How to dress for cold weather running

As winter rapidly descends upon us, we hear the same question over and over: how do you dress for cold weather running?  Dressing for cold weather running can be challenging because of the balance between body temperature and outside temperature.  If you dress so that you are warm at the start of your run you will most likely over heat within 15 minutes. The key to running in cold weather is layers. Layers will keep you warm by trapping heat against your body. As you generate heat during a run, you can easily remove layers to avoid overheating.

We recommend wearing two to three layers depending upon the weather conditions. Each layer has its own purpose.
Layer 1 - The purpose of the first layer is to wick moisture away from your skin. We like a long sleeve moisture wicking shirt, such as lululemon's Long Sleeve Swiftly tech or a polypropylene shirt.

Layer 2 - The second or middle layer acts as insulation and keeps you warm. This layer should be made from an insulating material such as fleece. It should be able to absorb a small amount of moisture so that it can assist your first layer in keeping your skin dry and warm.

Layer 3 - Your third or outside layer protects you from wind, rain or snow. This layer should keep your insulating and wicking layers dry.  Look for wind resistant and waterproof material such as Gortex or nylon.

Our rule of thumb for cold weather running is that you should be a bit cold at the start of a run. As you run you will generate body heat which will warm you up. If you are comfortable at the start you will overheat quickly. If you are running outside in temperatures below 35-40 degrees F, be sure to keep your head and hands warm. We recommend wearing either a skull cap or a headband that covers your ears.

Our favorite cold weather running outfit is:

Long Running Tights, such as the Full Tilt Tight
Warm base layer:  Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve
Fleecy second layer, such as the Full Tilt Pullover
Lightweight, wind resistant jacket, such as the Hybrid Jacket
Weatherproof Serious Protection, such as Nike Women's Running Storm Fly Jacket

(can you tell we love lululemon? check out lulu's men's winter gear too!)

Running Pants (not tights) like the Untight Tight
Base Top Layer: Run: Base Long Sleeve
Zip Top Layer: Run: Base 360 Zip
Shorts (for all the men out there who only wear shorts): Core Shorts

For those exceptionally cold days, we recommend:

Fleece Gloves :  Mountain Hardware's Women's Deva Glove & lululemon's men's Brisk Run gloves
fleece or wool hat: Patagonia Beanie Hat or Lined Beanie