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.