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Expert Tips On How To Run In Cold Weather

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Is the cold weather giving you literal cold feet?

We know it’s so tempting to call off a run to stay under the covers to enjoy the warmth of your bed, but if you are already on a roll — don’t stop now.

You might be thinking: I can’t possibly run in winter!

Well, with the appropriate equipment and preparation, you actually can.

Reading this article already shows that you have the motivation to get started, so let’s dive into getting you prepped for your icy run. 

Reward Yourself

Sometimes, the most difficult part of running is starting.

To get going, try setting up an incentive for yourself after completing your run, like meeting friends for a hearty and warm meal later.

For example, most marathons that take place during winter or cold weather provide a free meal after completion.

If you need further reinforcement to get you out the door, it is certainly more effective if you actually get someone to run with you.

You wouldn’t want to cancel on your friend, would you?

We recommend scheduling regular “running dates” until the habit kicks in and becomes a routine for you.

Being part of a local running club can help with this. My club runs on a Tuesday and Thursday and I feel guilty if I don’t go. Plus its got me initially into the habit of running three times a week, I would also add a longer run on a Sunday morning, while not an official club run, it was made up of club runners.

Dress for the Occasion

You may have your calendar invites sent and running dates set, but here’s the next vital step to take before tackling the chilly temperatures.

You don’t want to be running in three layers of thick knit sweaters.

You could end up perspiring to the point it feels cold, defeating your purpose of staying warm.

A pro tip would be to pretend it was slightly warmer than it currently is and dress accordingly.

Keep an eye out for fabrics that are able to absorb or draw off perspiration away from the skin and zipper placements to help you cool off after a run.

Running garments may vary for different individuals, so the best way to find out what works for you is to get out there and start running. 

More importantly, you have to pick the right running shoes too.

Most running shoes are very lightweight because they’re made of a lot of mesh, creating a lot of opportunities for snow to get in.

In order to avoid a gross foot slushie from occurring, we highly recommend getting shoes made out of durable material that can withstand water and snow. 

Additional Accessories

We all know that during the wintertime, the sun sets earlier.

In some places, the sun doesn’t even come out at all.

When it’s dark out, visibility is definitely compromised especially with snow all around.

If you live at a place where you get little sunlight, consider investing in a headlamp.

It’s more convenient than carrying a flashlight, which can be more distracting rather than useful. 

Additionally, dress up or carry on reflective equipment when running to make yourself visible as well to others.

Do a Warm-Up

The best tip to follow before running in the cold is to do your warm-ups.

You could do some quick stretches to warm up your muscles, jog in place, do a bit of skipping on the jump rope, or even a bit of yoga.

This will help to get your heart rate pumping enough to energize you for your run. In fact, doing warm-ups is great in building a stronger tolerance for the cold too.

More importantly, warm-ups also help to prevent injuries.

All you need is about 10 minutes.

Plan Your Route

Some running coaches only recommend running in winter if your aim is to build up endurance instead of stamina.

To make sure you are clocking in your miles and still getting that resistance during cold weather, include hills or any raised platform in your route.

The higher the incline, the warmer the air would be as well.

So if you are looking to improve your running speed, maybe hold off those plans till the warmer weather and take the opportunity to fortify your endurance levels. 


If you are intimidated by the thought of the biting gusts of winds when you run, don’t worry.

We advise runners to run against the wind for the first 10 minutes and then switch directions for the next 10 minutes.

This would be the best way to make the most of your run.

Also, protect the exposed skin on your face from the icy winds by either covering up with petroleum jelly or with a face mask.

Furthermore, try not to go for long runs in colder weather as this could just result in accumulating more “cold” — no one wants to be sweating ice cubes.

Instead, break it up into two running sessions in a day.

Running in the Rain

Living in a city that rains almost every day can really dampen the mood.

You could be enjoying a quick jog in the sun one minute, and then racing back to shelter to avoid the unexpected drizzle the next. 

Avid runners say they stay ready with an extra pair of shoes, a couple of towels, and extra pieces of running clothes in the boot of their car.

Some even wrap their feet in plastic to keep the water out when they run.

Try to avoid running in torrential rain though, the ground would be more slippery, visibility would be compromised, and you would most definitely be drenched in cold rainwater. 

That said with the British weather that could be race day weather so unless your willing to drop out of a race if it’s raining you’re going to have to do some training in the rain. 

Post-Run Care

The moment you stop your run, your own temperature will start to drastically decrease.

As soon as possible, get changed out of your perspiration-drenched outfit when you can.

You could brew a warm cuppa or even a protein-rich soup to keep you warm.

If you aren’t heading home after your run, you could get changed at the restrooms of a cafe and enjoy a good warm meal after.

To wrap things up, never let the seasons stop you from achieving your health goals.

If you are ready to step off the treadmill and tackle a different environment, we hope this article has come in handy.

Remember that you need the right mindset, appropriate clothing and accessories, and preparation.

Good luck!