How do I dress correctly for jogging?

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Those people who aren’t simply fair-weather runners but also like to go for a run in changeable weather conditions have to make decisions: what’s the best thing to wear for jogging? Short or long? And how many layers are really necessary?

When to wear short sleeves and long sleeves?

In order to avoid getting overheated in summer, a breathable and sweat-wicking short-sleeved top is advisable. When outdoor temperatures drop to under 15°C, a long-sleeved top is ideal, with thinner materials often being enough in the in-between season. In frosty temperatures it’s a good idea to wear an insulating middle layer in addition to a running jacket – ideally with a zip in case you get too warm. Basically, however, the question of whether to wear short or long sleeves depends on your personal perception of warm and cold. The temperatures given are therefore only guidelines.

Weather conditions and preferences are key factors

Training conditions like weather and intensity therefore play an important role in the choice of running clothes. Besides functional aspects, don’t ignore personal preferences and experiences when it comes to making jogging as healthy, effective and comfortable as possible.

With increasing experience, it's easier to assess which forms of clothing are best suited to which temperatures.

Is it worth starting with layers that can later be removed? 

To ensure that you don’t sweat too much, you should dress so that when starting out, you’re more likely to feel a little cold. The basic rule is the onion principle, also known as the 3-layered principle:

  • The first layer should be sweat-wicking.
  • The middle layer should keep you warm.
  • The top layer is to protect you from wind and rain.

When do long running pants become too warm?

Legs are usually less susceptible to cold than the upper body. When jogging in winter, many runners like wearing running tights or sports underwear under their running pants. At temperatures above freezing point, three-quarter length running tights are a good alternative to long running pants. At 10-15°C, 2-in-1-shorts with integrated inner pants are ideal. From 20°C upwards it's best not to wear long pants to avoid over-heating.

Do we automatically need warmer clothing when it rains?

With rain, it's important that the body stays warm until you’ve fully warmed up. A thin, light rain jacket is often the best choice. In winter, you can wear it straight on top of an additional middle layer, in summer over your running top. On hot summer days, a light drizzle on the skin can even be a pleasant experience.

Changing speeds and terrains: what to wear?

The onion principle is best here too, as you then have the right clothes for every activity. The quicker and more intense the running session, the fewer layers you need to keep warm. Plus: if running intensely, too many layers can be disturbing. When trail running in the mountains, be sure to take a light rain jacket in your backpack: this will ensure you’re prepared if the weather in the mountains takes an unexpected turn.

Prevent skin irritations, pressure sores and blisters

The most sensitive part of the body when jogging is the gap between the upper thighs, especially when sweating. The less moisture on the skin, the lower the risk of skin irritations. Breathable, sweat-wicking materials are therefore advisable. But the wrong shoes or a badly fitting sports bra can also cause blisters, pressure sores or areas of rubbed skin.

Tip: It’s best not to wait for your next competition to test new clothing but to try it out during training. This will avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Are expensive jogging clothes really necessary?

Although sports clothing is more expensive, the benefits are its breathability, the way it makes you feel dry, and its ability to keep your body at the right temperature. It can also be worth spending more from an ethical point of view: higher production costs from manufacturers concerned about their ecological footprint and fair working conditions are often reflected in the price.


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