Thermal wear for winter workouts

Leigh Anderson

After Stanley Biwott finished the New York City marathon in 2:10:34 last Sunday, many of us have probably thought about giving that New Year’s resolution a two-month head start by hitting the gym. But even with winter looming, it’s dull being stuck on a treadmill when you can be outdoors enjoying Manhattan’s most scenic and festive time of year. With this season’s winter workout gear designed to keep you warm without overheating, you won’t be able to get enough of running the city streets even during the coldest stretches.

A common problem gym-goers face with outdoor running is uncertainty over how to dress for the weather. It may seem cold enough for numerous warm layers, but once the workout gets going, runners can become overbearingly hot. As a general rule, dress for your run as if the temperature is twenty degrees warmer. That is to say, on a 40-degree day, full-length leggings and a sweatshirt would be appropriate, as this is how you would normally dress for temperatures near 60 degrees. Naturally, you may start out a bit chilly, but you’ll become comfortable once you get into a rhythm.

Get started on your winter running wardrobe with the seasonal staple of Under Armour, which offers various types of underclothing designed to keep your run comfortable without the bulk. Made with dri-fit fabrics, Under Armour’s line of “ColdGear” not only locks in heat, but also wicks away sweat. Recommended features include zip-necks like the Response Tee ($45) or simple turtlenecks like the Nike Dri-FIT Wool Crew ($95) to prevent exposure and thumbholes to keep sleeves in place. With fitted and compression styles available, Under Armour can easily be layered with long-sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts or windbreakers.

Athletic pants or leggings are also a must-have for winter running. For men, dri-fit running pants are offered by Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, and some styles are even equipped with fleece. These allow for much more freedom than sweatpants, which tend to weigh you down during a workout. Check out Adidas’ Response Long Tights ($50) or Nike’s  Dri-FIT Thermals ($75). For women, insulated running tights are most effective, particularly the thermal style from Nike designed specifically for staying warm. Most of these winter running leggings are only available in solid black such as Adidas’ Climawarm Tights ($70). These provide an easy way to stay chic, but if you’d like to spice up your fall workout, you can choose from a wide selection of lighter-weight, colorfully patterned leggings including the Pro Warm Static ($55).

Don’t stop there, though. Winter workout attire is still incomplete without a few accessories. To keep your ears warm, use a hat such as the always classic Adizero 2 cap ($15) or a thick headband like the Under Armour model ($18). Gloves are another essential; several dri-fit styles are offered, but the cheaper cotton variety does the trick as well.

If you’d rather run past the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree instead of forcing yourself to exercise on a machine this season, get out and enjoy the city while getting in shape and staying warm. Whether you choose a plain black turtleneck or a pair of printed leggings, don’t run the risk of cooling down while working out in winter weather.

Email Leigh Anderson at [email protected].

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