Cold Weather Running Tips

Winter is just about here, but that doesn’t mean your running regimen needs to get put on ice. You shouldn’t feel confined to using a treadmill for the next three months either. In fact, if you plan accordingly, running outside in the winter can be fun and invigorating!

Layering your clothing appropriately is very important when running in temperatures in the forties and below. I like to start with compression shorts or pants, and a compression shirt as my bottom layer. Compression shorts and tops are stretchy and should fit you tightly (no you don’t wear underwear with them). Under armor is one brand that I would recommend. Compression gear is also great for preventing chafing.

Depending on how cold it is, the next layer will either be a t-shirt or something a bit heavier like a thermal shirt on top, with track pants or sweats below. The last layer could be a fleece, windbreaker or hoodie, depending on how cold it is. Gloves, hats, and earmuffs become important as well in colder weather.

At first, running in the cold may seem unpleasant, but once you get a mile or so in you’ll warm up and start to feel better. Even though it’s cold, you should still work up a good sweat, so make sure that you drink plenty of water before and after your run (just like you normally do, right?).

Extreme conditions such as snow storms and temperatures below zero could put a damper on your running plans, but if you dress appropriately, you’ll be surprised how much cold weather running you can endure–perhaps even enjoy.

What will you do during your runs this winter in order to combat the cold?

7 thoughts on “Cold Weather Running Tips

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  • By Aatif Naziri -

    Al, Thanks for the tips I am going to implement your tips and start running.  Will post later with progress

    • By Al Kavadlo -


  • By Jaunique -

    Al, this winter (central Europe!) I haven’t stop running outside and I found that I have not been sick nor I have a cold during the whole winter! I am hardy and improved my resistance:-) 
    I have question: Is it possible that my muscles are working much more in winter (same distance like in summer but I feel bigger physical fatigue)? 

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Hey Jaunique, yes it is possible that you are working harder to stay warm and I imagine you are wearing more layers which might be weighing you down a bit too.  Way to go on toughing it out for those cold weather runs!

      • By Jaunique -

        Yeah, I am dressed like an onion, several layers. And that’s only thing I don’t like about it – I tend to take off my layers of clothes and throw them away as I am getting warmer…and in summer I tend to jump in any puddle I met to chill me. It seems annyonig but when endorfins start to flow in my blood, it is not problem anymore and I feel fantastically! I am endorfin junkie:-D And you are just so inspiring and helps me pushing my boundaries – I wanna do a human flag (I haven’t seen any woman do that!) so I am working out according to your advices! Thank you!

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