Cold Weather Running


Winter weather running

Last winter I drove up a near by canyon and before I got out of my car I checked the temperature….it read 6 degrees. It was cold! But I went running anyways on a snow covered trail.

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean we need to stop running. In my opinion, if you prepare and dress properly cold weather running can be enjoyable. Here are a few tips.

Dress in layers. Doing this allows you to take off layers if you begin to get hot. A lot of times when I go running in the cold I usually over dress, but once I get going I warm up and as a result I take off layers.

Your base layer should not be a cotton base layer. Cotton, moister, and cold weather are not a good combination. You want a synthetic base layer that will wick moister away from your skin. The next layer should be your insulation layer. Something like a fleece. Your third layer or outer layer can be optional depending on the weather. If it is raining or snowing you will want to put on a waterproof layer that is breathable. What I mean by breathable is so moister from your sweat can pass through your outer layer, but the outside elements (rain and snow) can’t get in. It’s all about staying dry and warm. Being dry is important to staying warm.

For your legs wear tights. Your tights should not be cotton, but a synthetic material that wicks moister away from your skin. I like to wear synthetic shorts over my tights, but shorts are optional.

Same story with socks….don’t wear cotton. Wear a synthetic sock or wool socks specifically made for running.

Always wear a hat that will cover your ears. Someone asked me the other day what may be the reason for getting headaches after running in cold weather. I asked her if she was wearing a hat that covered her ears. She said, no. She began wearing a hat and her headache problem went away.

Also wearing a hat helps with keeping the rest of your body warm. Your head has a lot of blood. If you can keep that blood warm then that warm blood will circulate through the rest of your body which will help prevent you from getting cold.

Cold and numb hands can make a run miserable. To prevent cold hands wear gloves. Again, wear synthetic gloves. They don’t need to be heavy gloves, but a light pair can go a long ways in keeping your hands warm.

Remember synthetic clothes are a must. dress in layers. wear socks that are synthetic or wool. Always wear a hat. And gloves can make a run a lot more enjoyable in cold weather.


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  1. Holiday Running: 4 Running Tips | Ultramarathon and Trail Running - December 7, 2013

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