Q: Does Run Club still go out in this weather? And how should I dress to run in the cold?

Thanks for reaching out to us with your questions.

Run Club meets year-round, in all types of weather unless Environment Canada issues a Weather Warning ( Weather Warnings might be issued for heat, wind, smoke, storms or cold. We use them as a guideline for our running groups.

When a Weather Warning is issued, we ask participants to stay home, or find an alternate workout in a protected place. The store is open during Run Club, so you don’t have to worry about showing up and finding a locked door. We still provide a safe start and end point for runners that choose to go out in spite of the warning.

Dressing for the cold isn’t hard, but you’ll want to practice. I’ll suggest that you try an outfit, take it for a run around the block, then stop back at home and adjust. If you do that a few times, you’ll get a feel for the gear that works best. Generally, you’ll need to worry more about protection than insulation, because you’ll generate a lot of heat running, even in the cold. It’s important to pick breathable fabrics, because you can get wet from sweat collecting between layers.

In extreme cold, it’s very important to cover your extremities well. Wear socks that cover your ankles, mitts with a thin liner glove, a neck tube, and a toque that can cover your ears. A balaclava that covers your nose and cheeks is handy too. Remember that anything that covers your mouth will get wet from your breath. I prefer a balaclava that has a hole for my mouth. Glasses will tend to fog up. Ski goggles are totally helpful in windy or bright conditions.

Most people will wear two layers on their legs: a tight fitting next-to-skin layer for warmth and a looser, wind-breaking layer over top. My favourite running gear will have the two layers already built-in. On top, most folks have a wind-breaking outer layer, a thermal middle layer and a breathable next-to-skin layer. That could be a snug-fitting t-shirt, a fleecy middle layer and a wind-resistant shell; or it could be a light shirt and a jacket with some insulation already built in.

Bring a warm coat for after the run, because it’s easy to get chilled once you stop.

I hope that gives you some ideas for where to start. I’m really happy that you’ve taken an interest in our Run Club. When you come out, you’ll be able to ask lots of experienced runners for their favourite tips.

Best regards,

Lisette Schermann