Winter Running Tips: staying warm outside

15th November 2019
The cold weather doesn't have to stop you from going out for some exercise. If you follow these tips and precautions, your winter running sessions can be just as productive and satisfying as your summer runs. 

Running enthusiasts stick with their discipline during rain or shine. However, when the coldest time of the year comes around, anyone would think twice about heading out into the elements. Even the heat produced by a body in motion can dwindle when it’s five degrees and dropping. In practice, though, anything’s possible by following the right winter running tips.

It’s not just about protecting yourself from the cold, but also taking precautions against seasonal dangers. For instance, slippery surfaces and fog can become considerable risk factors. For these reasons, we’ve provided some helpful winter running tips so you can overcome the snow and cold.

Winter running tips: warm up and stretch before heading out

One of the problems with winter is that, when we’re outdoors, the temperature can rapidly change. In order to acclimatize yourself, it’s a good idea to spend time warming up before leaving the house. This will allow you to face the cold with a more favorable body temperature.

Man and woman running outdoors

Wear warm, close-fitting clothing

Obviously, you need to wear warm clothing while running in winter. What is somewhat less obvious is that your clothing needs to be close-fitting. To this end, synthetic materials are your best bet. Another recommendation: wear black clothing that will absorb the sun’s rays in the daytime.

Dress warmly, but don’t use too much clothing

It’s one thing to protect yourself, and another to have several layers of clothing on top of one another. This will restrict your mobility, and if the clothing isn’t close-fitting, you’ll feel the cold. In any event, you can wear two sweaters and remove one when you start sweating. Also, these sweaters should feature a hood.

Protect your extremities

When running in winter, we sometimes make the mistake of relying on the body heat produced by the exercise. We think that sweating and staying in motion will prevent us from feeling the cold in the same way.

In reality, the wind can cause discomfort and its impact is felt more in the extremities and the face. Therefore, we must take the precaution of wearing clothing with long sleeves.

Plan your route well

People who run in winter should avoid making stops outdoors. Remember that the thermal sensation you feel in this climate can often be misleading.

To avoid losing body heat, it’s a good idea to avoid making any stops until you reach someplace warm. To this end, you need to know your route and keep track of your exercise time.

Avoid running during freezes

Cold and snow shouldn’t stop you, but a freeze should. In these conditions, the wind becomes more uncontrollable, as does the cold. In addition, the ice can be dangerous and there is always the risk of slipping.

Increase your caloric intake

A runner’s dietary habits change during winter. If you’re going to run in low temperatures, you need to add extra calories to your diet. These will help you maintain your body heat and meet the demands of your routine.

Run during the warmer times of day

Winter is always cold, but there are times of day when you feel it less. For example, the midday hours are better suited to this discipline, with the period between 11 am and 4 pm being the most ideal. The best thing is to avoid running at night.

Runner with headphones outdoors

Protect your hands and feet

During the most intense periods of cold, we need to make sure every part of our body is covered. With this in mind, wearing gloves is highly recommended. Polyurethane soles will also help prevent your feet from getting too cold. The more covered you are, the better.

Avoid running into the wind

Blizzards are usually a big problem for people who run in winter. Therefore, it’s best to plan routes according to the direction of the wind. If you’re running into the wind, you’ll feel colder. Conversely, if you have the wind at your back, it will refresh you once you start sweating.

If you follow all these winter running tips, you should be able to continue to exercise during the coldest time of year. Running in winter improves your strength, stamina and even your character.