As summer winds up and the weather cools down, you will likely be thinking about your fall and winter running wardrobe. Indoor or short-distance runners often don't have trouble layering their outfits. After all, you can usually bring a bag with you to toss your clothes in as you do laps at the track. But if you are a long-distance runner, you have to carefully consider which layers you will run with when you will be out for a few hours at a time, miles away from your starting or finish point. Below are some of the things long-distance runners should consider when building their perfectly layered outfit.
At Least One Layer Should Be a Wind Breaking Layer
If you are a long distance runner with a fair amount of experience, you know the weather can be unpredictable while you are out for a long run. While it might be calm when you leave the house, wind can pick up when you leave the shelter of your neighborhood or as the hours go by. To combat this, make sure at least one layer of your clothing is wind blocking. However, opt for a wind-resistant fabric as opposed to a wind-proof fabric. Wind-proof fabrics will hold your sweat against your body, making you cold, clammy, and less likely to wear your wind breaking layer even when you need it.
Any Removable Layers Should Be Easy To Run With While Off
When training long distances, you will have to carry your layers with you throughout your run. Because of this, you should make sure they are comfortable to carry when you are not wearing them. Try tying your layers around your waist and make sure they don't irritate your legs or bounce on your calves when running. Some people opt to carry a small backpack or waist belt to carry their extra layers in. If you opt for this, make sure your clothing folds down small enough to fit in your bag of choice.
Layers Should Be Easy to Take Off or Put On
Stopping to take off a layer can be frustrating, especially when you have just hit your stride at the beginning of a run. Similarly, stopping to put on a layer later in your run can greatly reduce your motivation. Because of this, you should pick layers that are easy to take off and put on. Many runners opt for wrap shirts that don't need to be pulled over the head or for leggings that pop on and off with a quick zip or button. When shopping for layers, keep in mind that your layers should add to your workout rather than detracting from it.
All Layers Should Be Lightweight
If you are a casual runner, the weight of your clothing may not make a difference to you. But if you are training for a marathon or ultra-marathon, you will quickly learn that every ounce of weight you have to carry can make your run more difficult. If you are going to wear many layers, make sure they are all lightweight layers. The layering effect will keep you warm and comfortable without needing to bulk up on a single layer. This can also help improve your running mechanics by preventing obstructions between your legs or around your arms.
You Should Feel Presentable In One of Your Layer Combinations
For those days when you are doing a one-way run or when you don't make it all the way back home without a break, consider bringing along a somewhat fashionable outfit. A wrap ballet top can keep you warm after your run and allow you to stop in at a coffee shop or restaurant and fuel up before making your way home.