You have a choice in Winter if you live in cold, snowy climates: suck it up buttercup or spend your Winter on the treadmill. Neither option is all that fun. With the right attitude you can keep running even when the weather is frightful.
It’s so tempting to skip our warm ups for runs. Always. Even more so when it’s winter and it’s cold and you just want to stay in that nice warm jacket as long as possible. Who has the time, right? Who has the time for an injury?
Think about a rubber band. What happens when it gets cold? Stretch it and it may break. The same thing can happen to your cold muscles when you start to run without warming them up.
My power tip: if possible, do your warm up inside. Once you’re out there in the cold and just so tempting to skip it because, well, it’s cold and you want to get moving! If you do have to warm up in the cold, I like to have another jacket on top of my running outfit during the warmup (it makes it a literal warmup).
You’re cold, you’re not sweating, so you don’t feel like drinking anything. Why would you need to? You probably are sweating, but since it’s not as much as you sweat in Summer, you’re not as aware of it. Add the drieer winter air, and yes, even in winter, you need to stay hydrated.
My power tip: pockets are essential to keep water from freezing when the temps plummet, whether that’s a jacket pocket or a pocket on your leggings. If you have longer runs (I’m sorry!) and use a hydration vest, try putting that under your jacket to prevent the water from freezing.
Get some trail shoes
Even if you don’t do trail running. The deeper treads on the bottom of trail shoes help give you more grip in snowy conditions.
Even better, get screwed
Put some screws in an old pair of running shoes. You can find some instructions here. I much prefer this to using Yaktrax (and I’ve done both).
My power tip: don’t get cocky. While this will help a lot, it doesn’t give you super powers and insure that you can’t slip and injure yourself.
Consider a wool bra
I first tried this last Winter (read about it here) and it was a total game changer for me. I would be chilled for hours after really cold runs — often because my bra was soaked in sweat. A wool bra (they’re not 100% wool, and therefore not itchy at all) wicks away the sweat and dries off much quicker than a regular bra.
Wool bras are not just for winter, either! I have actually worn them on a lot of my trail runs this summer. That’s the great thing about wool: it works well in both cold and warm temps.
My power tip: I never had any chafing wearing wool bras until the recent 15k. Even if the bra line isn’t an area you normally chafe, you might still consider some anti chafe gel there.
More Winter Running Resources:
- What will keep you running?
- 5 Tips to stay active in Winter
- 5 Ways to get out the door in Winter
- 4 Ways I survive the treadmill
- It’s getting hot in here
What Winter running tricks do you have up your sleeve?
When do you cry uncle during the Winter (either not running or taking it inside)?
Do you dread training for a Spring race because you have to train through Winter?