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RFYL Weekly: A runner’s guide to layering

This Saturday, December 5, 2020, the team will meet on the grounds of the GRCR facility (13 Hell Gate Circle, NYC, NY 10035). Participating members from the Manor and Leadership sites will be transported via company van. The warm-up routine will commence at 9 am; shortly after we begin our 5+ mile run. The weather forecast reports temperatures in the upper 40s with periods of rain; please dress accordingly. All participants are to actively follow the CDC guidelines at all times.

A Runner’s Guide to Layering

If you’ve ever sweated through your running clothes on a cold winter day as if it were the middle of summer, then you’re probably familiar with the guessing game faced by runners everywhere.

How many layers should I put on? How can I avoid overheating? I don’t want to be cold!

Below are a few tips on layering to stay warm in 10-degree increments during the cold season:


It’s time to start layering, but don’t go too crazy. A simple running tank under a long-sleeve shirt will maintain your core body temperature. When adding extra layers, make sure you still have full range of motion. A light running jacket is also another great choice. “Don’t forget to look for zippers for ventilation,” Klebacha says. “You’d be amazed at the body’s capability to still overheat.” For bottoms, your normal running capris should still do the trick here.


It’s time to start taking your base layers seriously. Make sure they are non-cotton so that they wick sweat off your body—extremely important in colder temperatures when body moisture can lead to hypothermia. Also, start thinking about extremities. Try a fleece headband over your ears and fingerless running gloves for your hands. If it’s below freezing, consider lined leggings and a long-sleeve shirt paired with a running vest. Aim for two layers on top.


It’s officially cold, so you will have to step the layering up. Invest in an insulated running jacket and layer it over a long-sleeve shirt. If you’re feeling extra chilly, feel free to increase it to three layers, starting with a compression tank as your base. Remember to always check windchill or “feels like” temperatures so you have a better idea of what to expect when you’re actually out on the road.


It’s well below freezing, so it should now be your priority to minimize skin exposure. Trade out those fingerless gloves for lined and wind-resistant running gloves, wrap a scarf around your neck, and wear a running cap instead of just a headband. Definitely stick with three layers on top—a base layer, a long sleeve, and a heavy running jacket—and choose thick, fleece-lined leggings.

Adapted from Runner’s World

Coach Andre’s tip:

As a team coach and experienced long-distance runner, nothing makes cold weather running easier than having a team to run with. Whether you’re running short distance or long distance, a conversation with a teammate can go a long way. Running in the cold weather with a teammate also helps with motivation, especially on those mornings when you find it tough to get out of bed.

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