Since there aren’t enough posts on winter running tips, I decided I needed to write one, too… see my top ten* cold weather running tips below!
1. Buy high-quality gear. In the summer, you can get away with cheapo shorts and shirts, but in the winter, gear’s pretty important. Splurge on some thick yet sweat-wicking stuff, and wear it to death! Only exception is gloves. I think a few layers of cheapo gloves usually works pretty well (and then you don’t feel bad when you lose them in the wash).
3. Tuck it in. Tuck in your first-layer shirt — keeps it from riding up under your jacket and keeps cold air from sneaking in! In the photo below, I’m actually wearing a few shirts, all of which I have nerd-ishly tucked in. Likewise, tuck your socks into your leggings, or your leggings into your socks. Especially if you have Santa socks. (photo from when I died my hair brown randomly)
4. The tighter, the better. This sounds sort of weird, but it’s true — especially for running tights, which can come in strange cuts and sizes. They’re called tights for a reason! I’ve worn “tights” that weren’t tight enough in the ankles, which gave me cold feet; or worse yet, tights that weren’t tight enough in the waist, which gives you an annoying and ugly saggy crotch. Yep.
5. Electronics: Wear your Garmin outside of your jacket. Leave your iPod/phone at home if it’s under 20 degrees (I’ve frozen mine before!); and if you do take it, try to stash it in a pocket so that you don’t let its cold metal body freeze your hand off.6. Take your hydration with you. In the winter, most outdoor water fountains are shut off 7. Focus on head and hands. Although the myth that you lose up to 80% of your body heat through your head isn’t actually true, you will still lose a lot of heat through your head if it doesn’t have a cap on it! I prefer obnoxious winter hats that have a chin tie and (fake) fur. I also wear up to three pairs of gloves at once…8. Don’t bother with hoods. Invest in a good running jacket (like my Nike one above), but I would nix the ones that have hoods (like my other Nike one below). Unless they have an awesome drawstring, hoods don’t really work with running and just add unnecessary weight.
9. Do bother with zippers. I prefer running jackets that zip up, because 1) I hate the sensation of a high neck chocking me while I run; 2) if I start to overheat, I can unzip it a bit! Make sure there’s a soft cloth padding behind the zipper closure — if not, you might get the ole’ zipper burn on your collarbones.
11. Suck it up, don’t complain, and just get out there. Once you get moving, you’ll feel fine.