what to wearing running: it's effing cold edition

I finished my growing up in western Massachusetts (6th - 12th grade) and so I was no stranger to running in 20º, 13º, and even -3º (the day I split my chin wide open after slipping on black ice). But after seven years in temperate Seattle, where 28º qualifies as 'frigid' I've become a huge cold weather wuss.

This Christmas I came home for the first time in over 3 years and was handed the rude awakening of an 7º day. I was on my #rwrunstreak so skipping my daily run was out of the question. I hadn't given my Oiselle apparel the test of an icy run yet either, so that was exciting.

What I wore for 7º, with a slight wind:

The new Lesley Tights under Lux Pant. I have to say, even in 7º this was a little over kill. The Lesley Tights + high ankle socks (or even compression) would have been more comfortable. I'd save the double pants for under 0º.

Next, my base layer was Flyte Long Sleeve. Perfect with the thumbholes, so no skin was exposed. Then I added the Big O hoodie, which has become a favorite running top this holiday. It's fleecy but not stifling. In fact I feel like it's pretty darn perfect as a top layer for an easy cold weather run. 

I should add that I wore mittens and a hat. I also carried my iPhone in a mitten to keep it from shutting down in the cold.  

Bonus layer: I would throw the Flyer Jacket over top the hoodie or double base layers if the 7º had been accompanied by wind or snow. The Flyer Jacket is surprisingly warm, in fact unless it's under 38º I'm just too hot in this jacket. Which is all part of its magic... seriously don't underestimate this guy.

Dressing for the cold can be tricky and you can easily end up being WAY TOO HOT. So remember you shouldn't be warm until a mile in. If you are... you're going to be too hot. And layers are king. 

What are your cold weather running tips?


  1. I can't wait for the blue flyer jacket!

  2. The flyer jacket really is amazing -- I'm surprised how warm it keeps me! I am in Texas so I've worn it with anything below 45 degrees -- I'm a baby when its cold! And I'm obsessed with my Lesly tights, plan on buying another pair once they are back in stock!

  3. So helpful! I've signed up for a 5k in Burlington, VT tomorrow and have been trying to figure out how to keep warm when the forecast is for 5 degrees + wind. BRRRRR!!!

  4. The blue flyer jacket is too cute! I've found the same about mine - that it's too warm for mid-30s or higher. But I love the zippered pockets for holding my key so I suck it up and just get my sweat on.

    And I need that hoodie. So, so bad.

  5. My cold weather tip is mid height Smartwool socks. I can.not run without them in the winter. Good to know about the Lesley tights. I will give them a try once they get back in stock. I love the Flyte as a layering piece too!

  6. I'm really excited for Oiselle to get some more Lesley tights. I've been dying to run (and be honest here live my funemployment dreams) in them.

    When I wewnt to college in upstate NY I ran a lot of treadmill miles. I'll run in snow but unplowed ice no thanks. I slipped and fell (breaking my arm) in a parking lot on ice so no ice running for me.

  7. I tend to overlayer, but I really hate being cold. I think that is a by product of having to work cows in sub zero temps while growing up. I recently posted on this too. I like to have two layers of pants. I would rather be a little warm than a little cold. http://www.christyruns.com/2013/12/what-i-wear-to-run-in-when-temps-are-at.html

  8. I can't run in cold weather! Besides the issues of dressing just right, my lungs burn and my nose aches. When the snow falls, I run on a treadmill. I'm a wimp that way. Ha ha! http://www.bettylivin.com

  9. Vaseline on the face! Especially if it's windy. It helps avoid frostbite and windburn. Also anything merino wool or a merino blend will help keep you warm and non-sweaty. The North Face Isotherm top (merino blend with quickdry areas) has been my savior during the super cold and windy december we had up here in Calgary.

  10. I'm looking forward to a Big O hoodie for myself! Living in MA now, I hear ya with the cold temps. Oiselle Lesley tights are a MUST for me. I also put hand warmers inside my gloves!


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