Winter Running Tips

When cold temperatures make an appearance, your running routine doesn’t have to suffer. You just need to do some extra planning around gear, timing and your route. Follow these tips to have the best chance of success as you exercise outdoors in the winter.

Tip #1: Reduce the amount of exposed skin. When the windchill is especially low, you want to ensure the least amount of skin is exposed. Be sure to wear longer socks to cover your ankles. Wear a buff or neck gaiter that can be pulled up to your eyes. Consider sunglasses (clear lenses if it’s not sunny) to protect your eyes.

Tip #2: Factor in wind chill! Base your layers on the wind chill, not just the outright temperature. Wind chill tells you how it really “feels” outside and can impact what you wear if feels colder than the temperature indicates.
Pro Tip: When planning a morning run, look at the low temperature from the day before, as that’s what the temperature will likely be in the morning.

Tip #3: Start your run or walk going “into” the wind. It’s much better to have the wind in your face when you are getting started as opposed to turning into the wind once you are sweaty. Sweat freezes!

Tip #4: Wind protection = Winning! Blocking the wind is crucial to keeping you warm. Jackets can be one of your most important layers when the temperature dips below freezing. You don’t need a heavy jacket, just something that blocks wind and keeps the heat you are generating in. You really may only need one base layer to wick away sweat under your jacket.

Tip #5 – Don’t be influenced. In our social media and Strava-driven world, you are likely to see people running outside no matter how cold the temperature gets. But if it’s not for you, that’s totally ok! Use the time to do other things that can help your running or fitness, like strength work you can do at home, stretching, foam rolling and more. All of those things are beneficial!

Big River Running carries great gear options for winter running and our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best items for you or offer other cold weather tips based on your exercise routine and individual needs. Thanks for shopping local!

–Katie Helbig