I’ve learned to love winter running but there are several things that make it work. Below are a few tips to keep you running throughout the year and enjoying the benefits of year round fitness.
Before you read the tips below take a moment to read an article I wrote a few years ago, “ The Frozen Sasquatch and Why I Love Winter Running.”
Tips for cold weather running
- It’s a state of mind, decide you will do it and use the tough conditions to prepare for the demands of racing. You have to practice being tough in tough conditions.
- Don’t use weather as an excuse. Ice storms, are perhaps, the only exception.
- Key workouts each week should be outside
- Use the treadmill for easy runs
- Getting started in the cold is the worst part
- The right gear makes all the difference
- Run slow or walk slow enough to inhale through your nose
- A headlamp is a must have piece of equipment because whether it’s morning or evening, most likely you’ll be running in the dark. Have at least one piece of reflective or flashing safety gear.
- For snow and ice, turn an old pair of running shoes in to screw shoes. These work best in packed snow and icy conditions.
- Trail shoes are great for running in the snow. Goretex shoes are over rated. A nice pair of wool socks will do just fine.
Dressing for cold weather
- They key to comfort is to keep your head and hands warm.
- Wear clothes that allow you to adjust your temperature like half zip uppers, arm sleeves, two layers of gloves and a hat with an ear band you can take off.
- Start out a little chilly because you’ll warm up
- Wear an upper body wicking base and a zip turtle neck
- Add a light shell on top if it’s real cold.
- Wear Tech fiber running pants that insulate and stay dry….. these can be loose fitting
- We compression shorts (bike shorts or tri shorts) under the pants
- Wear a face mask or Buff to warm and humidify the air for comfort
- For the feet, a good athletic wool sock will keep your feet warm and dry.
- Wool ski socks that come your knees are great for feet and calves.
- Use a good quality thermal or wool cap
- Wool mittens layered over fleece gloves will keep your hands warm in the coldest weather
- Don’t spend a lot of money on any of this stuff. Visit discount retailers like Marshalls and TJ Maxx to get good deals on cold gear.
- It will take some trial and error to get the right gear for the right conditions. Everyone is a little different.