Layering for Runners
Dressing for the weather
The type and amount of layers you are going to need varies depending on how good or how bleak the British weather is looking! Winter running, especially on the trails, will take a little more thought before you head out of the door, than it would in the middle of summer.
Dressing for the worst weather, with layers that you can optimistically shed if you are blessed with spells of good weather, or if you get a bit too hot, is the best idea.
It’s crucial to keep your torso warm, to protect vital organs and layering is an effective way to achieve this.
How to layer effectively
As the name suggests, it is about having different layers, with different fabrics on top of one another to keep you warm, and dry! When you add layers you trap very small layers of air between them, which the closer to the body these are, warm up as you exercise and keep you protected from harsh conditions.
When you are thinking about layering, you may want to look for technical fabrics which have good moisture-wicking and technical properties as well as great breathability. Wearing a good baselayer, under a t-shirt or warmer midlayer, and a waterproof jacket is a good start.
A good baselayer, would be something like, the men’s Montane Sabre T-shirt or one of the many Ronhill long-sleeve layers, for ladies the Montane long-sleeve Blade or Ronhill Tech long sleeve would be perfect. The Ronhill Seamless Hoodies for men and women are designed to be next to the skin. The perfect baselayer will have good moisture wicking properties and be breathable
One layer is not enough for winter trails, so top your baselayer with another midlayer such as the cosy half zip with thermal properties such as Brooks Dash half zip or Ronhill Tech Thermal half zip for men. For ladies, Ronhill’s Tech Thermal half zip, or Montane’s Katla Pull On would all work really well. Looks for pieces which are made from wicking fabrics. Thumb loops are also really useful to add some coverage for your hands, and many pieces such as the Ronhill Tech Thermal and Ronhill Life Seamless are ideal as baselayers too. Midlayers are great to give you an extra layer on top of your baselayer which you can take off if you need to, but will do a great job of giving you some extra protection from the elements.
Once you’re warm and cosy, a waterproof jacket which is lightweight and with taped seams will keep you safe from the elements. Staying dry is very important to keeping warm and ultimately enjoying your run! The Unisex Podium Pull On from Montane is crazily lightweight, and is perfect to stuff in your pack for that black cloud moment. The Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Jacket for men and women and the Ronhill Tech Gore-Tex Jacket, for both men and women, will also keep you dry. Both will keep the rain off your face. A fully waterproof jacket is certainly an investment; it’s compulsory for some races and can make the difference between a good day in the hills and a miserable one. With that investment make sure you read the care instructions and look after your jacket. After a wash, run a tap over the jacket to make sure it’s still waterproof before you need it again
Water Resistant Jacket
Windproof and water-resistant jackets won’t give you as much rain protection but tend to be more breathable. As a general rule, they will be about half the price of a full waterproof and will protect you from showers and keep the wind out. The New Balance Impact Run Jacket, Brooks Canopy Jacket and the Montane Featherlite Trail jacket will all take care of you in lighter weather. The fleece lining in the Saucony Men's Bluster Jacket will give you some added cosiness.
A gilet, or vest, teamed with a good base layer, and a jacket such as the Montane Podium Pull On stuffed in your pack, is the perfect combination for a bright, cold winter’s trail run. Montane offer the Men’s Featherlite trail gilet or for a warmer alternative the Brooks Men’s Shield Hybrid Vest will keep you toasty. For ladies, the Brooks Carbonite Vest has the added bonus of serious reflectivity.
A hat, gloves and a Headhog, either worn or stuffed in your pack will complete the package and keep your extremities warm. Be cautious, pack a headtorch and even some waterproof trousers, and let someone know where you are going.
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