One of the wonderful things about taking up running is you don’t need special clothing to begin – just a pair of comfortable shorts or sweat pants and a shirt. Beyond your first couple of runs, though, you will need to start thinking about strategizing your clothing.
Dealing With Sweat
Did you know that conditioned athletes sweat more (and more quickly) than beginner athletes? This is because their bodies have become efficient at cooling themselves and therefore begin to perspire readily at the onset of exercise. As you progress in your running routine, you will need to consider wearing synthetic fibers that have moisture wicking properties to it. When wet, cotton clothing sticks to the body and can cause chafing due to its rough fibers. It also prevents you from cooling and heating yourself effectively.
Dress for the Weather
One of the most common errors beginning runners make is overdressing for cool weather. Two rules of the thumb to run by is 1) to dress in light layers and 2) be a little cold the first 5 – 6 minutes of running. As your body warms up, the heat it puts off climbs exponentially. If you are wearing thick bulky items, you’ll find yourself overheating shortly into your run and you won’t be able to adjust your layers to compensate. You should feel cool or slightly chilly when you warm up and then as your body shifts into exercise mode, you will be comfortable enough throughout your run as to not to worry about overheating.
If the weather dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, consider adding a hat or gloves. A third of your body heat escapes through your head, so adding a hat may be enough to keep you warm without putting on any additional clothing. Gloves are a good addition simply because fingers can get cold during the warm up and cool down part of your run. Gloves can be easily tucked into your waistband during your run if not needed.
Rain gear will eventually be needed if you plan on running at all outside. You’ll need a jacket or a pullover made from synthetic fibers that allows air in for your skin to breathe but at the same time keeps moisture out so you don’t become wet and chilled. Sporting goods stores carry a variety of this particular type of garment and it’s a worthwhile investment in your running program. The less you think about how cold or wet you are, the more you can concentrate on enjoying your run.