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10 Tips to Keep Your Runs Happy this Winter

Elaine Standohar's picture
running in winter

Over the years, many useful tips have been shared and discussed amongst runners and with those interested in becoming more educated and well-versed on the matter. “Don’t run with scissors,” “Run like you stole it,” “Run, Forrest, run!” are all excellent examples of some of the best running tips you can receive.


Unfortunately, however, none of those tips provide solid advice in regards to running in the cold – and with the winter season painfully approaching, perhaps some useful outdoor-winter-running tips need to be discussed.

  1. Don’t Overdress – A common mistake made by first-time runners in the cold is that you need to be adequately and fully bundled for your run. The truth is that too many clothes could actually be detrimental to your performance and comfort because of the potential for overheating and movement restrictions.
  2. Wear Light Clothes that Wick Away Sweat – If you’re running in the cold, the last thing you want is your sweat clinging to clothes and body. It’s important to stay as dry as possible.
  3. Protect Your Extremities – Show some love to your hands, feet, and ears. These little guys are exceptionally susceptible to frostbite. Earmuffs, hats, light gloves (or mittens!), compression socks, and shoes with the least amount of mesh are the must-have accessories this winter season. Don’t be scared to take it to the next level by matching them all!
  4. Be Visible – Crucial advice for every running season, especially for those runs that take you along roads. Bright colors, LED headbands, and flashing lights all help to make drivers and other runners aware of your presence.
  5. Hydrate – Don’t let the cooler temperatures fool you into thinking that hydration is any less important before, during, and after your run. Follow these tips to stay healthy and happily hydrated.
  6. Sunscreen – If you’re running in the snow, you have a double whammy of sun exposure. Protect any exposed skin, including your face, with sunscreen to avoid any harmful sun damage.
  7. Sunglasses – In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, it is also important to protect your eyes. The reflection of the sun’s rays off the snow can be just as damaging as in the winter as it is reflecting off water during the summer.
  8. Check Temperature & Wind-Chill – Temperatures that dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit paired with wind-chills that push negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit are unsafe to be outside running in. As much as you might hate it, those days should be spent inside on a treadmill.
  9. Stretch – Cold muscles don’t perform as well as warm muscles. Stretching before an outdoor, winter run not only warms your muscles in preparation for your fun, but also reduces your chance for pulling one.
  10. Push through the Burn in Your Lungs – Perhaps the most noticeable difference from warm running to cold running is the painful burn in your lungs that we all know too well. Don’t let that burn sway your adherence to your running routine. Push through it, because it won’t last forever. After two or three solid runs in the cold, winter air, your body and your lungs will adapt to the temperature change and that burn will significantly lessen and diminish.


All excellent advice!