Today, the weather in Chicago is a sunny but balmy 3F (-16C) with 15 mph winds. It’s cold. It’s the cold that stings your cheeks and makes your ears feel like they’ve been cut off. It hurts to be outside.
But no one said keeping a joggling streak alive would be easy. To do it, you’ve got to dress right.
Here is the key pieces of gear you need to survive, and thrive, in cold weather running or joggling.
Cold Weather Running Gear
First Layer – The stuff closest to your body should be snug but thin. A thin pair of cotton underwear, thin socks like Smartwool running socks, and a tight top like an Under Armour shirt. Thin is key as it lets you move while also making it easier to put on more layers.
Second Layers – The next layer can be a little thicker. A good pair of cotton socks should be used. Be sure that you can still wear your shoes comfortably. For your legs, use 2 layers including a pair of bicycle shorts and some Under Armour tights or leggings. Put your socks on first and then the tights.
Third layer – For the top, put on a technical running shirt. Since most races give these things out you should probably have a few to choose from. If not, a regular cotton shirt (long sleeve) should work. For your legs, put on a pair of warm-up pants. Tuck your shirt into your pants.
Fourth layer – When the weather gets this cold, you’ll want to have one more layer. This one is mostly for your torso as keeping your body’s core warm is most important. Put on another long sleeve, cotton shirt. This one doesn’t have to be tucked into your pants.
Extra layers – While the previous 4 layers are enough to keep your core warm, you still should have a few more things to make your cold weather joggling run tolerable.
- neck gaiter – To keep your neck warm. Put it on before your last shirt so it is tucked underneath.
- 2 sets of gloves – A thin pair and a thicker pair over them. Note: the thicker the gloves, the harder the joggling.
- Warm head band – You absolutely need some ear covering!
- Knit hat – To keep the warmth from escaping out your head.
- Sunglasses – These will help keep your eyelashes from getting icicles.
Final cold running tips
Joggling in the cold is an added challenge and you really need some dedication to get out there. But it can be done and done safely. Dress warm and consider some of these tips.
1. Drink lots of fluids before you go & during the run. You still sweat and will need fluids.
2. Do a circular path so you can quit if you get too cold. There’s no shame in stopping if it gets too hard.
3. Bring money. In case you want to take a bus home.
4. Change your clothes when you get home. This will help warm you up.
5. Take a warm shower right away. Again, it’ll warm you up.
I take sick pleasure in joggling in weather like this. If you can stick to your joggling streak now, it gives you the confidence that you can achieve any goal you set your mind to.