Running in the cold can be brutal at times unless you prepare properly!
I feel that I have some bit of credibility in the area of running outside in the winter as I’ve had just under a 5 year running streak with well over 4 years of that outside every day. I ran through the brutal cold winter in 2019 were I ran this 1 mile jaunt in just over 7 minutes in -17°F wind chill.
As you can see by the picture it does not take long at all for things to start freezing with those types of temperatures.
Here are my top tips for running in the cold and snow.
1. Layers, layers, layers
Having multiple layers allows for you to shed layers as you start to warm up on your run. You have to dress for the weather that is about 10 degrees warmer that the actual real temperature. So if it is 30°F out you should be dressing for 40°F. As your body warms up you want to have layers that wick away moisture from your body as well.
2. Traction if there is any ice
I have tried many types of traction because in 2012 I slid on a sheet of ice and broke my ankle. I’m very cautious when it comes to keeping my footing now. There are options like YakTrax, sheet metal screws directly into the bottom of your shoes, but my favorite are the Due North traction devices. They are cheap, have great traction and are easy to take on and off your shoes.
3. Find shelter from the wind
Sometimes the best thing you can do is pick a route that has a good wind block or a route that has the wind behind you for most of the run. This will lessen the chances of getting frost bite on your face if it is exposed.
4. Duct tape the toe box of your shoes to block the wind
Another simple and cheap thing to do is putting duct tape on the toes of your shoes. Shoes are made to breathe and most are made for running in warm weather. This doesn’t work well in the winter. To block that wind and moisture from coming into your shoes and getting your socks wet just a nice layer of duct tape will do the tick!
5. Run on the streets if possible
If you are out for a run and the sidewalks have not been cleared yet your best bet is to head out into the street. I tend to run in the streets anyway as I don’t trust sidewalks being even and in good enough shape with enough light on them.
So there you have it my top 5 tips for running in the cold and snow.