Cold Weather Running Tips

Welcome back to another running report!  This week the topic is cold weather running and how to brave the elements.  I hope these tips and ideas help you get out the door in the cold.  Whether you go outside to walk your dog, or to go for a run these tips can be used for any cold situation. 

Layer Up

When you are outside in the elements make sure you have multiple layers on.  Being too hot, and being able to take off layers if much better than being too cold.  When I head out the door I usually have a long sleeve shirt, sweater, and my New Balance Radiant Heat Bonded Vest.  On the bottom I usually wear spandex shorts and tights over top. The spandex are not only adding an extra layer, but I also tuck my long sleeve into the shorts so that the shirt doesn’t ride up on the run.  

Invest in a Neoprene Face Mask

This has saved my face in the cold so many times.  I recommend a neoprene face mask over a fabric balaclava because the fabric one will freeze as you breath.  The moisture from your breath is the culprit for the mask freezing. The neoprene mask may freeze a little bit, but rather than sticking close to your face the mask maintains its shape.  You can find neoprene masks for around $14 at Green Earth. Other stores have them as well, or Amazon has a wide variety if you can wait for shipping.

Use Hand Warmers

If you get cold hands easily I would recommend using hand warmers. Even if hand warmers make your hands sweaty while you run, I prefer this over cold, dry hands.  A bonus with hands being warm, and sweaty on your run is that they are less likely to be dry during the whole winter season. You can also get toe warmers for those really cold days, but I don’t recommend running with toe warmers that often.  Since toe warmers are adding extra thickness to your shoe, they could hurt your foot.

Know the Limit

Knowing when it’s too cold or dangerous to run is tricky.  I have run outside many times when it was probably too cold, I just didn’t run outside for as long.  The only thing I can tell you is be careful.  If it’s below -15 and you want to run outside, use a face mask, wear gloves, don’t run outside for as long, and tell someone where you are running.  If it’s below -20 I would run inside. If it’s icy out use a treadmill or do a strength circuit at home instead. Cold weather running is tricky to navigate, but checking what your local weather station says about going outside is usually a good indicator.

Fuel, Drink, and Warm Up When you Come Home

This is so important after a cold run!  You won’t feel like you are sweating as much.  You will think you don’t need water, and you will be trying to warm up and not thinking about fuelling. As soon as you get home take off your cold clothes and either have a shower or put on something warm. If you do have a shower slowly turn up the temperature or your body could get confused changing temperatures too quickly. Once you are warm, make sure to have a snack and some water within 30 minutes of finishing your run. Even if you didn’t feel like you were sweating, you should drink like you would after a hot summer run.

Thanks for reading another Running Report and I hope as the temperatures drop you can use these tips to still enjoy a run If you aren't a cold weather person try the treadmill I always bring a movie or music when I’m on the treadmill and the time seems to go pretty quick I hope you have an amazing week and I can’t wait to see you here again soon!