12 Tips for Cold Weather Running

Now that the temperatures are dropping and it's much darker outside, here are some helpful tips for the long, cold, dark winter training months:

Health Running Brian Webb

This article was published on December 12th, 2011

Now that the temperatures are dropping and it’s much darker outside, here are some helpful tips for the long, cold, dark winter training months:

  1. Adjust the intensity of your work-out
  2. Keep your head covered – 50% of heat loss is through your head
  3. Warm up your muscles – start slow and comfortable and gradually move up to your regular pace
  4. Shorten your stride over ice and snow
  5. Carry a cell phone in case you have an accident or get injured
  6. Wear reflective and bright coloured gear
  7. Run facing the traffic to be more visible
  8. Carry water to rehydrate
  9. Use lip balm on your lips, nose and ears
  10. Dress in layers
  11. Wear clothing with wind-breaking and insulating fabrics
  12. Wear running gloves or mittens
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4 thoughts on “12 Tips for Cold Weather Running

  1. ksmahoney

    Thanks for the great tips. I spent four years training in the frozen winters of Michigan, and one thing I learned was that that if you don’t want to be sweating by the end of the run, you have to be a little cold in your mid section. I always wore high quality hats and gloves, and wore a little less than I thought I needed for a shirt and pants. Otherwise, a few miles in, I had to strip down!
    Sara from http://www.losingtogether.com

    1. brwebb Post author

      Totally agree Sarah. I was out for a run on Vancouver’s seawall on Saturday and it was pretty cool out for this area. Dressing appropriate is key. People shouldn’t dress so they are warm when they leave home… otherwise you will begin to sweat hard, which will cool you down dramatically and your body won’t be able to get warm – putting you at risk of getting sick.

      When it’s really cold out, also be careful not to make sharp changes to movement because your muscles can injure much easier when they are cooler, compared to running in mild / warm temperatures when you’re body is much more flexible and agile.

  2. dave bradley

    Hi, Great tips. We have to add ‘staying dry’ to the list in the UK. Temperatures aren’t low, 8C at present, but it’s always raining and blowing hard. Not too difficult to get exposure if you get wet.

    dave from itriwetri.co

    1. brwebb Post author

      Thanks for sharing Dave. What are your tips for staying dry on rainy days? We get a lot of those kind of days here in Vancouver on the “wet-coast”.