Cold Weather running

I am taking part in the Frozen Bonzai half marathon in New York in December around Central Park.  I have never run in possibly extreme cold conditions and I am seeking advice.  I am not good in cold weather at the best of times but know I heat up quite a lot when running in british now weather just in shorts and singlet.   My concern is buying all the winter kit to find that my usual, shorts and singlet, with a garbage bag would have sufficed and getting part way through the event to be toooo hot. 

I know it is very different for each individual but if any one has run this event or has any advice I would be very grateful to hear your thoughts. 




  • I live in a cold climate and find that it is the most important to keep your hands and ears warm! So it is worth getting some decent running gloves (I have good Craft ones with a mitten pullover which you can put on if it is really cold) and an ear warmer. Depending on how cold it is you will want long running tights and a long sleeved top but don't overdress as sweat will chill you if there is any kind of wind.

  • On top of happy plodders great advic, put some thought into your socks.  Little light weight trainer socks might not be the order of the day.

    whatever you go for make sure you try it out before the big day.

    good luck. 

  • You could also have a look and see if there's any video footage of the event to see what previous participants are togged out in.

  • Thanks everyone. great advice! Appreciated. 

  • his I have just joined . hello. I have been running for about 3 years but no matter what the weather I overheat so when it comes to winter I always wear just shorts and wicking tee shirt. trouble is I am then cold  yet if I put anything on top I overheat straight away. I've tried all types of clothing but no joy. any advice pls
  • Hi Steve, I know what you mean. It's about getting the right balance. On cold mornings I usually start with hat and gloves which then come off at some point, and quite often a hat is too warm but nothing is too cold. Thin gloves and a buff work well for me, because the buff can just be worn around the wrist or both can just be shoved in the waistband of the shorts. Maybe try 2 t-shirts? Sometimes a long-sleeved t-shirt is good to keep the chill off the arms, sleeves can be rolled up if need be. If it's the wind that's making it cold, then maybe a very thin jacket would be better? Trial & error will see you right.

    Thin layers will give you more options than say a gilet.

     I read somewhere that on a cold day you should feel at the start that you're cold, but not unbearably so, just a bit uncomfortable. That probably means that by the time you warm up, you'll be just about right.

  • rodeoflip, thanks for mentioning the buff, which I usually wear round my neck, as I didn't think to wear one yesterday whilst running in the forest at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. I did wear hat and gloves, but still running in shorts as my legs don't seem to feel the cold.
  • Hi hillstrider, your legs are doing most of the work so keep themselves warm up to a point. For me it's hands that feel it first, think gloves that can be stashed somewhere when it heats up are brilliant.
  • I live in a cold climate . Depending on how cold it is you will want long running tights and a long sleeved top but don't overdress as sweat will chill you if there is any kind of wind.

    running tights are the best I run in NY in the snow and if your tights are thin they dry fast and keep you warm . clinging to your muscles and holding you firm. It can get very hard sometimes and you need to be able to adapt. no bare skin . nothing under or over the tights . wear a long sweat shirt pull over if worried you can put yr hands in them and protect that area from wind chill. 
  •  just heading off for a run in the park along the river . I get hundreds of looks and smiles.  girls will stop and chat and have a good squiz . it can get very hard some days if I get too much attention. 
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