When it comes to knowing what to wear for running in winter, there are a few items you always need—and I can tell you that from experience. Last year, during the colder months, I was training for a 10k in January and then a half marathon for March. This meant I was up early, sometimes even at 5:30 a.m., to get the requisite training in. It wasn't always enjoyable to get myself out of bed, especially when it was dark and cold outside, but once I had I was very pleased (read: smug) with myself. One of the key things about running in winter is that layers are a must. You'll probably warm up fairly quickly, but it's always better to have pieces to take off. Here I've selected nine items I consider to be vital to put on before I set off running in the winter. Keep scrolling for my guide.
#1: A hat or a headband
While the myth that you lose 40% of heat through your head has been debunked, when the temperature drops really low, your ears will hurt when it's cold, not to mention it's a real shock to the system if you're running early in the morning. Sometimes a hood on a jumper is just as good to help me warm up quicker, so there's always that option too.
#2: A scarf
Running in the cold can make your lungs hurt when you're taking deep breaths. While it doesn't damage you, especially if you don't suffer from asthma, you might want to warm the air by breathing through a scarf.
#3: A long-sleeve top
Nike does some of the best running gear, and it's all to do with the technology the brand incorporates in its pieces. This top, which was made for the outdoors, keeps you dry, comfortable and also warm.
#4: A jumper
#5: A gilet
Depending on the weather, you can add a gilet over your jumper or just wear it over your long-sleeve top. The decision rests on how long and how cold you might be getting. Just make sure to be sensible.
#6: Long running trousers
These are what I like to call the ultimate running leggings. Not only do they help to trap heat, thanks to the stretchy fleece, but there are also ankle zips to help you feel cooler when you get too warm. Finally, there are reflective trims so you know you'll be seen in the early mornings and nights.
Just because it's cold out doesn't mean horrendous blisters aren't possible. Try socks such as these from Balega, as they're meant to help prevent blisters. They also keep moisture away from the skin but still warm.
For me, Asics have been the best running trainers I've ever owned. This is mainly because the in-store team analyses your feet and how you run before you purchase a pair. Plenty of other brands do this too—it's worth seeing which pair of trainers work with your gait but also ones that will grip the road when it's getting wet and icy.
Now, I don't want to sound like a sensible school teacher, but with the colder months comes darker mornings and evenings. This means, especially if you're running near the roads, that you need to be seen. Get yourself some hi-vis gear to stay safe—you don't need to spend much.