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Tips for Cold Weather Running

Written by: A Lee



Time to read 2 min

Tips for Cold Weather Running

When the temperature drops, it can be tempting to stay indoors and skip your running routine. However, with the right preparation and gear, you can continue training outdoors even in the cold weather. Running in winter can be invigorating and rewarding if you know how to dress appropriately, warm up effectively, and stay safe. In this guide, we'll cover essential tips for cold weather running, from layering your clothing to ensuring proper hydration and visibility. Follow these tips to enjoy your runs, stay comfortable, and maintain your fitness all winter long.

1. Dress for Success:

Dressing appropriately for cold weather runs is crucial to ensure both comfort and safety. Here are some tips to keep your body warm and protected:

  • Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer that will keep sweat away from your skin. Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics that provide insulation while allowing breathability.
  • Insulating Layer: Add an insulating mid-layer, such as a fleece or thermal top, to trap heat and keep you warm. Choose a layer that offers sufficient insulation without causing overheating during your run.
  • Outer Layer: Wear a wind-resistant and water-repellent jacket or shell on top to protect you from the elements. Look for one with ventilation options like zippered vents to regulate your body temperature.
  • Bottoms: Consider wearing thermal leggings or running tights made of moisture-wicking fabric to insulate your lower body. Layer them with wind-resistant pants if the weather is exceptionally cold.
  • Accessories: Don't forget to protect your extremities. Wear fleece gloves or mittens, a thermal beanie or headband, and moisture-wicking socks. Additionally, use a neck gaiter or scarf to cover your neck and protect it from cold winds.

2. Warming Up Indoors:

Before heading out into the cold, it's essential to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for the run. If possible, warm up indoors to minimize exposure to the chilly weather. 

  • Dynamic Stretching: Engage in dynamic stretching exercises to increase blood flow and improve flexibility. Incorporate movements like leg swings, high knees, lunges, and arm circles.
  • Cardiovascular Warm-up: Perform light aerobic exercises indoors, such as jumping jacks, jogging in place, or using a stationary bike. This will raise your body temperature and get your heart rate up.

3. Safety Considerations for Running:

Running in cold weather requires extra attention to safety. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stay Hydrated: Even though it may not feel as obvious, your body still needs hydration during cold weather runs. Drink water before and after your run to stay properly hydrated.
  • Watch Your Footing: Be cautious of slippery surfaces, such as icy patches or wet leaves. Choose running routes with good traction, and consider wearing trail running shoes with added grip if needed.
  • Visibility: With shorter daylight hours, it's crucial to make yourself visible to others while you're running. Wear reflective clothing and use a headlamp or clip-on lights to ensure you're easily seen.

Running in cold weather can be incredibly rewarding with the right approach. By dressing appropriately, you ensure comfort and safety, protecting yourself from the elements with a thoughtful layering system and essential accessories. Warming up indoors helps to prepare your body for the cold, minimizing the risk of injury. Safety is paramount, so stay hydrated, watch your footing, and ensure visibility with reflective gear. With these tips in mind, you can embrace cold weather running and enjoy some of the best running days of the year. 

Stay warm, stay safe, and GET OUT, BE ACTIVE, BE INSPIRED AND LIVE YOUR PASSION (even in cold weather!) Happy running!