Winter Training Gear – The Essentials
When the temperature drops and the UK weather becomes famously changeable, it’s important to be well prepared if you’re heading outdoors to exercise. But where do you start? What materials are best? Which brands should you look out for? Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (literally). Drawing on our years of experience in the fitness industry, we wanted to provide some guidance as to what to look for when putting together your winter training wardrobe.
From jackets and bottoms to hats and socks, all of these items are designed by specialist brands and made from high quality materials. We believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong gear! So let’s arm you with the right clothing that will protect you from the elements, whilst allowing the necessary movability and breathability for effective outdoor training.
A light athletic softshell jacket will help you retain body heat without feeling too restricted. It can be simply worn over a T-shirt when it’s cool and dry, as a midlayer in cold weather or underneath a light waterproof jacket in the wet. Aim for a close fit, made with moisture (sweat) wicking material which is both thermally efficient and breathable.
There’s nothing worse than getting soaked by an unexpected downpour. So choosing the right waterproof jacket is an important investment for anyone heading outside this autumn and winter. A good lightweight waterproof hardshell should provide maximal waterproof (>10,000mm*), without compromising on breathability (>15,000g/m2**).
* Waterproof Rating – The amount of water (measured in millimetres), a 1 inch diameter circle of fabric can withstand over 24hours before it soaks through.
** Breathability Rating – The amount of water vapour (in grams) that can pass through a square meter of fabric (from inside, out) over 24 hours.
A great pair of insulating, water repellent athletic bottoms are vital for keeping your legs warm and dry in winter conditions. The examples provided are made designed to be movable, durable and streamlined for enhanced comfort and performance. Seamless stitching, durable water repellent (DWR) and sweat wicking materials are technologies to look out for here.
Run through puddles without a care on the roads, pavements and trails with a good pair of “winterised” trainers. Opt for waterproof trainers which are designed specifically for the outdoors, which means they are highly durable with enough tread to prevent any slippage. Gore-tex and Vibram are material technology brands to look out for.
If you didn’t already know, a fair amount of body heat escapes from your head, so a good beanie could be a game-changer for your winter rides, runs or workouts. A slim, well-fitted design with breathable material is recommended. There is also the added benefit of keeping your ears covered, which can quickly get painfully cold if exposed to the elements for too long.
As you may have experienced, fingers and hands are the first things to feel the cold. So invest in your comfort with a good pair of gloves. There are two main options to think about here; one is slim, dexterous gloves which are great for cool conditions, the other is thick, warm gloves insulated with a fleece inner-lining for when it’s icy cold. Maybe go for both so you can pick and choose depending on the weather!
After fingers and hands, toes and feet are most exposed to the cold and wet. A good pair of trainers is your first line of defense, the second is a warm and water resistant pair of socks. The best pairs combine a blend of merino wool, nylon, elastaine and polyester for a breathable and weatherproof fabric.