell you your sneakers all depend on the kind of foot you have, do you have an arch or flat foot? But after running for about a year recreational and in a number of races I have learned a couple things along the way. 

From an evolutionary perspective, human beings hunted, gathered, ran from prey, lifted and carried loads all without your name brand Rebook’s, Nike’s or New Balance sneakers. Our feet evolved over time to withstand the freedoms (both good and bad) that result from going barefoot everywhere. Traditional running shoes with extra support and cushion promote bad running form, such as heel-striking (inherently inefficient), run on the balls of their feet with the pervasive long-stride, or sneaker-clad foot-roll which can lead to injury. This style is clumsy, and the by-product of the thick-soles of today’s sneakers.

                                                              

Until you learn the proper running technique I advise you not to switch into vibram sneakers otherwise you’ll be sore in all sorts of previously forgotten ankle, foot and calve muscles. However, this should tell you something about how much your regular footwear has been subsidizing your strength. To start learning how to run properly check out “Pose Running” ( Intro to the Pose Method of Running), pose is a method of running that uses gravity to propel you forward, running on the balls of your feet, so it stands to reason that Five Fingers would be a natural complement. Pick up a pair of vibram sneakers at EMS, ranging from $80-100, students receive 15%off.  Stay tune for my next posting on “POSE RUNNING”.

                                         

Clothes: Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start running. If it’s cold, you can always wear warmer clothes while you’re waiting for the race to start. Many races have bag checks where you can store your bag with extra clothes for before and after the race.

Avoid wearing cotton when running because it holds your sweat and doesn’t dry quickly. Synthetic fabrics (Dri-Fit) wick moisture away from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur.

Warm weather running

Running Socks: Don’t wear 100% cotton socks your feet will most likely be sweating a lot, and cotton tends to keep your feet wet, which can lead to blisters. Look for synthetic blends like those made from polyester or acrylic which are best at wicking away moisture.

                                  

Loose-fitting clothing: will help your body breathe and cool itself naturally. Dark colors absorb the sun’s light and heat as opposed to light colors which reflect the sun from your skin. 

Use Sunscreen: apply your sunscreen (at least SPF 15).

                  

Cold weather running

Thermal hat: You’ll lose 40% of your heat from your head, so you must keep it covered. Fleece or wool hat, hold it or tuck it into your pants if you feel your overheating.

Neck Gaiter:  Pull it up over your mouth to warm the air you’re breathing in, which is especially helpful when you first start your run.

                                     

Gloves: You can lose as much as 30% of your body heat so cover those hands, gloves that wick away moisture. On extremely cold days, mittens are a better choice because your fingers will share their body heat.

                                          

Chapstick/Vaseline: Protect your lips from chapping with some Chapstick or Vaseline. Vaseline can also be used on your nose and cheeks (or anywhere else on your face) to prevent windburn and chapping.

Upper/lower body:

Wick Base Layer: 1st layer closest to your skin should be synthetic wicking material, such as DryFit, Thinsulate, Thermax, or silk which will keep you dry and warm. If you wear cotton once it gets wet, you’ll stay wet. Above 40 degrees F, you can wear just a long-sleeve base layer.

                                  

Insulated Layer: 2nd or middle layer, below 10 degrees F, should be an insulating material, such as fleece. This layer must continue wicking moisture away from the skin. It should have the perfect balance of trapping some air to keep your warm, yet release enough vapor or heat to avoid overheating such as  Dryline, polyester fleece, Microfleece, Thermafleece and Thermax.

                                 


Wind- and Water-proof Outer Layer: Last layer should protect you against wind and moisture (rain, sleet, snow), but at the same time allow both heat and moisture to escape to prevent both overheating and chilling. A jacket with a zipper to zip it up and down such as ClimaFit, Gore-Tex, Microsuplex, nylon, Supplex, and Windstopper. 10 and 40 degrees F, you can usually get away with a wicking base layer and an outer layer.

                                     

Tights/Running Pants: You don’t need many layers on your lower body because they generate a lot of heat. Tights or running pants made of synthetic material such as Thinsulate, Thermax, polypropolene or silk works. Below 10 degrees F (or wind chill) a wind-proof layer such as track pants.

                                         

Weather, 4 types:

  1. TEMPERATURE:
  2.   thermometer reading

  3. WIND: Wind-speed, wind changes how you dress such as on cold days or in rain or snow. 
  4. CONDITIONS: Is it sunny, overcast, raining, snowing, sleet, freezing rain, “winter mix” or precipitation?
  5. FEEL: What you prefer to feel you run? “Cool” is for people who like to take ten minutes to warm up; “Warm” is for those who thrive in the summer. If in doubt, pick “In-between”. 

 

Gear:

Spibelt: Is a superior water resistance non-bounce hip holder for fitness gear, running, cell phone or ipod. I found that holding my ipod on my arm caused me to lose circulation so I found the spibelt.  I bought it after my uncomfortable experience during my 1st race and have ran with it ever since.

                           

Compression socks: snug-fitting, over-the-calf socks (some of which start at the ankle) aimed at improving oxygen delivery to muscles, speeding lactic acid removal and stabilizing the lower leg for greater muscle efficiency. Women’s marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliff e has also worn them in the past, although not in the BUPA Great North Run Half Marathon or the ING New York City Marathon in 2007.

 Do they work? Well a study presented at the 2007 American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans suggested “there were no statistically significant differences in maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate or minute ventilation between treadmill runners who wore compression socks and those who did not”. According to the study, conducted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, subjects did, however, show a faster recovery rate after exercise when wearing the compression socks, suggesting that compression socks might speed recovery after a strenuous workout or a race. I have only wore then 1x so I can’t give adequate feedback on this but based on my research I would definitely wear them after the race.

                                   

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                      All Season gear, see below……………………….

                   

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