Thursday, November 6, 2014

Organize Winter Workout Wardrobe in Three Steps

Fall can be a challenging time to run outdoors. One day, the weather can be shorts-and-tank appropriate and the next it is full tights, jacket and gloves.

In the past week, I have worn both ensembles and everything in between. There has been humid, thick air and frosty foot bridges. There has been unbearable winds and cloudy skies. There have been puddles and rain, snow and ice. 

As I still had a drawer stuffed with shorts and another full of sleeveless tops, I had to do some digging in my storage bins in the basement to find the appropriate gear this weekend. And, let me tell you, there's nothing fun about needing to leave in 10 minutes and you still can't find your favorite pair of tights or — maybe worse — you discover your beloved beanie wasn't washed before being stored and now stinks.

This week, I made it my goal to get my dresser where I store exercise wear organized so that I'm ready to run in whatever this season and the next brings. Instead of putting away laundry, I sorted out what I wouldn't need and made room for what I did.

 photo wintergear_zps66046580.jpg

Here are some things to consider:

The where and what

Do you run outside? Or do you prefer the treadmill? Do you hit the gym or work out at home?

I do my best to run outside through the winter though I do have some caveats: no ice and I'd like the temperature to be at least 10 degrees. To stay comfortable, I need tights and long sleeves — not bootie shorts and tanks. I do workout in the gym a couple days a week but prefer capris and usually pair them with a tank. 

With that in mind, I packed nearly every pair of shorts and all but several of my favorite tanks. I did keep my padded bike shorts upstairs as I'm hoping Mark will set up my bike on the trainer and I can get in some good rides this winter.

It's also prudent to check sources such as the Farmer's Almanac and the National Weather Service for long-term forecasts. There doesn't seem to be a consensus for my area but if it's going to be unseasonably cold, you might hit the treadmill more and need gym clothes. If it's going to be unseasonably warm, maybe you'll skate by in capris and want more layering options.


What does your winter workout schedule look like? Will you go heavy on the cross training and run outside three days? Will you go to the gym six days a week and stay warm?

I anticipate and/or hope that I will continue running outside four days, which will require at least two pairs of tights and four long-sleeve tops. I will also need to keep out a couple beanies (remember, they get stinky, too!) and a pair of gloves or two. My current teaching schedule is three days a week, and I will need two to three pairs of capris and a couple tanks.

Also keep in mind how much you do laundry. I swear I do a load every day but we are forever behind. Pants and capris can be aired out and worn twice but it's good to have a few extra shirts to rotate.


How much do you wear that shirt? Are you going to wear it more than this shirt? And, really, is that one down to your knees?

With the popularity of tech tees as race swag, any one who regularly participates in events has a storage bin full of workout wear. I get a bit sentimental when looking at race shirts and want the option of wearing it if I'm feeling a certain way on a certain day. However, I know that I don't really like short-sleeve shirts and I especially don't like them in the winter. Save for the best shirts, most of those were able to go into storage. 

As for other shirts, I took into consideration if I still liked the style or color and if the fit was good. I have shirts that I like but are too short (strange as I'm 5-foot-3) and there's a few compression shirts from C9 that offer too much compression — STORAGE. I did keep out some unisex race shirts that are not so fashionable but are likely to accommodate the growing belly.

The whole process took about a half-hour, and I am pleased that my once overly stuffed drawers now open and close with ease. 


  1. What kind of storage bins do you use for your seasonal clothes? Are you putting them up in the attic? I think I really need to do this, as my workout clothes are driving me nuts right now.

    1. We use our basement for storage but we have water issues at times, so I have to be careful how we store things. I generally buy the Rubbermaid Roughneck bins because a) they are easy to find at Target; and b) very sturdy.

      I have to rotate things out right now because we just don't have the storage in our bedroom. I have a small dresser in the closet that I use for workout gear but the drawers aren't deep ... or I have too much stuff!

  2. I SO wish races would stop giving out so many short sleeve tech shirts as I rarely if ever wear them. Such a waste.

  3. I have 3 drawers of workout clothes in my dresser, one for tanks, shortsleeve tops and sports bras, one for bottoms (shorts, capris and tights) and one for winter running gear (tops and jackets). I definitely prioritize my space for workout gear. I think my husband wishes I did more organizing of all the other stuff. Ha! :)