Monday, February 07, 2011

Winter Running Clothing-Go Nordic Ski and Wool

  1. Snug fitting base layer is the key.
  2. Look for a base layer with some texture. Slick tech t-shirts and even some wool t-shirts tend to get cold and clammy when wet in the winter. Only real way to tell is to touch in the store.
  3. Anything wool: IbexIcebreakerSmartWool or base layers from Craft, nordic ski experts. They know how to manage moisture and keep you comfortable in the cold as there is nothing which gets the engine going like nordic skiing. Look for a wool base layer of weight less than 190 grams square meter. My favorite l base layers are a wool Icebreaker GT 150 g/m2 long sleeve and a Craft Zero Extreme Concept.  The super fine merino wool now used in performance apparel is naturally anti microbial so it can be worn for several days before washing and it is not scratchy. The Craft, while not wool manages moisture incredibly well due to its texture and venting panels, and while super light is warm and form fitting.
  4. Anything intended for nordic skiing. Brands such as Swix, Craft,  Patagonia. 
  5. If it is in the high 20's or above I wear 3/4 length light compression pants and  knee high compression socks. If it is colder I wear light windproof front, light spandex back nordic ski pants such as the Swix Star Advanced  Not as snug fitting as tights so room for long underwear (wool) underneath if really cold.
  6. Over dressing and overheating leads to over sweating and wet. If the weather is not windy I run in a long sleeve full zip wool bike jersey similar to the Ibex Giro with rear pockets over a wool or Craft base layer. The full zip allows easy temperature regulation on the go.  I also look for long sleeves which are easy to roll up on the go. I also often wear an Icebreaker GT wool vest over a light base layer. If the weather is windy I layer over the Swix Star Advanced jacket or a Patagonia Houdini jacket which compresses down to about the size of a hat.
  7. Look for pockets as between hats, phones, gloves on and off, nutrition you will need them.
  8. Feet stay warm on the move and even  weather resistent shoes will tend to get wet, unless you use a trail gaiter. Even snowshoeing. I never buy weather resistant shoes as I want them to also be comfortable when it is warm.
  9. Light wool hat  if it cold, below 25. A Buff for everything above 25 and that also means all the way into high summer temperatures. I do the pirate hat look. Buffs are a light fabric tube which can be configured in many ways.  Buffs come in CoolMax, Merino, and microfiber in all kinds of wild designs.  If it is really sunny I can wear a running cap over the Buff.  There is now a merino buff which is longer and can also serve as a neck warmer/balaclava for really cold days. On a long run take a second Buff or the wool hat to put on when the first is wet. 
  10. Light wool liner gloves for most days. I use nordic ski racing gloves from Swix for colder days and when it is really cold the wool liners go inside the nordic gloves. Don't get a super insulated nordic glove but size up a bit if need be and make sure your liners will fit comfortably and your fingers can move.
  11. If roads are partially snow covered or shoulders are slick but roads clear run in trail shoes.
  12. Bright colors, reflective accents to stay safe.

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