Let’s be honest, running in the cold sucks—especially when you’re uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Running in the cold can actually be quite enjoyable. By following these five simple tips, your winter outings will be a little less brutal. Here’s how to overcome the cold and come out on the warm side.
1. Layer Your Clothing
Start with a moisture wicking base-layer. Depending on the temperature, place a layer of micro-fleece over your base layer. Finally, a windproof shell will help seal in the warmth and shield you from the cold. (Remember: You can always take something off mid-run if you feel too warm.)
2. Choose the Right Shoes
Those same perforated, highly breathable shoes that kept your feet cool in the summer will allow the frigid winter air to enter unabated when the temperature drops. Choose a shoe constructed out of closed-cell material or opt for a style made with Gore-Tex fabric to help keep the cold air out.
3. Protect the Bean
Heat is easily lost from your head, so wear a runner’s cap or an insulated beanie, depending on the extremes of the temperature. One of my favorite wintertime headpieces is called a Buff—a versatile piece that can serve as a head cover, neck warmer, or facemask.
4. Wear Smart Gloves
Hand protection doesn’t have to mean you can’t operate your electronics. Many modern styles, such as The North Face Etip Gloves, allow you to operate a smart phone screen, or swipe across your Fitbit Surge (my personal favorite fitness tracking device), all while on-the-go. Plus, tactical touch screen gloves come in, err… handy in cold weather even when you’re not running.
5. Prevent Chapped Skin
Your face is exposed to the harshest of elements when running in the frosty air, so take measures to protect one of your most valuable assets. Nobody likes chapped lips; applying a healthy coat of lip balm before running will help prevent cracking and dryness afterwards, and a thick, emollient moisturizer, such as Aquaphor, can guard your face from windburn during frigid workouts.
Hope these tips help. As a guy who’s run a marathon to the South Pole in minus 42-degree temperatures, I assure you, with the right precautions the cold can be conquered!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.