Sport’n Style: How To Layer For Chillier Runs

Many moons ago, I ran on treadmills and treadmills only. Once I transitioned to outdoor running for the good weather, I figured when it got wet, cold and chilly that I would have to head back indoors. I soon came to realise that there is no such thing as bad weather…

In the right gear, you can still get out and run…and enjoy yourself!

Here are my tips for layering up this Autumn / Winter from top to toe:

Long Sleeved Top

image from store.nike.com

– with thumbholes

Personally, this is my most crucial piece of kit. It’s my mid layer in winter and outer layer in the autumn / spring. Thumbholes are a must as they keep your sleeves in place and keep the cold breeze out. A sweat wicking, fast drying fabric is important to keep you comfortable, warm and dry.


lululemon run:swiftly long sleeved  – Beki

UnderArmour ColdGear Compression Mock long sleeve tops for when it’s really cold – Alexa

Long sleeved tops that have a half zip are great – means you can unzip and get some air to the chest when you start getting hot – Leah


Image from lululemon athletica FB page
  • with thumbholes
  • ventilation zippers
  • pockets
  • reflectivity
  • showerproof / waterproof
  • hood

If you are gonna be out there no matter the weather then a jacket is a must! If you get hot easily, a thin waterproof jacket may work for you. If like me, you hate being cold, then something a with a little more substance will come in handy. It’s sometimes hard to remember that even though you may be cold as you step out the door, once you get moving you’ll start to warm up quickly!


Ronhill Vizion Photon – great for evening runs, lightweight but waterproof and has a cool flashing light on the back to make sure you’re definitely seen! – Beki

A windbreaker really is a game changer, I’ve got a Saucony vizipro one. So much warmer immediately. Then layer it up depending on how cold it is. – Mari


  • full length / cropped
  • brushed fabric (internally)
  • reflectivity
  • pockets

As with the rest of your kit, you want your pants to keep you warm but be breathable at the same time. Sweat wicking fabric will remove the sweat from your body quickly and disperse it. This help you from getting cold if you slow down. Look for extra details like reflective panels / trims to keep you visible in low light.

Accessory Options:

  • Hat
  • Ear-warmers
  • Neck warmer
  • Buff
  • Gloves
  • Bag

0.4 miles on Adidas City Run One Hour route photo by James Carnegie

For me, ear warmers are a must; as long as my ears are warm I can usually cope! If I’m run commuting I like to have as many reflective items as possible with my bag being the number one. You can also purchase rucksack covers which keep your bag dry if it rains and usually come with reflective panelling. They are versatile if you have different bags.


A buff is great because you can wear it around your neck, pull it up to cover your face and nose, or use it as a full hat or just a headband. Very versatile for winter. – Leah

I am a big fan of the thick headband – covers your ears to keep them warm, and doubles up as a sweat catcher/ fringe securer/ earbud holder too – Leah

But, if all all fails…I’ve been told “run faster…that’ll warm you up”!

See you on the London Winter Run start line! 

Elle 🙂



  1. Christine
    November 20, 2014 / 13:25

    Oh I need this as I"m trying to motivate myself to get outside for a chilly run!

    • Elle Linton
      November 21, 2014 / 12:00

      Runners World are doing a great challenge starting after Thanksgiving where you run at least a mile each day! Check it out – perfect way to keep you motivated and get you into the habit!

  2. Renee @Bendifulblog
    November 20, 2014 / 13:48

    I need to get some better winter gear. I like to put it off in an effort to pretend winter isn't coming.But as I look out to the snow I realize it's here. I really like a solid pair of capris for winter. I layer up on top and try to move as fast as possible to stay warm 🙂

    • Elle Linton
      November 21, 2014 / 12:02

      Snow?! lol Winter is defo with you! We don't have snow here in London as of yet, just lots of rain and cold winds! I actually prefer the snow…it's insulating! …layering on top is the most important for me too! and I find I have to be brave and wear a little less than I think I should so I get to a comfortable temperature rather than being too hot!

  3. Karen G.
    November 20, 2014 / 18:50

    Great list! I always dread getting out in the cold, but when I'm actually out running in bad weather, I definitely feel a little invincible! 😉

    • Elle Linton
      November 21, 2014 / 12:02

      YES! Me too!! haha! 🙂 …feel so good after as well! Quite refreshing!

  4. Organic Runner Mom
    November 21, 2014 / 01:50

    I've definitely become the queen of layering living in NH! You definitely need the right gear to get out and run in the cold. Your suggestions are great. I love having a BUFF on too especially on windy days to keep my nose warm!

    • Elle Linton
      November 21, 2014 / 12:19

      Yes, same for cycling…I like my neck and nose to be warm! also helps the air warm up before you breathe it in making it a more comfortable breathing experience! haha! 🙂

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