I think most runners will agree that being over-dressed for a run is pretty miserable, and new runners often ask me how to dress for the many different temperatures we have in Virginia.  The Cruisers have always said that they look at how I’m dressed when I step out of the car for our Saturday morning run, and then add a layer!  My body temp has always run hot (not to be confused with I have a hot body… but I digress).  And yes, even before hot flashes, I was always warmer than anyone else around.

Sooooo, with that being said, here is my guide to dressing for your run, and recommendations for how to dress for different weather conditions.  And remember, if your body temperature runs normal to somewhat cooler, you might want to add a layer to my recommendations!



During extremely cold temperatures of 20° or lower, I recommend wearing long pants (line them with a pair of tights when it’s 10° or less), lightweight long-sleeve shirt, with a mid-weight running jacket on top.  For these extremely cold temperature either a headband or earmuffs are a must, and many runners swear by balaclavas (although they would be too warm for me).  My feet never get cold so my low cut Feetures running socks work fine, but if your feet get cold, consider wearing two pairs of crew socks.  My fingers always get very cold, so I wear lightweight mittens on top of Thinsulate gloves.  When the temps dive extremely low, I slip Hot Hands into each glove.


20° or Colder

For most of the winter when the temperatures are between 20° and 35°, you’ll find me wearing long pants, a thin long sleeved shirt, an unlined lightweight jacket, headband, and my glove/mitten combination.


20° – 35°

I have a couple of fun running jackets that I can only wear running if I skip the shirt underneath.  These jackets are light, but have a thin lining.  To me that feels like a jacket and shirt; and therefore, I get too hot running in them with anything more than my jog bra.  This combination doesn’t lend itself to unlayering during the run, but if I’m sure the temps are going to stay below 35° I’ll feel comfortable the entire run.


30° – 35°

Many of my fall, winter, and early spring runs are in 35° to 45° temperatures.  For these runs I choose my longer mid-calf capris, a short sleeved shirt, and an unlined jacket/shell.  I switch to lighter-weight gloves and headbands.  During many of these runs you’ll find me tying my jacket around my waist about fifteen minutes into my run.


35° – 45°

Once spring hits and the temperature climbs to 45° to 55° (or drops to that in the fall), you’ll find me wearing shorts or my shorter capris that hit just below the knee, a short sleeved shirt, lightweight gloves and a headband.  If the temperatures are in the higher of this range, my hands and ears will be warm enough and I’ll skip the gloves and headband.


45° – 55°

In 55° to 65° temperatures, I’ll wear shorts and a short sleeved shirt.  If there’s rain in the forecast, I’ll wear a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.


55° – 60°

During the majority of the summer, I’m stripped down as far as I can legally go in a jog bra and singlet top and shorts.  You’ll almost always find me wearing a visor to protect my face from the sun.  And of course sunscreen, I’ll have on plenty of sunscreen!


60° or Warmer


  • Questions:
  • Have you ever completely over-dressed or under-dressed for a run or other outdoor event?
  • Have you ever or do you think you could run in a balaclava?
  • What are your flat runner suggestions?