How to Run in Cold Weather
Don’t let the winter get you down! You can still get in a great run on most winter days as long as you’re properly prepared, and it can be downright enjoyable. Check out our winter running tips to make sure you’re ready for anything the season can throw at you.
Start With the Right Gear
Running in winter gear is different than in your summer clothes, but it can still be comfortable. Make sure you’re layering properly to get the most warmth and comfort. Choose form-fitting clothing to keep out wind, and wool-lined running tights for heat. You can add shorts on top if you prefer. Avoid cotton to stay dry, and wear a waterproof and windproof jacket.
Don a headband, gloves and face mask for very cold days. You’ll want to protect your feet from the elements as well, so be sure your shoes are waterproof and your socks are moisture wicking. A wool shoe insole can help provide additional warmth and support.
Choose the Best Route
Conditions will be different than they were in warmer months – namely, darkness and snow come into play. If you’ll be running in the dark, be sure to plan for safety. Wear reflective tape and a headlamp and carry a flashlight.
Be aware that your normal route could be affected by winter weather: sidewalks are often not shoveled, snow plows dump mountains of dirty snow on the shoulders of roads and black ice can be extremely dangerous. Map your route accordingly after any significant weather events, and consider a shorter route with multiple laps so you can carefully check for bad conditions on your first lap.
Some days will be unfit for outdoor running, and that’s okay. When the weather prevents outdoor runs, roll with the punches. Practice on a track at the gym, do a few miles on the treadmill or simply take the day to do other forms of exercise – yoga, weight training or an aerobics class can be a nice change of pace, and you’ll be back to running in no time.
What are your best strategies for how to run in cold weather?