In this post, I’m sharing my best winter running tips.
The weather is hovering around 0 degrees Celsius today and the snow is falling, yet I tied on my running shoes and went for a run anyway. I have seen many fellow running bloggers grumbling about running in the cold weather, but I have to admit that I don’t share their sentiment. I actually prefer this weather. The trick is to dress properly in layers. I was well prepared with some winter leggings and a running jacket.
Tip 1: Dress Accordingly
The most critical step in running in winter is dressing properly. I’ve learned over time what works and what doesn’t. Check out my guide on what to wear for running according to the temperature that goes over proper layering for running. But also, not overlook your choice of socks.
I usually wear ankle socks with my running shoes. What I learned was that in the cold and snowy weather, it’s not a good idea. I had a band of about 1/2 inch of exposed skin around my ankles that got really cold, really fast. Next time I’ll make sure to overlap my leggings on top of my socks.
Also, if the snow is rather slushy, you can wear a pair of plastic grocery bags over your feet before inserting them in your running shoes. It will keep them from getting wet.
Tip 2: Stay Visible
Daylight is shorter in the winter, so odds are you are running at dawn or dusk. It’s important to be visible to drivers to stay safe. Make sure that you have the proper reflective gear, like a vest, or a headlamp so that you are visible to drivers.
Tip 3: You don’t need to cover up your GPS watch
Here’s a handy tip I learned from my identical twin sister (who also runs: If you wear a GPS watch for tracking your runs, you can use the thumb holes of your sweater or jacket (if you have them) to put around your watch face so you can see your metrics, without having to expose your sleeve.
Tip 4: Take Your Time To Warm Up
No matter the weather, you need to warm up your muscles before a run, but it becomes more important in the winter. Depending on the temperature outdoors, it might take longer for your body to warm up properly. Take the first 2 kilometres or so at a slow pace first and don’t rush the process.
Tip 5: Slow Down on the Snow
This seems like common sense, but it’s just like the first drive out in the first snow of the season. You quickly get reminded about how slippery it can be under the snow. When I run in the winter, I concern myself less with my run time; I slow down to avoid injury. Luckily the ground was mostly free of snow as it was melting rather quickly once it hit the ground. However, there were a few snow-covered spots.
So, just to recap, here are the important tips to have a successful winter run:
- Dress appropriately
- Stay visible
- You don’t have to cover up you GPS watch
- Take your time to warm up
- Slow down in the snow.
My goal for running in the winter is to stay injury-free and maintain my running schedule. For those of you who run in the winter, do you have any wisdom? Please share tips or tricks to make it a more enjoyable and safe experience in the comments below.
Follow my Running Pinterest Board for more tips: Running for Beginners