How To: Run in the Cold

Running in the winter is a guilty pleasure. Though my skin doesn’t like it as much as my mind does, I continue to push through the colder temps whether it be before or after work. There are a couple of simple tricks I use to maintain this motivation during these winter months.

  1. Schedule your run. 

I am a big believer that if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. Thursday morning, I was too tired to wake up and get moving. Knowing that I might skimp out on the run later in the evening too, I wrote it down on my calendar for after work with a route in mind. I know myself too well because I REALLY didn’t want to after a long day. However, since it was part of my to do’s for the day and knowing a specific route in mind, I was more inclined to get it done. After the fact, I was extremely happy I did.

2. Dress Appropriately. 

There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a run. It is possible to be too cold (those flimsy tech shirts that paid races give you just don’t do the trick) and possible to be too hot (the worst is getting stuck carrying your sweatshirt back). My go-to’s for a cold winter run are my Athleta lightly lined reflective leggings, Gapfit long sleeve tee, and Lululemon ear warmers.


3. Get in your Groove. 

Whether it be Christmas music this time of year or a pre-arranged playlist, pick music that motivates you, calms you, or amps you up. Without this music, you’ll find yourself wishing it was over rather.

4. Be Seen & Heard.  

Running in the dark can be scary. Cars aren’t looking out for you and greenways can be dangerous. I tend to gravitate towards reflective apparel in the winter & choose to run without headphones. The music signifies others I am passing others & allows my eyes and ears to be open for cars, other runners, bad guys, and critters.

5. Focus on Maintenance. 

Running in the wind and cold shouldn’t be about speed but more about endurance.

6. Change Post-Run. 

Once you complete your run, change immediately to prevent cold chills. Once we stop running, our body temperatures drop which can cause us to get sick or injured. As soon as your workout is over, change into warm, dry clothing whether you sweat or not.

7. Breath Through Your Nose. 

Breathing through your mouth invites the cold air into your lungs which can make some runners uncomfortable. I prefer to breathe through my nose & sometimes even pull my shirt up over my mouth or nose to trap the warmer air in.

8. Use Chapstick. 

Your skin and lips won’t like cold runs. Be proactive & apply a moisturizer to your face and chapstick to your lips both before and after winter runs. My go to’s recently have been Juicy Beauty’s oil free moisturizer & Mongo Kiss lip balm.


9. Warm Up. 

If there is anyone who wants to just “start already” its me. However, warming up your joints and muscles before exposing them to the cold is key and will make your run both more enjoyable and more beneficial. Spend 5 minutes moving around and actively stretching to warm up before heading out.

What do you do to prepare to run in the cold?


One thought on “How To: Run in the Cold

  1. I need my mouth to breath!!! Nose only!!! Are you kidding!! Add Sub title tips for old runners. 1. Ok to use mouth to breath 2. Ok to start real real real slow to warm up. 3. Cotton sweatshirts ok too. 4. Cotton gloves a must. Great article. Love You!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


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