7 Tips for Winter Weather Running
Cabin fever is REAL...especially in cold winter climates when you’re boxed inside all day and night. Regardless of where you live, running is actually the BEST way to take exercise comfortably outside...even in the coldest weather.
In fact, the equipment needed is surprisingly minimal, especially compared to other winter sports. Trust me, the fresh air is quite enjoyable once you prep yourself.
So whether you’re looking to refine your outdoor running experience or you’re looking to take it outdoors for the first time, follow these 7 tips.
1. Download a weather app
Choose an app that tracks temperature by the hour. Sure the day time high could reach a balmy 45 degrees, but it still might be 20 degrees first thing in the morning or after work. You’ll also want to know wind, precipitation, and sunrise/sunset. These crucial details will help you choose your clothing, footwear, and need for reflective gear and headlamps.
Remember, a sunny 25 degree windless day can be far more pleasant than a 40 degree day with freezing rain and howling winds, especially if not dressed right!
It is far better to overdress and have to remove layers than to spend your entire run shivering. I opt for sweat-wicking material even in the cold weather to avoid excess moisture on the skin.
The right clothes will not only keep you warm, but your ankles and knees will be that much more warmed up for your workout.
Below are some rough clothing guidelines for different temperatures:
If below 50 degrees: shorts or light leggings + light long sleeve top + light gloves
If below 40 degrees: leggings + long sleeve top + wind vest/jacket + hat + gloves
If below 30 degrees: winter leggings + warm long sleeve top + wind jacket + hat + gloves + warm socks.
If below 20 degrees: long underwear + winter leggings + light long sleeve top + fleece + wind jacket + thicker hat + fleece gloves + warm socks!
If below 10 degrees: all of the above + face mask
Shop these styles here!
3. Bring an extra pair of socks
Whether you land in a random icy puddle or you’re battling some nasty rain and sleet, a pair of dry socks can be a game changer. Especially on those longer runs, dry feet means less blisters and less misery!
4. Warm up...indoors
I have all my runners that I coach stop after 5-10 minutes to include some mixture of dynamic movement designed to athletically prep the body for better running. When it’s particularly nasty or dark out, spend 5 minutes doing these exercises BEFORE you head out the door: 10 squats + 10 leg swings + 10 lunges + 10 burpees.
5. Drink more than you think
The winter is dry, but the cold usually suppresses your thirst. Drink as much before, during, and after as you would in warmer months and you’ll be recovering in no time!
6. Plan your route
Are you dealing with slippery sidewalks? Perilously high snow banks? Or frozen and rutted out trails? Plan a route so you can execute your given run for the day safely and effectively. If you think you’ll be out in the dark, bring a headlamp and something reflective to wear.
7. Grow a BEARD...kidding...but seriously...
Women will swoon, cars will give you extra room, and you’ll instantly shave 3 minutes off your mile time. Plus, you’ll look extra cool when your beard is all frosted and frozen from your wintery run session. I’m 60% sure all of the above equally applies to women.