Guide to Cold Weather Running
Running in the winter isn't easy. It’s darker, it’s colder, and getting up early gets even harder. To keep yourself warm and comfortable while you run in low temps, we’ve compiled some cold weather running tips and a few of our top picks for items to help keep your mileage up all year round.
#1 Dress for the temp
Before your run, look at the “feels like” temperature since the wind chill and dew point can make a big difference. Then, dress as if it is 15-20 degrees warmer than that since you will be getting that body temperature up quickly once you get running.
#2 Materials Matter
Avoid cotton since it absorbs moisture and holds it against your body, making you feel colder. Instead, choose wool or synthetic fibers from head to toe. Items with light insulation or a thin fleece lining will be especially helpful on super cold days.
#3 Layers, layers, layers
Consider a base layer with a long sleeve, a vest or a light wind/rainproof jacket depending on how cold it is, running tights to keep compression and avoid wind chill on your legs, and breathable gloves or mittens. Bonus if these items are reflective for those dark winter mornings.
#4 Watch your step
Winter brings icy, snowy, wet conditions so if it is slick outside wear a high traction shoe or even consider adding something to enhance traction like microspikes or a traction cleat. A headlight can come in handy too if you’re out before or after the sun.
A few of our go-to cold weather gear items...
Vest - it’s important to keep your core warm, especially at the start of a cold run. Vests do just that while also providing more breathability once you get going and build some heat.
Jacket - for especially cold days, consider a lightly insulated jacket that is wind and/or waterproof. Look for something made with technical, moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you warm while allowing sweat to evaporate.
Long Sleeve Base Layer - a synthetic or wool long sleeve layer is going to be your best friend on cold runs. You want something that protects you from wind chill but is breathable and moisture wicking. Opting for a half zip will be a bonus to allow for extra air flow once you get warmed up.
Tights/Leggings - a great pair of compression tights or leggings will make all the difference. Promoting blood flow and providing a block against harsh wind chill, a pair of breathable and comfortable leggings are a winter run staple. For extra cold temps a pair of lightly lined leggings will help get you moving.
Accessories - keeping your extremities warm while on a run is key to a comfortable cold weather run. Look for gloves, hats, and headbands that will help protect you from the elements without getting in the way.