6 Tips for Running in the Winter

December 09, 2013
by Michael Barber
6 Tips for Running in the Winter

You don't have to give up running in winter. If you enjoy going for a run, there's no reason why the cold weather should stop you. All you have to do is follow these six tips for running in winter.

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Bundle Up

Dress appropriately for the cold winter weather when you go for your run. Layer your clothes with a base, insulation, and wind and water-proof outer layer. Wear gloves, a scarf around your neck, and a winter cap. Keep your feet warm with wool socks and winter running shoes. Be careful that you're not overdressed. Wearing too many layers can cause your body temperature to increase too much while you're running.

Avoid the Ice

One of the dangers of running in the winter is slipping on the ice. When planning your route, be sure the area has been properly salted to prevent slippery patches. Keep your eye out on your path to avoid new patches of ice that may have formed. Wear proper winter running shoes with traction to help keep you from slipping during your run. Don't run when it's dark out, as you're more likely to accidently slip on patches of ice.

Grab a Buddy

It's a good idea to run with a friend no matter what the weather is like outside. In the cold weather, running with a friend will allow you to help each other find patches of ice. Additionally, you'll keep each other in check when it comes to warmth and safety. Running with a friend is also motivational and more fun.

Warm Up Properly

You should warm up before performing any kind of exercise. But in the winter, warming up before heading out in the cold for a run is even more important. It will give your body temperature a chance to rise before hitting the cold air.

Stretch for ten to fifteen minutes, and then take a brisk walk before you start to sprint. Warm your clothes up prior to your run by throwing them into the dryer for a few minutes. If you aren’t all the way warmed up, you could pull a muscle. If you feel that you’ve hurt yourself after a run, consult a doctor at your nearest urgent care center.

Related: 5 Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

Stay Hydrated

It's just as important to drink plenty of fluids in the winter months as it is in the warmer months. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean your body isn't sweating and losing fluids. Keep yourself properly hydrated during your run. Drink a glass of water before your run, keep a water bottle with you during your run, and drink more when you get home from your run.

Run Indoors

The easiest way to deal with running in the winter is to move your routine inside. Find a gym with a good indoor track, use a treadmill, or run in place. You can set up your indoor running plan to match your outdoor plan and still get your normal workout in. Be sure to properly warm up before your run, and stay hydrated.

Related: Take a Hike! (And Do It Safely)

You don't have to give up your run just because the weather is cold. Follow these six tips to stay safe and warm. How will you tweak your running routine this winter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.