Running Gear Guide
All weather is good weather if you have the right kit and wearing the right clothes on your run can make a big difference to your enjoyment and performance. Heavy, sweat drenched clothes chafe and leave you cold, restrictive or bulky items limit mobility and the wrong shoes can cause injury or leave your feet throbbing with blisters.
On top of all this, when you take into account the weather, it becomes particularly important to make the right choices. To help we’ve looked at the most common weather conditions and suggested a few items that could make the difference to your run, fitness and overall enjoyment.
Looking for inspiration for what to get the runner in your life? Check out our guide to Gifts for Runners today.
WET Back To Top
Many find the rain to be very unappealing. Wet and usually cold, from the lightest drizzle to the heaviest downpour, it’s quite likely that it is a big factor in people’s decision to stay inside. But instead of slouching on a sofa, follow these simple kit tips and you can turn precipitation into motivation!
A waterproof jacket can keep your core dry, warm and comfortable. Whilst your legs are pounding through the rain, your top half stays protected under an impenetrable shell. The key to a running waterproof however, is to get a model that is very breathable; otherwise you will quickly trap sweat and end up wetter underneath then from the rain.
Wet socks have to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings, and when hiking, running or just out in the park, wet socks can quickly lead to numb toes and blisters. Using a shoe with a waterproof lining can alleviate the problem entirely. Alternatively there is also the option of waterproof socks. These go inside your regular shoes and keep your toes dry and warm.
When heading out into the cold rain, a cap with a peak can keep the rain off your face and out of your eyes. Despite being small and compact they also offer an additional piece of protection against the elements and gives the impression of being that little bit more cocooned against the driving rain.
You may be hardened to the rain but there is every chance that your slim and aesthetically pleasing smartphone is not. If you like to run with music or just take it for the security, then you must protect it from the wet. A waterproof case is light, unobtrusive and many have a clear window that is touch-screen compatible.
HOT Back To Top
Every now and again the weather is nice, really nice, and it’s only natural that in the height of summer we want to go out and get as much sun as possible. Going for a run in the summer is a genuine highlight of the season but there are of course a few things to consider.
If going for a relatively short run then you may not need to take vast quantities of water, instead a simple running bottle may be enough. If however you intend to be out for long periods or during the hottest part of the day then you may wish to take a hydration pack. This is a slim, minimalist rucksack that contains a soft ‘bladder’ with a straw from which to drink.
Wicking layers have the welcome benefit of pulling moisture off the skin and cooling it through the process of evaporation. Made from light, soft and free flowing materials, wicking running tops do not hold onto sweat in the same way as a cotton t-shirt, are less inclined to chafe and are considerably lighter and more comfortable. For more information read our page on Quick Drying.
A well-fitting pair of sun glasses is a welcome addition to any sporting activity, but when running in the bright daylight or into the setting sun they are especially useful. Rather than squinting and tripping over an obstacle, or dipping your head and loosing form and posture, just wear some sleek and streamlined sports sunglasses.
A very simple yet effective addition to any summer running kit is a cap with a peak. This will help keep the sun off your face as well as protecting the head. It may be worth considering a specialist running cap, which is much lighter than a classic baseball cap. They are also cooler, more breathable and wick sweat away from the eyes.
COLD Back To Top
However seriously you take your running, if you intend to maintain your fitness then you will inevitably have to run through the colder months. This brings with it a new set of factors such as ice and the dangers of running in the dark. However there are some things that can make a difference.
There is a saying with cold weather exercise; ‘Be bold, start cold’. Put simply, if you wrap up too warm, you will quickly overheat. Instead you are off better wearing one warm base layer that keeps your core constant and pulls moisture away than lots of layers that trap sweat and eventually chill you. Synthetic or natural, a warm base layer is a must-have.
GLOVES & HEADBANDS
When running, oxygenated blood will be in high demand. This means that your body will centralise it around your vital organs and busiest muscles. During this time your hands and ears will receive noticeably less blood, especially in cold weather. A thin pair of gloves and a head band can maintain sensation and comfort, so you can enjoy the run.
A well fitted pair of running tights can help keep the muscles warm and the blood circulating. They will also pull moisture away and keep your legs from getting too chilled. Many versions have reflective patches for night time safety and some even have tight, muscle compression bands built in to minimise vibrations and reduce fatigue.
A pair of proper running shoes will always be very important, but this need is even more pronounced when running in cold weather. A good quality rubber sole unit is especially useful when encountering frost or compressed snow, whilst a waterproof lining can also be a welcome addition, helping to keep the feet warm and dry.
WINDY Back To Top
Unlike the hot or cold conditions that typically take place in a specific time of the year, windy conditions can take place at any time. It is therefore important that you use your own judgement to assess the conditions, but the following items can help with your run and aid your enjoyment.
A headband will keep the wind off your ears and the hair off your face. If it is cold then a wind proof headband is a great option, this will keep your ears warm. If hot however, then a neck gaiter or Buff will stop dust going into your ears and flapping hair and sweat going in your eyes.
Super thin and incredibly breathable a wind breaker is a particularly good option for cool to cold conditions. Simply worn over a base layer it keeps the cold air from buffeting away the warming microclimate that sits directly next to the skin. They are also incredibly compressible so they can be carried in a rucksack without even noticing the extra weight.
Many sports glasses are now produced with clear lenses, these are great for running in windy conditions as well as cycling or skiing in low light. To provide a greater range of uses many manufacturers now make glasses with removable lenses so you can swap between tinted and clear, which may be worth considering if buying a pair for the summer.