It’s here. The so-called arctic blast has come again and Vivian, another smiling face of Paragon Sports, has some knowledge to spread about this arctic weather and how to prepare to run in it.
Vivian got hooked on running in 2003 after the Poland Spring 5 mile race. Now, she’s a Marathon Maniac, having run 4 marathons in 28 days this past year including Wineglass Marathon, Hartford Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, as well as, the New York City Marathon. With all these miles, she knows a thing or two about dressing for the weather. Noting a person heats up about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, she says it’s all about layering and knowing your body.
- Her #1 tip of all is to cover your ears! “Even if it’s 30 degrees, it won’t feel as cold with your ears covered. I did it during windy, cold marathons and it made me feel safe against the cold,” Vivian says.
Wear the right base layer. The key is a moisture-wicking fabric. When you sweat you feel wet against your skin if you’re not wearing a technical fabric. Once you feel wet, you’re cold. “On really cold days I’ll wear 2XU thermal tights and Under Armour under a wind breaker,” she says.
- Ladies, find the right bra—it’s part of your base layer too. The proper fit and moisture-wicking fabric is crucial for comfort. Vivian has a rule that if you can pull your strap up to your ear, it’s too big. If you can hardly pull the strap up, it’s too tight. “I usually go for a simple, throw it on over your head type bra,” she says, though the market has many varieties to customize your fit.
- Invest in a Whether it’s over a fleece or a tee, a jacket provides wind and water protection. Look for taped seams, ventilation, a hood and any weather resistance. Storm jackets are more substantial with many of these qualities in one. “I wear a storm jacket when I’m running in severe weather and it’s wet. I’ll also wear a heavier jacket or layer when I’m traveling to Central Park, running the loop, then taking the train home. After the run, the sweat and cold will make me need the jacket again.”
Don’t forget your legs! Most runners wear tights to prevent tripping on excess fabric. Whatever you prefer, make sure it has a fleece lining, or some sort of thermal properties. A bonus is a bottom with material to protect against the elements.
- Protect your These days it’s easy to wear gloves and still use your phone or touch-screen device to track your run. Find a pair of thickness to your liking and make sure it has touch-screen friendly fingertips, as well as cuffs that fit over or under your jacket.
- Race day vs. training: Bring a warmer layer to throw off after the start of the race and have a friend ready with a warm jacket at the finish. “There is a lot of down time. Always, always bring hand warmers and have ears covered,” Vivian advises.
No matter what, when you dress, you should feel cold. Even now, Vivian will sometimes overdress and end up tying a layer around her waist during a run. Layering is a good way to learn your temperature when you run and what’s comfortable. Just remember, the weather is unpredictable and only you know your comfort zone.
Vivian’s next run will be this weekend’s Philadelphia Marathon. If you see her, cheer her on! We’ll cheering you all on.
- If a hat’s your thing, Nike’s Cold Weather Run Beanie will keep your ears cozy.
- Start at the base with Sugoi’s Carbon Long Sleeve Tee.
- North Face’s Stormy Trail Jacket is a perfect example of a weather-proof outer layer.
- A favorite among runners, check out the Champion’s Marathon Sports Bra.
- For reflectivity and warmth, the Nike Vapor Flash Running Glove has it all.
- New Balance’s HEAT Tights will keep your gams cozy on the coldest runs.