5 Tips for Running in the Cold

Hi friends!  Today I want to share some tips with you for running in the cold weather.  Running is so much easier in the fall and spring.  I look forward to being outside when the weather is warm and there is a cool breeze blowing.  However, in the winter months, I have a hard time getting out the door.  I don’t look forward to running when it’s cold.  I absolutely hate being cold!  But, surprisingly enough, I actually like to run in the cold. 


My fastest 5K was run in below 30 degree weather!  I can breathe easier, and I stay moving so I will stay warm.  So I want to share some tips with you to make your cold winter runs a little easier. 

Dress in Layers

You want to make sure you layer correctly.  You want to dress like it is 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is.  Once you start moving, you will get warm so you don’t want to be overdressed.  You want to start with a base layer that is moisture wicking so it will keep you dry.  Do not wear cotton on this layer.  That will just get wet from your sweat and it will make you wet and cold.  The next layer should be insulating.  You want something that will keep you warm.  Then, if needed, you should wear an outer layer that will protect you from rain or snow. 

Slow down

Cold weather makes your body work harder.  You need to slow down so you don’t use up all of your energy.  This can be hard to do because you want to run faster since you are cold.  You also need to give your body time to warm up and adjust to the cold.  You don’t want to start out really fast before you have adjusted.  I don’t know about you, but if I start out too fast, my lungs are burning from trying to breathe.  Usually during the cold months, my running times are a lot slower.  It takes me a mile or two before my body is warmed up and ready to actually run.  So, slow down and don’t get discouraged by slower times.  You want to keep your body healthy and not get sick or injured from pushing yourself too hard. 


Don’t forget to accessorize!  You will want to make sure you cover up as much skin as you can.  Gloves, toboggans, and face masks will be your best friends!  And don’t forget about warm socks.  It will not be any fun to try and run on freezing cold toes!  I’m sure there are many brands out there, but Under Armour makes a good heat gear sock that will keep you dry and warm. 

Lip Balm

You won’t want to forget this!  When you are running in cold weather or cold wind, your lips will get chapped.   Make sure you apply some good lip balm or even Vaseline to your lips before you head out.  This will keep you from coming home with red, chapped lips. 


Staying hydrated is still as important in the colder months as it is in the hot months.  Just because you don’t feel sweat dripping off of you doesn’t mean you aren’t still sweating.  You still need to stay hydrated to prevent cramps and soreness. 

Running in the cold isn’t as bad as it sounds if you are prepared.  I hope you can use some of these tips and try it out!

Today I’m linking up with Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Tuesday’s on the Run.  

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8 thoughts on “5 Tips for Running in the Cold

  1. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Great tips! I definitly need to shop for more layers this winter. People always look at me crazy when I’m out in the cold, but layering is everything…some people wear way too much!

    I haven’t had a super cold run yet but I need to get back out there and remember that this is how it will be the next 3-4 months!

    1. Profile photo of Tara


      I had my first super cold run today! All the layers made it bearable. I even wore two pairs of socks. I really need to shop for more winter running clothes too!

  2. Heather @ Heather's Spin

    Great tips. I always have a hard time remembering what to wear each fall. I’m starting to get a hang of it now. 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Tara


      Thanks! I always have a hard time dressing like it’s a little warmer than it really is. I feel like I’m either overdressed and hot or underdressed and cold!

  3. Marcia

    We’re going sub-zero tonight so the third layer will probably be on here this weekend. That is IF I decide to run at all. I’m rehabbing this hamstring and have no races planned at the moment until September so the run just might not happen! Great tips!

    1. Profile photo of Tara


      I hope your hamstring gets better soon! I had to wear that third layer today! It was freezing!

  4. Mackenzie

    I feel like I always forget to hydrate in cold weather- so thank you for the reminder!!!

    1. Profile photo of Tara


      I don’t do as good a job as I do in the summer. I’m not even thirsty when I get done running, so it’s definitely something that I need to work on!

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