What to wear for an HM in 4 degrees? - Marathon Running ...

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What to wear for an HM in 4 degrees?


That's what the forecast currently is for Bath next week. I am cold-blooded and my hands always seem to get numb even with gloves. Should I wear more than one top? What sort of trousers/leggings? Some of the pictures from last year's HM show people in shorts and singlets but when you run fast you generate a lot of body heat. Any recommendations to help an 'also-ran' plodder avoid hypothermia?

11 Replies

Last year I wore a vest and I was fine but I'm used to the cold!! Layering is good, perhaps hat and gloves too? At the start wear something from a charity shop to keep warm. There are containers you can fling it into when you start running and warm up- it all goes to charity 👍🏽

roseabiAdministrator in reply to ju-ju-

Lovely idea!

I ran the Victoria Park HM yesterday in freezing weather and was very tempted to keep my training top on but I'm glad I didn't in the end.

As you can see from my photo, I do need a hat though!

Here's an interesting link from Runner's World: runnersworld.com/what-to-wear

...and one from the NHS: nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pag...

turnturtleMarathon in reply to ActonHighStreet

Thank you for that Acton, The Runners World link was particularly helpful. Waterproof lightweight zippable jacket on top of several layers is what they suggest for a cold blooded turtle like me and they say mittens are warmer than gloves which I didn't know., Looks like another round of spending is coming up. The entry fee for these events is apparently just the start!

AncientMumHalf Marathon

Can't comment about running a HM but I do know that when I did parkrun yesterday it was 3°C and I wore a short sleeved top and a cheap thin running jacket with pockets. Gloves went in the pockets at 3k and sleeves were rolled up at 4k. Any further and I'd have taken the jacket off and tied it round my waist. Couldn't have started without the jacket though, far too cold. Good luck whatever you choose xxx


Whatever you wear, make sure you get there just in time to have a warm-up and then start the race straight away. If you have to hang around you will be COLD!!! If there's a delayed start of course you will just have to jump around a bit :) Ideally you will have a supporter with you who can can take your coat...

I ran a HM in December; the weather was a couple of degrees warmer than the Bath forecast but still pretty chilly! I was going pretty slowly and stopping a fair bit because of injury, so I was glad of full-length tights and a long-sleeved top, which I would normally have felt too warm in actually. I like long- long sleeves instead of gloves, as I can pull them down over my hands at first and then roll them up later, and not have to have somewhere to stash gloves - but then I always get warm when I run. A hat that covers my ears is the most important thing for me. I found a great one which is actually for going under cycling helmets, but it has a peak, ear covers, and keeps me warm although only made of lightweight material. And it goes in the washing machine. I'm rambling :)

Good luck, and have fun!


Thank you for all the suggestions. I had already noted that I need to take some old jumpers/fleeces that can be discarded. No problem locating plenty of those. though I think even the homeless would turn their noses up at some of my pre-loved garments. I have just ordered some thermal gloves and my M and S woolly beret should keep the head warm.I am more of a shiverer than a sweater JJ, so I agree with Roseabi that for me, pre-warming is the thing. Might even get some of those chemical hand-warmers. Setting them off at around10K could be my halfway treatto look foprward to! My view is that you can always dump surplus clothing at a water station but you can hardly grab fleeces off passers-by if you feel hypothermia setting in.

dagsharHalf Marathon

I think layering is the key. At the winter run (around 5C) I was wearing a hort sleeved top and my jacket, at the recent coastal HM (a few degrees cooler) it was a (thin) long sleeved top and the jacket. In both cases the jacket stayed on and was just zipped open/close at different intervals. I was hot, but not overheated, if I had taken a jacket off, I would have got cold when I slowed down at the end as the see breeze had picked up. If necessary, you could take the jacket or a different top layer off - at least you have flexibility. What did you wear during recent training?

turnturtleMarathon in reply to dagshar

I wore three layerrs for my last long run Including an Icebreaker long sleeved top and a light zipped running jacket. Plus a woolly hat and gloves. Oh and long baggy running trousers! I looked a right sight but I was just warm enough except for my hands which got numb. It was about 8 degrees but there was a very strong wind which added to the chill factor. I don't carry much fat so maybe need an extra layer of insulation? one more thing to fret about over the next few days!


Layers, but most importantly don't wear anything new for the race! make sure its been tested in training before hand. New stuff causes issues like blisters or chaffing or other nasty things you dont want in your race!

turnturtleMarathon in reply to benwill

That is such sensible advice benwill. I wore new shoes for the very first time in the Leeds 10K last year but I know That was crazy and I was fortunate to get away with it! I do have new shoes and socks for the Bathhalf but have been wearing them for the last week, so hopefully they shouldn't cause problems.

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