A pair of tights. A skin-tight shirt made of wicking material. Another shirt, also wicking, with long sleeves and an extended neck. A pair of running pants, or “loose tights” as some call them. A nylon windbreaker jacket. A pair of thick gloves. On my head, a thin knit balaclava as well as a running cap.
That’s my garb when the temperature dips below 20 degrees and I need to head out for a run. Today, the temperature was right at 20—not as cold as the 15 from a week or so ago—but there was a breeze, so the wind chill was reportedly down into the single digits.
And to be honest, I was plenty warm in this two-layers-on-bottom-and-three-layers-on-top getup. I probably could have gone without the inside layers, but it’s always better to have too much than too little, especially when you’re just out there to log three miles and call it good.
That’s my game these days, to run three miles, at least every other day. By most serious runners’ standards, that’s not much, but it’s all I aspire to in these winter months. Come spring, when racing season rolls around, I’ll probably up it a little, if my knees are willing, but for now, I’m satisfied with just doing the minimum. I’m not planning to run a marathon this year. Ever, actually, but that could change.
Speaking of serious runners, for some of them, 20 degrees is the point where they actually put something on their legs. I saw a guy last week on one of those 15-degree days running in shorts. Not me. I’ll take the risk that I’m going to sweat during the last half of the run, over the risk of going numb from the cold.