Deciding what to wear when you go running sounds like it should be simple. If it’s cold, add some layers. If it’s hot, slap on a pair of sunglasses, shorts, and a t-shirt. Easy, right? But wait, have you factored in how much you’ll heat up as you get warmed up and start to sweat? Or how about the wind chill, or the fact that it’s raining? OK, so maybe it can be tough sometimes, and it can definitely be a huge bummer if you make a wrong decision. Overestimate how many layers you need means you could end up carrying the extras or have them flapping around your waist for several miles, and not having enough layers to keep you warm can be dangerous, especially if you’re on a long run.
Luckily for you, the internet is here to help you! There are two great websites that will actually tell you what you should wear when you go out for a run. The first is a tool that has been around for a while from Runner’s World called “What to Wear”. It requires that you enter in the temperature and other settings manually to calculate what you should wear on a run based on the specific set of conditions you’ve provided it. The strength of this tool is that it takes into consideration how warm you prefer to feel (cool, in between, or warm) when you run and the length and/or intensity of the run you are going on. I also think What to Wear does a better job of explaining the reasoning behind the clothing types it chose for you and the types of fabrics you should wear.
The second tool is called Dress My Run. It is not quite as polished in terms of the justifications for its suggestions and appearance, but it does offer a bit more convenience as it will automatically determine your location, and suggest clothing based on the current weather conditions. However, you can also choose a custom location and custom weather conditions. Another nice feature is that Dress My Run offers you the option of leaving them a little feedback on how their suggestions worked for you–it’s always good to know that someone cares!
I have a feeling I’ll be making good use of one or both of these tools this spring. I find transitional seasons are the hardest to determine what to wear, and I end up feeling much too warm more often than not. That is, if we actually do have a spring. At this point, it seems like we’re headed for a Game-of-Thrones-style winter here in Wisconsin!
Featured image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net.