5 Tips to Make You a Winter Warrior

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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.

Warm up!!!!
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).

Stay hydrated
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.

Trail shoes can help you stay upright in slushy conditions

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.

For me wool bras have actually become a year-round thing

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 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?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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30 thoughts on “5 Tips to Make You a Winter Warrior

  1. Oh wow – I’m going to count my lucky stars that my water in my bottle has never frozen! Good old temperate UK! I swear by layers and extra buffs for the cold – pop one round your neck and you can always put it in a pocket or round your wrist if it gets too warm. Warming up inside is a good one I hadn’t thought of somehow. I also move my stretching inside – I do it out on the front step in warmer temps.

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    1. Oh yes, if you’re on a long run here in Winter and your water bottles are exposed there’s a good chance of the water freezing. I’ve had it happen. And chews can get too hard to chew.

      Once I figured out I could warm up inside it was an aha moment. Also a d’oh moment, wondering why it took me years to thin of it.

      I still procrastinate getting out there.

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  2. I run outside no matter how cold but never when it rains. I ran at Ualbany or crossings where there salt and plow.

    I hate being over heated cuz then I do sweat and get chilled. So I wear light layers and make sure I can remove stuff like knee sock arm warmers buffs and dollar store gloves. Winter is not for fashion but comfort or to break the bank.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wait, a wool bra?! I will definitely need to try that. I am currently in Florida, so not exposed to the cold. But as you said, wool would also work in the heat as it cools you down.
    Thanks, Judy, that was helpful! Stay warm and safe up there.

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  4. I think I prefer training through the winter vs hot, humid summers, so no there’s no dread here. FWIW it’s not the bladder of a hydration pack that’s at as much risk of freezing as the hose/nozzle. That sucker freezes up pretty quickly.

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    1. I do prefer winter — but I also don’t like the cold and the gray, either. So I’d pick winter over summer, but I don’t like either!

      Good point about the hydration pack. Somehow the races I’ve trained for during the winter i never used one. One reason I actually like coats is all the extra pockets!

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  5. Staying hydrated is one thing I struggle with during the Winter. I dont feel as thirsty as I do in the summer. Even so, I try to always keep water in my car since I normally run past my car when I do loops in the local park.

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  6. Totally agree on the indoor warmups — helpful too in summer for the AC.
    I realized this past Saturday that I’ll need to carry as much water as I did in summer even in the park as the water fountains are off. I was thirstier this Saturday I think coming off a less than hydrated week

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    1. I hate it when the shut down the fountains — but worse is the bathrooms being shut down. I usually could use one before the start of a run, especially when it’s cold out! There’s one park with bathrooms. At least it’s close.

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      1. There’s really only one park near me that keeps a bathroom open in Winter. And then there’s training there for Freihofers in the Spring. One thing I hate about winter here is it really narrows down where you can run!

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  7. I have considered using screws in my shoes (or Yak Trax), but I’m never on exclusive snow…there’s always some concrete poking through LOL I should look into trail shoes, though, they might be a better option for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Screw shoes work fine on snow and on roads. Yaktrax, OTOH, can break when you run with them on a road that isn’t really covered.

      Seriously, it’s not very expensive (of course I had Mr. Judy do it for me since I’m not at all handy & he’s very handy) — you should give it a try!

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    1. No, I doubt wool bras would work for you for running (unless you doubled up with a regular bra, and I can’t imagine that would be comfortable).

      I don’t know that I’d wear them for everyday, but being wool, they don’t really have to be washed as often.

      For me they work well when I’m getting sweaty outside. Walking doesn’t make me sweat (cause usually I’m walking the dogs & that’s barely walking!).

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  8. I’ve been doing dynamic warmups before my runs and those have definitely warmed me up before getting out there. I have two races in the Spring and for sure I will be training for them during the Winter. Not really looking forward to it but what else can I do? 🙂

    Thank you for linking up with us!

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