When it’s cold out, Ready to Run has you covered .

Yeah, It’s cold out. We’re talking really cold, like they get up north. Only up north, runners are used to it, and know how to dress to run comfortably in all kinds of cold weather, from freezing rain, to five degrees and clear skies. Running can be daunting when it’s dark and cold out, but the right gear can transform those runs into very enjoyable experiences.

Start by understanding that you don’t need to bundle up the way you would if you were waiting at a bus stop. Running generates a significant amount of heat, so even if it’s 32 degrees out, dress like it’s 52 degrees.  Applying that plus 20-degree formula is the first step in dressing right. But yes, you’ll want to be warm enough, so let’s get down to the right gear.

Your head (and ears) and neck are the most exposed, and keeping them warm plays a big role in your overall comfort. While it’s myth that you “lose most of your body heat through your head,” there’s a reason why that myth came to be. It’s because a lot of folks dress warmly to protect their legs, arms and torso, but their heads are exposed to the cold. Simple as that.

Not to worry Ready to Run has you covered (literally).

“One new product we stock is the Buff,” says Aubri Wolfe, Assistant Manager/Marketing. “Buffs are ‘multifunctional headwear’ that can be used as beanies, ear warmers, scarves, balaclavas, sweatbands, etc. I love them because you can wear them in both the winter to stay warm and summer to absorb sweat, but definitely a good winter piece.”

Wolfe’s recommendation certainly applies to Texas weather, which can go from 80° to 39° in an hour!

OK, now that we have your heads covered, let’s take care of the rest.

It’s all about light, breathable layers, and Ready to Run has the gear you need to stay warm as we head into the heart of winter here in central Texas. Start with a “base” layer, which can include a long-sleeve tech shirt (think light breathable fabric) and tights when it dips into the 30s or below. To capture the heat, you’ll need another layer, so pull on one of those nice tech T-shirts you picked up at Ready to Run over the long sleeve shirt.

Finally, when the wind picks up, it adds a whole other dimension to the cold. They don’t call it the “wind-chill” factor for nothing. A lightweight, breathable jacket comes is just the thing you need. And you’ll want one that’s made just for running.

“We have some windbreakers from New Balance that are a great outer layer- especially on the river,” says Wolfe. “They have hoods, pockets, and cinch at the waist.”

Ahh, but what about your hands. Those puppies can get mighty cold without protection. Again, all it takes is a decent pair of running gloves to solve the problem. And finally, there’s that little bit of ankle that even tights may not protect. Those short “ankle” socks aren’t going to help you out much.

Worry not, as Ready to Run has all the goods.

“We have basic gloves, hats, and ear warmers from New Balance & Brooks if someone is looking for essentials,” says Wolfe. “We are also carrying some taller crew socks to cover the ankle!”

So there you have it. Stay warm and be “ready to run” as the winter bears down on Texas!

Upcoming races: Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 a.m., the Chosen Half Marathon and 5K at Rockin R River Rides, 1405 Gruene Road in New Braunfels. Sunday, November 24 at 9:00 a.m., the Turkey Trails 5K/10K at Old Settler’s Park , 2003 Harrell Parkway in Round Rock.