It definitely feels like winter now! November has brought a chill with it, but for those of us who have winter and spring races to complete, training still has to go on.
Personally, I’ve never had a good experience with running jackets. I get very hot very easily and would rather opt for a long running top, gloves and a fleecy headband, but it’s personal preference. Sometimes I see people so layered up when the sun is out, but everybody reacts differently in this weather. I do have a running jacket, but only wear it in the early mornings, when I’m doing a short run and it won’t bother me.
The other problem I have with jackets, apart from overheating, is that once I want to take it off, I hate tying it around me, especially when my phone or key is in the pocket. It really distracts me. But there are some great jackets out there that do away with all that, so I decided to put a few of them together.
Despite what I’ve said, there are many positives to running jackets. They can protect you against the elements, can be great to wear at the start of a race when you’re lining up in the cold and give you added visibility. As someone who doesn’t like to have one flapping around their waist, I really love this Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Jacket.
Ultra run Jacket, £95, Sweaty Betty
I love the city lights print for AW14 across their running gear (especially on these splits run capris), with this jacket being the right amount of colourful and bright for winter. It has a back pocket for storing keys etc. But the best thing about it is that when you want to take it off, it folds down into a bumbag!
City Lights Ultra Run Jacket Sweaty Betty
It’s great to take out with you to put on later during a run if you find that you’re still cold, or to put away at the start line of a race. Definitely the kind of jacket I like!
If visibility is your main concern, and you have a big budget, then Nike’s Shield Flash Max running jacket might be for you. It also comes in a bold and bright blue, but at £350 it’s not the cheapest you will find in stores!
Nike Shield Flash Max Running Jacket, £350, Nike
However the jacket does feature a reflective polka-dot design on the entire jacket, so you will definitely not be missed during the dark evenings!
Finally, for people like me that manage to warm up a little too well and need to shed some layers to stay cool, jackets which have detachable arms are ideal.
ASICS have a super bright jacket that is convertible, depending on the weather. It has detachable sleeves, and features motion protect technology to keep you warm and dry.
Convertible Running Jacket, £75, ASICS
This Gore-Zip off running jacket is also ideal.
Gore Zip Off Jacket, £149.99, Runner’s Need
The jacket comes in an array of colours, and features detachable arms that you simply zip-off as the name suggests and pop into the pockets. This would be ideal if you need to cool down, but also want to maintain protection against the weather, as your chest and back remain covered. There’s also a zip-off hood, although in my experience, hoods do not stay on your head whilst running! But it’s always handy for when you are jogging to the start of your run, or even once you’ve finished and need to keep warm.
Gore is a great running brand, and this jacket is now only £104.99 in the Gore sale at Runner’s Need, so if you want it you should snap it up now!
Whilst these jackets might seem pricey, for around £100 you know you are getting a good quality jacket that will provide you with good weather protection whilst being sweat-wicking and increasing your visibility, vital for cold winter road runs. Some things, like jackets and shoes, are always on the more expensive end of the scale, but it’s worth checking out your local running store and sites like Wiggle, which will have jackets in your budget.
For any male readers, the Gore, ASICS and Nike jackets are also available in the men’s sections!
So even though I usually opt for less layers, I’m very tempted to buy a versatile jacket to see me through autumn and winter.
What do you wear on winter training runs?