Winter Running

Winter Running

Temperatures dropping can also mean a drop in motivation. 

You pull up your weather app and it reads 30º, all you can think about is crawling back under the covers and sleeping for the hour you had planned to run. 

Here are some things we do to beat the cold and know they can be beneficial to you as well!

Start cold

It goes against your very nature, but when you step outside for your run you want to be a little bit on the cold side. 

Why? Because running generates a lot of heat. If you start off a run already hot you are going to start sweating almost immediately. 

Sweat is made to cool your body, and that feature you are thankful for in the summer now becomes your worst enemy, cooling your body in a frigid climate. Not only is it uncomfortable, it can also be unsafe. 

Sweat in the winter is not your friend. 

Dress in layers

If you do want to overdress for the start of your run, make sure it’s in layers so as you run and get warm you can take them off. 

Plan your runs to be short loops returning to your house, or near a friend’s house, where you can drop the layers you no longer need so you don’t have to worry about carrying them. 

Plan your route

As mentioned, you can run short loops near your house, this is a great way to be able to pull the plug if a run just gets unbearably cold.

Alternatively, if a long run is needed for your running cycle, for yourself to run an out and back where the only option is to run home the way you came. 

Remember your nutrition

You aren’t sweating and your mind is often stuck on how cold it is, but your body still needs fuel to operate!

Be sure to either fuel well before your run, or take food and water with you. 

Food can also make for a great mental boost when you start to get low.

Track your clothing

Lastly, when you finish a run, make a quick note of the temperature, what you wore and how you felt. 

After a couple weeks of running you’ll be able to create a quick reference guide as to what to wear with each temperature. I recommend having 5º increments.

I (Jordan) did this a few years ago and it’s hugely beneficial in preparing for a cold run because I no longer have to think about what I’ll wear. The times I question if my chart is right and wear more (or less) I always end up regretting it.

I’ve found it takes a lot of the pre-run anxiety away when I’m not constantly wondering if what I’m putting on will be appropriate for the weather. 

I’d love to hear what your cold weather running tips are! Be sure to share them with us.

Leave a comment