Arc’teryx Women’s Gamma Hoodie: My Secret to Running Faster

person running on road at daytime

Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

It was 6:15am and the temperature was hovering at 38 degrees. It was one of the coldest winter days in Virginia, so I was really counting on my choice of attire. I was going to meet one of my friends at the high-school track down the street – he was giving me pointers on how to sprint and work on my 300s. 

I quickly learned there are three important things to prepare when you sprint. First, you have to drink enough water the day before. If you’re even the least bit dehydrated, you will feel it on the track. Second, warm ups and stretching matter just as much (if not more) as the actual run. Third, your choice of jacket makes a difference. Even though it’s cold in the mornings, you want to wear something lightweight with pockets that zip shut. That’s exactly why I love the Arc’teryx Women’s Gamma Hoodie.

By lightweight, I don’t mean something super breathable that also allows the cold air through while you run. The air outside in the mornings is still cold enough where I need to stay warm and protected. What I mean is something that isn’t heavy, that you don’t feel weighed down in.

Having pockets that zip to hold a phone or the case for my Pixel Buds is super important to me. I need my arms to be completely free to sprint, and I don’t want to worry about holding anything or something falling out of a pocket. It helps that the jacket isn’t too stiff, so I can wear it and still easily move my arms quickly (which is key to building up speed). I like that Arc’teryx Gamma Hoodie doesn’t sit very tight around my waist. Even the size I normally wear fits perfectly without being tight or uncomfortable. 

Halfway through the exercise, I felt a droplet on my face. Thinking it must be sweat, I wiped my eyes and realized it was starting to rain. It started to come down heavier throughout the rest of the exercise, and if I didn’t feel like a “hard core” runner earlier that morning, now I did. It didn’t matter that my sprints still needed a ton of improvement, I think running in the rain qualifies anyone as “hard core.” 

Thankfully, the Gamma Hoodie protected me really well from the rain. I was surprised because nothing about the material feels waterproof like a solid raincoat that typically doesn’t breathe. But even so, the rain didn’t bother me at all. There’s even a nice hood which covers all of my hair easily. It doesn’t sit too tightly around my head, which I actually like because then I don’t look like an eskimo when I wear it. I had the hood up the rest of the workout as my friend and I ran stairs instead of sprints. It was nice to do something a little slower and still be able to see through the rain. 

Another great feature of the Arc’teryx hoodie is the zipper – it’s extremely high quality and you can tell when you’re using it. One of my weird pet peeves is when you have a new jacket, backpack, or sweatshirt and the zipper gets stuck or breaks right away. That was not the case with the Gamma Hoodie. Everything worked super smoothly. 

The overall fit of this jacket makes it great for other outings (beyond sprinting). But I wanted to test this in an extreme circumstance and how it held up. I can definitely say that if there’s ever another 38 degree morning with rain clouds in the sky, I know what I’m wearing.