Running in the winter isn’t always fun but it doesn’t have to be terrible.
You don’t have the advantage of just being able to throw on some shorts and go. You should take a couple extra minutes to prepare for the weather outside so that you can actually enjoy your run (and not just suffer through it)!
Do a 10-minute dynamic warm-up inside. Lunge matrix, leg swings, arm swings, fire hydrants, jumping jacks. This gets your body warm to reduce the risk of injury. It also gets you feeling a little steamy so that you aren't so miserable when you step out the door.
Keep your head and hands warm. Wear gloves or mittens. Put on a hat, ear warmers, or headband. These can all be taken off pretty easily and carried or put in a pocket if you warm up too much. I also almost always wear gloves under 55°F because my hands get cold easily.
Wear layers BUT underdress by a few degrees. If you go outside and you’re comfortable, you will probably get too warm on your run. It’s okay to be chilly when you first step outside before you get moving.
- Weather and body temps are so very individual, but here are some general temperature guidelines:
• >50°F/10°C: Short-sleeved shirt and shorts
• 40°F-50°F/4°C-10°C: Long-sleeved shirt and shorts or cropped/full-length pants/tights
• 30°F-40°F/-1°C-4°C: Long-sleeved shirt, light jacket or vest, long pants or tights, gloves, ear warmers
• 20°F-30°F/-6°C-1°C: long-sleeved base layer, maybe light fleece, pants or tights, lightweight jacket, mittens/heavy gloves, hat, maybe neck gaiter
• <20°F/ -6°C: Why are you outside? Just kidding, it’s still an option with all the layers! Long-sleeved base layer, light fleece, tights with pants over, jacket, mittens/heavy gloves, hat, neck gaiter
Stay hydrated. You won’t feel the sweat loss like you do in summer but you still need to keep drinking. Make sure you’re hydrated before you go out and carry water with you for runs longer than 30 minutes. Rehydrate as soon as you can after your run as well.
Last but not least, don’t forget to put on your smile. You get to run today even if it’s really cold outside!