One of the hardest things to do – at least for me – is running in the cold. I consider winter my hibernation or extended recovery from the fall racing season (which, we didn’t really have much of this year for… well, you know.)
Years ago, when Hubs was in San Antonio, and I had nothing to do on the weekends but bang-out 5-10 miles on the regular on Saturday mornings, I kind of fell in love with winter running. Even the last couple of winters, having a group to run with helped get my butt in gear and show up on even the coldest mornings helped keep me out of my running slump.
However, when it’s 20 degrees outside, still dark at 7 am, and your bed is warm and cozy….it’s hard to motivate yourself. I don’t want to get up to slog through three to five cold, finger-numbing miles either. But we all do it. Whether it’s 7 am or 7 pm, those of us who run, just do it.
I tend to wear two layers, longer capris or longer brushed tights for when it’s really chilly. I usually dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it is (I hate overheating so I err on the cold side) when the weather is between 20-45 degrees. We all know that once it hit 40 degrees it’s like a heatwave and everyone busts out the shorts, and when it’s below 20 degrees, well, that’s what the treadmill is for.
But if you’re trying to be more bad-a$$ this winter, then here are a few tips and some gear you may want to acquire before freezing your butt off for the next three months.
Cold Weather Running Tips
Do lay out your clothes the night before. Having to rummage around for twenty minutes to find a pair of socks is not only going to waste time, but it’ll kill your will to go out as well regardless of whether you’re a morning or evening runner. Last night we went for a run and ended up cutting it short because it took us an extra half hour to get out of the house because nothing was prepared.
Don’t say you’ll wait till it warms up a bit. No, you won’t. You’ll start your day, and then suddenly, whoops! No time for a run! I’m often guilty of this, but lately I’ve managed to fit in a 20 – 30 minute treadmill run on the Peloton App. Just go – either when you wake up, or when you get home from work. Pick a time and commit to it.
Do dress for the weather. Seriously, nothing kills a workout faster than frostbite. Wear gloves, a hat, or a headband (which I am perpetually bad at doing). Get some good socks and protect yourself from the wind. Everyone has a different idea for warmth – but at the very least keep your feet dry, your head, hands, and core warm.
Do be safe. Run on the sidewalks and where it’s well lit. Don’t blast your music so you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Don’t linger around the house in your sweaty clothes. Because your core temperature drops once you stop running, it’s imperative to warm up quickly. Whether you warm up with hot coffee or hot cocoa before heading home, or whether a hot shower is your forte, make sure to warm up once you stop running and get out of your wet clothes sooner rather than later.
Must-Have Cold Weather Running Pieces
[Uptempo Top (Athleta) | Leggings (lululemon – there are a few versions of these – I tend to get the cropped (because I’m short, they’re cheaper), but they also have brushed which is warmer for the winter, I have these in cropped AND the long version and LOVE them!) | Vest (LL Bean) | Hat (Amazon)| Jacket (lululemon – I have one of these jackets that has lasted me TEN YEARS. Worth the investment.) | Brushed Top (lululemon) | Mittens (lululemon)]
This post has been updated from an earlier version. This post does contain affiliate links that may generate a small commission for the author.