A Handy Running Wear Matrix for All-Weather Runners

By November 2, 2012 culture No Comments

In the past two weeks, Illinois weather has given us a taste of all seasons. We had a high of 80 degrees one day followed by a high of 47 degrees the next. We’ve had sun and humidity, wind and rain, chilly air and early-morning frost. Yep. That’s Illinois.

All the fluctuation makes running rather, um . . . interesting. One day, I’m overheating; the next, I can’t warm up. Deciding what to wear on a run isn’t just a matter of knowing the temperature: 50 degrees and sunny feels a whole lot different than 50 degrees and windy. You also have to factor in how hot you will get as the run progresses. It’s no easy task!

So I’ve developed a little chart that I call my running wear / weather matrix. It’s my general guide for what to wear depending on temp and wind, based on my experiences over the past few years. I’ve taken note when I’ve been hot or cold or just right so I can do my best to dress appropriately. The chart is especially helpful when the weather turns cold, because I always tend to overdress. I’ve found that no matter how cold 33 degrees + single-digit wind feels, if I wear more than a heavyweight long-sleeve t-shirt (i.e., HW LS tee), I will be roasting by mile 2. I just need to be brave for 15 minutes, then my body adjusts. But those first 15 minutes can be brutal! This chart reminds me that I just need to hang on.

I’m curious: How do you remember what to wear when the seasons change?


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