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Layers of Goodness

Does the cold weather outside have you contemplating hitting the treadmill? For some, this is a welcome break from pounding the pavement; for others, the monotony of running on a treadmill is equivalent to medieval torture.

Thankfully, the running gear industry dedicates a lot of time and research into designing clothing to keep us running in all temperatures. Usually, keeping your upper body comfortable pays dividends for your lower half. Here are some quick, easy, upper body dressing guidelines for braving the cold:

  • Keep the girls protected: Always start with a comfortable sports bra regardless of the weather. When temperatures dip, look for a support system that features technical fabric so your skin stays as dry as possible.

Jubralee Bra, $54, athleta.com

  • Base Layer: Wicking is key! Whether you choose a short or long sleeve base layer, the most important thing is the article is made of wicking material. Performance cloth will help transfer the moisture of your sweat away from your skin and onto the clothing fabric. Sweaty skin in cold temps = incurable chills!



HeatGear Shortsleeve T-Shirt, $25, underarmour.com

  • Insulating Layer: Bring the heat! For this layer, find a long sleeve piece that will trap heat in and keep moisture out. Look for pieces that have extra neck coverage and thumbholes on the sleeves to extend the hand coverage. Your extremities will thank you!


Element Half-Zip, $60, nike.com

  • Outer layer: Elements beware! The outer layer should protect you from wind and water (or a combination of both- snow!). Deflecting these two elements will allow your base and insulating layers to do their jobs!


Infiniti Jacket, $100, brooks.com

  • The Extras: Show the little guys love! Don’t forget about socks, gloves, sunscreen, chapstick, and neck/face coverage in extreme cold.


Beanie, $20, salomon.com                                          Gloves, $15 championusa.com     

As always, practice makes perfect. The more you experiment with layering to run in the cold, the better you will be able to judge what pieces you need in certain temperatures. Sometimes you may only need the base and insulting layers; sometimes you may need all three.  Try different combinations until you find your “just right match.”  Trust us, once you figure out the best combo – you’ll be running in layers of goodness!

Did you know Women’s Running magazine published a Winter Gear Guide in the Jan./Feb 2012 issue?  Pick up a copy on newsstands now to find examples of the layers of goodness.