Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Often, all it takes is a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, some shoes and then you can start running right from the front door. As a result, running has become extremely popular. All types of people run in all types of conditions. However, not everyone knows how to dress appropriately for those conditions. Most people tend to dress too warm, which reduces comfort and inhibits performance. Based on our long collaboration with some of the world’s best endurance athletes, we have created this guide to help pick the right outfit and get the most out of your run.
The Start - Think 15 minutes ahead.
A common mistake among runners is to dress too warm. Don’t plan your outfit based on how it feels at the start of your run, but how it will feel 15 minutes into the workout. Ideally, you should be a little cold at the beginning, even if it’s unpleasant.
If you prefer to be warm at the beginning of the run, layer up with a lightweight garment that can be removed and packed away. A thin and lightweight running jacket like the Focus Hood Jacket can easily be packed away in its own pocket and secured around the waist using the included elastic band.
Another option is to start your run wearing a hat and gloves and then store them in a pocket when you get warmed up.. Vests are great for heat regulation. The vest protects the torso but ventilates the arms and armpits. You can also use the zipper to adjust ventilation.
Underwear - All functions starts from within.
To optimize comfort and performance, you need to wear functional clothes from the closest layer outwards. Start with underwear made of 100% polyester. Polyester transports moisture away from the skin and out through the garment, it keeps you dry and helps regulate body temperature.
Running in the heat
When running in hot conditions, it’s important that your outfit provides efficient moisture transport and ventilation to ensure that the body does not overheat. The garments should be thin and feature large mesh panels that transport moisture and offer enhanced ventilation. A tank top or tee with a full mesh back, is a great choice for running in warm conditions.
For the lower body, wear shorts or short tights. Running shorts come in several lengths and the serious runner usually wears the shortest style to maximize mobility and ventilation.
When running long distances on sunny days, it’s a good idea to protect your shoulders. Leave the singlet at home and wear a tee instead. Wearing a hat and sunglasses are a great way to protect your face and eyes from the sun while running.
Running in cool temperatures
Long-sleeve running jersey and tights. A short- or long-sleeve baselayer top underneath a tee. Running jersey plus vest. Shorts and boxers with extra long legs for extra warmth around the thighs. Or, a thin and wind-resistant running jacket worn over a tee with tights. There are many outfit combinations that work well in cold conditions. The best thing is to try different combinations and find the combination that suits you best.
Whatever combination you choose, make sure that all the pieces are made from functional fabrics to ensure moisture is effectively transported from the skin to the outermost garment. If you wear two layers on your upper body, the inner garment should have a tight fit while the outer garment can have a looser fit. This creates an insulating gap between the garments and maintains efficient ventilation.
If you don’t feel comfortable running in tights, a great alternative is to wear a pair of shorts on the outside of the tights. Not only is this a popular combination, but it also provides great wind protection in critical areas.
Running in the rain
Running in the rain can be very enjoyable, you just need the right outfit. When it rains, you have two choices: get wet from sweat or from rain. In our experience, it’s better to get wet from the rain. We recommend wearing garments that prioritize breathability over waterproofing.
If it’s chilly with light rain, it might be enough to wear just a mid-layer item with a windproof front over the baselayer. Even if you eventually get wet, the extra layer will help keep you warm during the run. It’s important that the garments are made of materials with efficient moisture transport otherwise, they become heavy, wet, and cold.
When training in heavy rain, we recommend wearing a rain jacket designed for running that offers good weather protection and efficient ventilation like our Hydro collection.
It’s usually best to wear a pair of tights with short or long legs depending on the temperature or a pair of running shorts that are wind/water-resistant. This type of short can also be worn on the outside of the tights in cold and wet conditions and provides good weather protection in critical areas and ventilation for the lower legs.
If it’s rainy and warm, we suggest wearing thin and lightweight garments that absorbs as little water as possible, preferably a singlet with large mesh panels and short tights or shorts. Then just get out there and enjoy the refreshing rain.
Dark conditions - Make sure you are visible
When you run on roads in low-light conditions, it’s important to be visible. On chilly spring days, you can easily layer up with a reflective garment such as the Visibility Vest. On warmer days, a great choice is to wear a running tee/top with fluorescent colors and shorts/short tights with reflective print.
By choosing the right fabrics and wearing the right clothes from the inside out you will be able to run comfortably in a variety of conditions and perform your best.