Do you need to dress differently for a short run?


I mean a recovery run — which will be much shorter than even your easy runs. It should be much slower than your easy runs, too. Many runners start streaking at this time of year, trying to make sure they keep up their fitness through the holidays. Often that means quite a few days will be a very short run.

Will that change how you need to dress?

Dressing is a highly individual subject for runners. Some runners hate to be hot, some runners hate to be cold, and some runners fall somewhere in the middle.

I embraced the recovery run this year, and I have run quite a few 1 milers and 2 milers. During the Summer there’s no need to change your dressing. In the cooler months you may — or may not — need to adjust your running.

Why I’ve had to adjust how I dress on recovery runs this Fall
The reason I dress differently for a recovery run in the Fall than I might for an easy run:

The slower pace & reduced distance means that I won’t get warm as quickly

I need to dress warmer than I might if I were running three miles; you may not need to. I still do a quick dynamic warmup while my Garmin gets a signal, and I still include a very short cool down walk.

Final Thoughts
It’s personal, I get that. Just throwing out some food for thought if you decide to do short recovery runs or streak as the weather gets colder (and colder, and colder . . .).

I think we’ve all seen the graphics urging you to dress as if it’s 20 degrees cooler than it actually is (for regular runs). That doesn’t work for me even for regular runs. Maybe it does for you. You might want to experiment with an extra layer that can be taken off when you get too warm but put back on as you go home if very short runs will be in your future.

Does the length of a run make you dress differently?
Have you ever noticed how different the same temperature in different seasons can feel?
Where are all my streakers — any input?


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


28 thoughts on “Do you need to dress differently for a short run?

  1. Never a streaker. Don’t believe in recovery runs. But yes I dress differently for short runs versus long ones.

    I wear LESS for long runs. The longer I run the warmer I will get. I still over dress because this time of year it’s cold. I’m getting better at dressing light. I’ve given up jackets and layers work better.

    For short runs im not out long so I can be sweaty and survive.

    We’re all different. I see runners in tanks and shorts at 20 degrees.

    We joke at races. The more clothes the runner wears, the slower the runner usually is. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes, when we leave our apartment to go running, I have to laugh. Kai looks like he’s going on a North Pole expedition and I’m dressed as if I’m going to spend a day at the beach.
    Everyone feels the temperature differently – you are right when you say it’s personal, Judy.

    Having said that, yes, I would dress warmer for a recovery run – perhaps as if I was going for a walk. I always get cold hands, so in cooler temps, I would wear gloves.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t attempted a streak in several years, but when the weather gets colder I always struggle those first few times to get the right outfit together. I get warm very quickly so I usually don’t need to go overboard on my colder runs, but if I’m going for a walk in colder weather I make sure to layer a little more than I would on a run.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you know, I am a short-term winter streaker. And, as you also know, I hate being cold. That said, most of my streak runs are 1-milers (on occasion, I might slip in a 2-miler), so I keep them short and easy-paced. For me, a 1-mile “easy” mile is around a 10-minute pace, so I’m not outside very long. I don’t need to do the same kind of layering game like I would for a longer run (most days, that is). But, the winter weather is always a crap shoot. I’ve been winter running for 15 seasons now, and I’ve learned that the 20-degree “rule” is not for everyone to follow, LOL. The wind is a wild card, and that can make a 40-degree run feel painfully frigid, where the absence of it can make a 25-degree run comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t do streaking. My body will revolt after running three days in a row. We don’t get very cold in the south so I tend to stick with my usual clothing for shorter runs. I honestly don’t have much cold weather gear save for the couple of lined long sleeve running tops.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Since I don’t streak, AND I live in Florida, I don’t have much experience with this subject. But my husband streaks sometimes, and for his really short runs (like a mile) he just wears whatever- like he’ll wear regular shorts if he can’t find his running shorts, or a cotton hoodie. If I question it he’ll say “Oh, it’s only a mile- it doesn’t matter what I wear!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there’s some truth to that. If I’m only running a mile I often skip some of the stuff I do for longer runs. Not warming up & my cool down walk though — although that cooldown walk gets shortened a lot!


  7. Here the weather is mainly good so my dress is the same for long and short distances. Only during the races, also in winter, I wear t-shirts. Of course when I went to Edinburgh or Cardiff in february my dressing was different!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I can imagine that Edinburgh in Winter would be a shock to your system! Here we have all four seasons — very strongly. Except Spring sometimes. There are times we seem to skip over Spring altogether!


  8. Not a streaker but I was just thinking yesterday after a 30 minute run that I would have been overdressed if it was a long run. I’m still not adjusted to the cold yet because summer weather stretched on longer than usual this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not a streaker either I do dress a little lighter for shorter runs bc I will warm up and the temps will usually warm up as well. I would not say I alter it too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve only done a streak once and it was for a month in October, so it wasn’t very cold. But for a 1 mile run I would probably dress as it I were going for a walk (so warmer than I would dress for a run). There are so many factors that play into it for me, including the length of the run, wind, and sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I tried a run streak a few years ago but I didn’t like it. What I do now is an “activity” streak, just making sure I get in at least 30 minutes of movement a day.

    I usually dress the same for short or long runs in the Winter.

    Liked by 1 person

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