Though cooler temperatures send many to the trainer or treadmill, outdoor exercise in fall or winter can be invigorating, even enjoyable – so long as you have the right gear. Extend your outdoor training season by building your workout wear with these essential pieces for cold-weather rides and runs.
“Warm” doesn’t have to mean “bulky.” Choose running tights with strategically-placed panels of wind-resistant fleece keep the legs warm, but soft and stretchy material on the joints to allow for free motion while running.
Stay upright in every condition with spikes and steel coils for traction. A variety of brands offer grippy soles to allow you to run or hike without adjusting your gait for icy or snowy conditions – better yet, they let you get outside and avoid the slog of the treadmill.
When it comes to weight-to-warmth ratio, merino wool can’t be beat. Lightweight, breathable wool running shirts do a remarkable job of ensuring your run is not too hot, nor too cold – it’s just right. In a pinch, these running shirts can double as a super base layer under your cycling jersey.
It’s one thing to be cold – but to be cold and wet is utter misery. Investing in a lightweight, compact rain jacket designed for training is a great insurance policy for unpredictable weather – simply stuff in your jersey pocket or hydration belt.
Though we’re a fan of ear flaps and fuzzy pom-pom toppers on winter hats, they’re not very aerodynamic. For training, we suggest a low-profile skull cap for full head coverage that still fits under a helmet. Choose technical materials that transfer moisture and dry quickly, as the presence of cold weather doesn’t mean an absence of sweat.
Neoprene isn’t just for wetsuits. The same material that keeps you warm in open water also does a stellar job of keeping your toes cozy during cold-weather rides. For extra visibility during winter’s shorter, darker days, choose a pair clad in bright neon colors.
Extend your riding season by extending the length of your cycling kit. Arm and knee warmers are versatile garments that provide additional coverage without requiring the purchase of a whole new kit. For warmth, choose fleece-backed arm and knee warmers; for stability, look for silicone grippers that prevent slippage while riding.
Gloves or mittens? Why not both? Running and cycling both are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon with warm gloves sewn together with waterproof, windproof nylon mitten covers that tuck away in the wrist when not needed. This versatility is equally appreciated on cycling descents and runs in wet, heavy snow.
Don’t let cold weather send you into hibernation. Get the essential gear for fall and winter.