Five Essential Winter Running Tips

A little planning can go a long way before heading outside in cold conditions. 

If you love braving the elements and hearing the call of the wild, a little preparation can enable you to run strong through the winter. There may be a day here and there where you have to resort to the treadmill, elliptical trainer or another indoor cross-training option, but paying attention to the following five basic guidelines will enable you to keep these days to a minimum.

RELATED: Top Tips For Safe Winter Running

1. Layer for success.

“Layering begins with the base layer, which can be synthetics such as polypropylene or polyester; silk; wool or other fabrics,” advises Brent Vanni, a product developer at L.L. Bean.

Wool is popular again, in the form of mid-and lightweight base layers. Wool is naturally odor resistant, so it doesn’t need the anti-microbial treatment like the polyesters, adds Vanni, and it provides superior warmth.

Your middle later should insulate while still allowing moisture to escape. Zoning techniques are popular, which basically means thicker insulations like fleece with different fabrics in specific places in the jacket, such as the core, under the arms and down the sleeves.

When running outside for long periods of time you may need a third layer — a lightweight, windproof, water-resistant (or waterproof), yet breathable jacket. Gore-Tex is still a leader in outdoor wear and has incorporated stretch into their Proshell fabrics now, says Vanni.

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