Cold Weather Running, It Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable

How to Go for a Run Even When it’s Freezing

It’s cold again and that means your morning and even afternoon runs are in jeopardy.  Even though it maybe 25-degrees out, that doesn’ mean you have to sacrifice your exercise.  There are more than a few ways to get some miles in even when it’s cold outside.

For hot weather runners, it’s always about staying hydrated and to keep your body cool by any means possible.  Running in the summer means wearing fewer clothes, drinking tons of fluids, and letting sweat keep you cool.

For obvious reasons, cold weather running is completely different.  Rather than sweating it out, you actually want to keep fluids from accumulating while also making sure your core temp doesn’t drop off too much.  It’s also super important to note that when you work out in the cold, your immune system works harder than it normally would.  A stressed immune system makes you more vulnerable to frostbite and airborne diseases.  Here are a few tips to stay safe and warm when running in cold weather.

Cold Weather Running
Getting Ready for Cold Weather Running
  • Layers Upon Layers. I’m pretty sure you already know this but layering in the winter is kinda important.  Too many people still make the mistake of thinking physical activity negates having to layer up.  Sure, if it’s brisk or cool, layering might not be the best idea.  When it’s cold, layers are essential.  When bundling up, it’s important that you cover up your entire body.  This means wearing a hat, a vest, gloves, a scarf, a heavy coat, and a thick pair of socks.
  • Stay Warm! Duh.  Well, I’m not just talking about your core temp or body temp.  Taking the time to do proper warm-ups is essential when running in cold weather.  Warming up before a run or a job keeps your joints from stiffening and helps your body acclimate to the freezing temps.
  • Fluids Are Still Important But so is Your Diet. Of, course it’s important that you stay hydrated.  However, when it’s especially chilly, you might want to start taking a look at your diet.  During the winter months, you might want to consider increasing your caloric intake.
  • Be Social. Running with friends is a great way to mitigate the affects of cold weather running.  Friends are great motivators and keep you from getting too bored on long runs.  However, they can also help you notice the symptoms associated with hypothermia.
  • Sweating in the Extreme Cold.  Fabrics that keep you dry are essential to any cold weather running routine.  These fabrics whisk away moisture and provide additional protection from the cold.  Moisture-wicking fabrics are available in shirts, gloves, hats, and bottoms.
  • Maybe It Really is Too Cold. Maybe it’s below freezing or maybe there are five inches of snow on the ground or maybe there’s both.  There is such thing as it being too cold.  Always keep an eye on the weather and know when it’s too cold.  There’s no shame in skipping a run to wait for the snow to melt.

That’s about it.  As you head out this winter to begin your cold weather running routine, keep these tips handing.  Also, make sure to check out the latest deals on cold weather active gear.  Urban Boundaries is one of my favorite sites for cold weather running gear.