A coworker asked what her 10-yr-old daughter should wear for the Jingle Bell 5K run. Forecast was 10 degrees and windy. Conditions sounded daunting, but loaded up with the right layers, her girl stayed toasty and smiled through the 30-min race.
I run a bunch, usually more than 2,000 miles a year. We do the deed daily over lunch, plus 12+ mile trots Saturdays in all conditions. Iowa temp ranges from -20 to 110, with clouds spitting all sorts of unholy precip'. Experimentation, sweaty hands and CC (cold crotch) have taught me how to stay comfortable on winter powder trails and through 40 degree spring monsoons.
As it starts getting colder, layers need to be added in roughly 10 degree increments, else things will start to invert. I'll split these posts into temp ranges and layers. We'll start the series today with warmth and end the week with permafrost.
50F and above, shorts and shirt will do. Be sure to wear wicking when working out. A cotton shirt on a hot day will cling and feel like you're doing laps in a wet bedspread or a moist toga.
Workout clothes are branded with names like Dri-Fit and performance cotton, but they're all pretty much the same thing. 100% polyester or a blend of 85% poly' with traces of cotton and spandex for soft 'n stretch.
Target carries a Champion knock-off brand that I like. The shorts have a built-in liner (look ma', no undies!), wick well on greasy days and are 15 bucks on sale. I don't recommend buying a workout shirt, as nearly every race from 5K up gives out Dri-Fits with entry and they'll soon be coming outta your ears.
I probably have 30 race shirts, gently used, you want one? This one's my favorite, the winged foot Market-to-Market Relay, with an ear of corn in place of wing:
Socks, I do NOT like 100% polyester. Too thin and slippery, which leads to blisters. Only Target cotton/poly blend goes on my sensitive paws, with just enough cotton for cushion and poly to spew steam.
Next post, we'll talk about shoes plus what to pack in your bag for a 40 to 50 degree run.