Running (tour) in winter, equipped from head to toe

Absolutely, definitely, it is possible ! We can’t spend as much time as in summer in front of the monuments, but it is definitely and possible and enjoyable! Small tour to prepare:


The 3 layers

When we speak about those 3 layers, it is essentially for the torso because it is where there are all of our organs. For our health, we have to maintain it at 37°C / 98.5 °F. The basis.

The other parts of the body don’t always need the same number of layers and it is basically not always possible to habe 3 layers. Or, at this point, go (back) to Cuba! 🙂

It is normal to be cold when you go out but 10 minutes later running, you’ll win 10 degrees (°C) and the worst is to be too warm!


Let’s do it from the head. A good breathable hat or a headband which covers well your ears works generally great. When we arrive to the -20°C / -4°F, you can think about a woollen cap over the headband, even your ski mask!

The essential, our core :

  1. A thermic and anti-perspirant underlay : the one with short or long sleeves depending on your comfort and habits, this layer has to dry very fast because it is in contact with your body which goes to sweat. This layer has to be used close to the body but not too tight to allow the perspiration evacuation.
  2. A thermic and insulating layer, sort of soft micro fleece or other technical clothe. This layer has to absorb and evacuate the surplus of perspiration, so not a windproof jacket now!
  3. A breathable waterproof layer: the cross-country ski jacket is perfect! Oh, you can now combine your training with cross-country ski! 🙂

Personal thing: until about -10°C / 14°F, we can wear only 2 layers with the 1 and the 2 with a dry and not windy weather; until -15°C / 5°F, 2 layers again but with the 1 and the 3 and over the -15°C / 5°F, I don’t take to much risks except if I have to work very hard on speed for exemple.

Don’t forget the neck! To insulate your neck, some layers (the 2 or the 3) have collars, or, if you don’t have, you can invest in a sport muffler! Very convenient and a saver to run below -20°C / -4°F.

The hands, a sensitive end for a lot. Merinos under gloves, it is fantastic! Below -15°C / 5°F you will have to add an insulating pair of gloves for sports as cross-country ski. And the big thing is: if you didn’t already opted for gloves without fingers, get you fingers together in the middle of the glove, warmth guaranteed!

For the legs, a basic long legging between 0 and -10°C / 32 and 14°F. It also exist some thicker leggings and below -15°C to -20°C / 5°F to -4°F and more just think about adding a layer as a short for the top of your legs and bottom.

The precious feet. Pamper them with a great pair of socks. They deserve well the best. Merinos socks are the best, you won’t be disappointed. It keeps feet dry and that is the most important thing. Even if you choose a “basic” pair of trail running shoes, the great pair of sock will do the job! 

And so, the running shoes: you can afford a dedicated pair of running shoes, a waterproof one if you feel more confortable or you also can choose a “basic” trail running pair of shoes to keep the breathable part of it. In the escarpment areas like the Mount-Royal in Montreal, just add removable spikes.

Except some gear, that you also and maybe can find in your outdoor stuff, don’t rush and don’t be tough with yourself and always think… To the fun to run! The trick is to go out and have fun. Even 20 minutes… Let’s go out, let’s run, cultivate your hapiness even in winter! 🙂 

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