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For Club Running Nine Becker, professional trainer, shares her running tips with you and answers all your questions about training, nutrition, injury prevention, motivation and much much more.

Tights or shorts?

Running clothes for every temperature

In my blog 'What to wear in different weather circumstances' you can read about how breathable fabrics work for you while running and winter running wear. Still I am getting questions about what you should wear when you're running outside. With this blog I'll try to help you to dress properly for every temperature.

What you wear is all about personal preferences. When you're a warm-blooded type you'll probably prefer shorts above tights even when it's chilly. Wearing the right gear is subject to trial and error. After a while you'll know what works best for you. Till then a few basic rules.

The basics

When you run, your experienced temperature is 10 degrees Celsius higher than the actual temperature. Not sure if you should wear a jacket? Leave the jacket at home. You´ll get warm enough when you run. Doubting between tights and shorts? When the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) it's better to change your shorts for (capri) tights. Always wear breathable fabrics like polyester or wool. When you mix a regular cotton shirt in there you’ll destroy the moisture management of your outfit. For the ladies: always start off with a wicking sports bra. With this said, here are some guidelines for what to wear in different temperatures.

  • 20 degrees Celsius or 77 Fahrenheit and hotter: Wear shorts, a singlet or tank top, a cap and sunglasses. Don't forget to stay hydrated and to protect your skin with sunscreen. Is it really hot? Consider running before dawn or after sunset.
  • 15-20 degrees Celsius or 59-68 Fahrenheit: Wear shorts, a T-shirt and thin low cut running socks.
  • 10-15 degrees Celsius or 50-59 Fahrenheit: Wear shorts or capri tights and a T-shirt. Does it rain? Add a jacket.
  • 5-10 degrees Celsius or 41-59 Fahrenheit: Wear tights and a longsleeved T-shirt. When it's rainy or windy add a jacket.
  • 0-5 degrees Celsius or 32-41 Fahrenheit: Wear thick tights and socks, two long-sleeved T-shirts or a thermal shirt with a second long-sleeved T-shirt and gloves. Rain or wind? Change one T-shirt for a jacket.
  • Below freezing point: Wear thermal underwear, thick tights and socks, two long-sleeved T-shirts, a jacket, gloves or mittens and a heat over your ears. Water-resistant running shoes help make snowy or rainy conditions bearable for your feet. In bitter temperatures add as much layers as needed, a fleece neck warmer plus wind pants and cover exposed skin with Vaseline.


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