QT: Running Outside in the Cold of Winter (Best Of-ish)

This post was originally part of Episode 184 released in November of 2015 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.

Believe it or not, winter is fast approaching and for some folks it’s already here.

Running in the Cold

This Doesn’t Happen in Florida. Ever.

In some respects, winter is a wonderful time of the year.

  • The snow can be really pretty.
  • “Cuddling” under a blanket in front of a fire is ALWAYS a good time.
  • There’s a legitimate excuse to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate.

And in other respects, winter can kind of suck.

  • Shoveling the snow gets old fast.
  • You have to get “dressed up” just to take the dog out.
  • Running becomes a bit more complicated.

5 Tips for Running Outside in the Cold This Winter

So you’re going to brave the ice and snow and log your miles outside this winter?


Here are some tips for staying warmish until the spring comes and the snow/ice melts.

  • Dress in Layers

This is a big one.

When you’re running in the cold, the last thing you want to do is get all sweaty because you’re overdressed.

By wearing two or three thin layers as opposed to one thick jacket/sweatshirt, you can peel off a layer if you start to feel like you’re getting too hot.

And if you’ve never run in the winter before, yes you can overheat no matter how cold it is.

  • Wear Gaiters

You know how much it sucks when you are out running and you get a small pebble into your show?

You know what else sucks when it gets in your shoe? Snow.

It sucks for an entirely different reason than the pebble, but sucky is sucky and snow in your shoe while you’re running is definitely sucky.

Get some good gaiters, that kind that loop under your foot so they don’t ride up, and you’ll be all set.

  • Wear Gloves

Believe it or not, your hands can definitely get frostbite if you’re out for a long run when it’s really cold out.

The reason for this is simple, our bodies don’t send as much blood to our extremities when we are cold or when we are running.

So bare hands are definitely asking for trouble.

And if there’s snow/ice and you slip, it’s nice to have a gloved hand to catch yourself with instead of a bare hand into the snowbank.

  • Make Sure You are Seen

This is obviously important year-round, but drivers aren’t as likely to be looking for runners on the road in the wintertime as they are in the summer.

So you need to be even more diligent about being visible.

Wearing reflective gear (even if it’s daylight out) is a smart move, as is wearing bright colors.

And if you’re running when it’s anywhere near dark or if it’s snowing/blowing, get some lights so that you stand out even more.

Seriously y’all, don’t make this mistake because in a collision between a car and a runner, the car wins.

Every time.

  • Cover Your Face

Breathing in the cold, dry air of winter can cause asthmatic symptoms in your lungs even if you’ve never had asthma before.

One way to combat this is to cover your mouth with a scarf, buff, or another piece of clothing while you are running.

This heats and humidifies the air before you breathe it in, and decreases the likelihood of bronchial spasms.

I really like running outside in the cold, even though we don’t have cold here in Florida.


But if you’re going to be running in the cold this year, especially if you’re a southerner visiting friends and family in northern climes, these tips will definitely help you have a good run if you’re brave enough to head outside and go running in the cold.

And if you’re not brave enough, just stay “cuddled up” by the fire.

That can be a good workout too…

5 tips for running in the cold this winter. #runchat Click To Tweet

What is Your Best Tip for Running Outside in the Cold?

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