Good gear, smart layers key to cold weather training

Weather: Man and woman running on a trail in winter

Even in frightful Upper Midwest winter weather, more and more people are finding outdoor training delightful. Comfort comes from gear and layers.

The type of activity and the weather conditions dictates proper gear and number of layers. When good gear is properly layered, cold climate enjoyment increases, even in harsh conditions. Most athletic brands make apparel that would fit into one or more of the following categories, with varying degrees of cost and quality.

Consult with a specialist: Sanford Power

Inner moisture-wicking layer or base layer

This layer lies against the body and allows moisture to be wicked, or moved away from the skin, keeping it dry, even when sweating. The layer can be short- or long-sleeved, in crew and mock necks. It can also have a compression fit and a zipper is optional to allow ventilation. Synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, supplex, lycra and elastane make up this layer. One fabric that is not an option: cotton.

Middle insulating layer

This breathable layer can come in the form of a vest or as long sleeves. Its job is to maintain warmth and dryness, without adding bulk. And in milder weather, it can serve as the outer layer. This layer often zips to control ventilation.

Outer protection layer

Provides protection from the elements including wind, rain, snow and cold, this layer can be a vest, wind jacket or outer shell depending on how severe the weather conditions are. Temperature and moisture levels largely dictate which outer layer is appropriate.

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Posted In Health Information, Healthy Living, Orthopedics, Running

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