Gear up for the cold

12 November 2021

Gear up for the cold

Gear up for the cold

Motivation often fails and the truth is the cold weather doesn't help. To keep you going strong in your workouts, we've put together some tips to help you gear up on the cooler days of autumn and winter.


The challenge of keeping up a sporting routine during the colder days is a big one. However, it has been proven that you can easily do your favourite sports regardless of the temperature if you know what clothes and equipment to wear. In this post we will give you suggestions of looks for men and women that can be worn during running, trail running and football training sessions, as well as all the information you need to stay warm during physical activity.

Before we start it's important to say that what we consider to be cold is relative. Each person has a tolerance to cold that will depend on several factors, one of them being your body temperature and your habituation to certain conditions. Besides that, temperatures in Portugal differ a lot from area to area, which means that what you wear on a winter day in Oporto is not the same as what you would wear on the same day in Serra da Estrela, for example. With this we mean that you need to adapt each suggestion, being that today's outfits are not suitable for temperatures below 5║.


Running for men

Wearing comfortable clothes is one of the most important points. It may seem obvious, but the ideal is to be warm and comfortable instead of cold and soaked, especially when running.

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing your running clothes is to warm up once you start running. If you wear too many clothes, you will get too hot and sweaty. Also, you'll have more weight on top of you, which can increase the difficulty level of the run. However, on the other hand, if you wear too few clothes, you will be cold during the whole race, which can make you ill. So, the ideal is to find a balance between these two points.

There are several factors to take into consideration: your temperature, your sweat production and the speed at which you run. All of these will influence how much clothing you need. However, the key concept to retain is the use of layers. The benefits of wearing layers range from creating an air pocket between garments that traps your body heat to making it easy to control your temperature. Sometimes, to cool down, you can simply pull up a sleeve, unzip a zip or even take off one of the garments you have on.

Running for women

When it comes to basic running clothes, our tip is a headband, t-shirt, jacket, gloves, trousers/leggings, socks and trainers. We could have recommended a beanie, but for running, headbands or ear muffs are more efficient, as they will warm your ears, while allowing you to release heat and sweat through your scalp. The t-shirt, which serves as the base garment, should be made of a material that dries quickly, as a wet fabric stuck to your body will cause your temperature to drop considerably. Avoid cotton and go for wool and synthetics.

When it comes to jackets, the ideal is a garment that can be ventilated and has pockets where you can keep your headgear and gloves in case you get hot. As there is a high probability that you will run at night, considering the length of daytime sunlight in autumn and winter, it is important to wear clothing with reflective details to be on the safe side. Regarding wearing trousers or shorts, it's all about what you like best. This is because it is not so important to keep your legs warm, as long as your feet are warm and dry. This is because legs generate a lot of heat. In turn, keeping your feet dry is one of the most important things to do, in any situation, during cold days because, if your feet are wet, you'll always be cold. Compression socks are a good option. 

Usually when you're running, it's going to feel like it's 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. So, one way to see if you have enough layers is to stand outside for 5 minutes before the race stretching for example. If during that time you're comfortable, then you're probably overdressed. If, on the other hand, you're slightly chilled and want to get moving then you've got the right amount of clothing! It's all about testing until you find your balance.



Trail for Men

When you do a trail run, the tips are pretty much the same. Obviously you have to change into Trail appropriate trainers, but the big difference here is when doing a Trail in walking version. There your temperature will not rise so much or at least so fast. However, as the terrain is not usually constant, with very steep climbs or long straights, you will need a layering system that allows you to take off and put on clothes according to your temperature fluctuations.

In this scenario, it's even more crucial to stay dry than to stay warm. Being a little cold is one thing, being cold and soaking wet is quite another and far more worrying. Water disperses heat 25 times faster than air. This applies to water coming from outside as well as inside. You need to think about waterproof clothing if it is raining or has rained recently, and you can't forget your sweat. Once you stop, your sweat-wet sweatshirt will cause your body temperature to drop very quickly. Again, wearing layers is the solution, for Trail three layers are advised.

Trail for Women

The three layer system includes a base layer which will absorb your perspiration, a second layer for warmth and body heat and a waterproof jacket. To help you manage and adjust the amount of clothing you have on, a backpack is essential. It will allow you to store the clothes you take off, as well as carrying the water you mustn't forget to drink, to compensate for the water evaporated by sweat and the humidity released by breathing.   

For this situation, a beanie and collar can be good options to keep you warm, as they stop the heat escaping. The added benefit of the collar is that it can be useful for covering your nose and mouth in case of high wind. Also, a good tip is to carry an extra pair of socks in your backpack to change in case you get the ones on your feet wet.



Football for men

In football, it's crucial to keep your freedom of movement. So, how can you choose clothes that don't reduce mobility? If we are talking about official matches, the solution is to wear a warm layer of clothing, usually thermal, under the team's equipment, following the rules of the federation in question. If it is for a recreational game, you have more options to choose from.

The basis remains the same: layers and comfort! Remember that you'll warm up as soon as you start playing and it can be advantageous to remove layers as needed. A pair of leggings under your shorts will help you keep warm without losing freedom of movement, whilst a waterproof jacket is ideal for rainy days. Some people prefer compression and quick-drying materials. You can also wear gloves, to keep your hands warm.

Football Women

It is essential to remember to have clothes nearby in case you go to the bench and to wear during the warm up and at the end of the game. The tips regarding recommended clothing remain the same, since it is a sport with a lot of cardiac activity. Don't forget to pay attention to the type of fabric you use. You should avoid cotton, which is very common in tracksuit trousers, jeans and flannel clothes. Go for wool instead, especially sheep's wool, which stays warm even when wet, isn't too heavy and doesn't retain odour. If you prefer, the synthetic material is a lighter option than wool, dries faster and is very breathable. However, it does attract odour and is not as warm when wet.

Look at all your options and equip yourself to practice your sport on the coldest days. Now that you know what to look for, you will find all the equipment you need on our website. Happy training!

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