How to Stay Comfortable for Cool Morning Workouts

Fall forest sunrise

The leaves start changing, the humidity drops, and fall approaches. All of a sudden, you’ve forgotten how to dress for the cooler weather. We get so used to tanks and short or skirts in the summer to hit the roads or trails, it can be hard to figure out what to wear before it gets really cold.

It becomes a guessing game. Should I wear this long sleeve yet? Will I get too hot? Will I stay cold? You don’t want to have so much on you sweat through everything and chill, but you want to make sure you won’t stay cold either. Often, it’s the small details that can make all of the difference. This post will cover 3 ways to dress for those cool morning workouts, whether you’re running, hiking, or biking.

  1. Layers—The most important tip is layers, thin layers. You will warm up after 10-15 minutes. “Second mile strip down!,” explained customer Jinky Brown. “I dress for that second mile when I inevitably strip down to my bottom shirt layer.”

    Even better is if you have a thin long sleeve shirt that you can tuck into a pocket on your skirt, shorts, hydration belt, or hydration vest. If not, you can tie it around your waist or tuck it in the back of your shorts or skirt.

    You can also buy, or make, separate arm sleeves you can slide off after you warm up and stick in a pocket. If you’re short of time and don’t have any on hand, cut the feet off an old pair of socks. If you have a child with leg warmers, those work in a pinch!

    Two women at race in Ponya Band and arm sleeves

    If it’s rainy, a light jacket you can strip off is great. Look for one with vented sides to keep you comfy, and tie it around your waist as you warm up. Zip it before tying it for minimal drag or flapping.
  1. Gloves—You can always tell the super fast runners at a winter race when they show up with winter gloves and a hat on while also wearing a singlet and shorts. Just get out of their way when the race starts! They perfectly illustrate how our extremities get cold first. Those legs and arms are moving and pumping blood and staying plenty warm. It’s those hands just hanging out in the breeze that get chilly.

    That goes doubly so for women with Raynaud’s, a common circulation condition that causes fingers to go numb even in slightly cool weather. For that, even on just slightly cool mornings, a thin pair of gloves can help.

    Woman with medal in Ponya Band and gloves

    Karin Hand recommends handwarmers like Hot Hands until you warm up as well. They can be hard to find, so stock up if you come across them! They can save you that achey, numb feeling and drives home with your fingers in front of the heat vents.
  1. Wider headbands—The tips of your ears are also exposed to the breeze and elements. Simply go to a wider headband. You can pull it over your ears at the beginning and then move it back once you warm up.

    Jill Adelson swears by this explaining she goes to a 3 or even 4 inch Ponya Band in the cooler weather. “I warm up fast,” said Jill. “It’s nice to be able to just push it off my ears.”

    Woman in hat and Ponya Band

    Melissa Inmon seconds the wider Ponya Band that and often wears them under a hat to keep her ears warm. It covers just that little bit the hat misses. Wearing a hat is another great tip for the rain. There’s nothing worse than rain in your eyes, after all.

After a hot and humid summer, the cool mornings feel glorious. Don’t get stuck in wardrobe indecision. Get out there and enjoy nature. Wear light layers, thin gloves, and a wider headband along with a tank or tshirt and shorts or capris, and tackle your run, hike, or ride in comfort.

What are your favorite ways to dress for the changing fall weather? Tell us in the comments below! We love to hear from our Ponya community!


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