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Best Cold Weather Running Tips

This weekend marks my first super cold race of the Winter season. It’ll be 27 degrees when I huddle up with friends at the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k. The snow has started to come down and it’ll accumulate overnight to make Sunday’s race a true Winter endurance event.

You can head out for a Winter run, if you have the proper gear. Photo credit: Run2Succeed

You can head out for a Winter run, if you have the proper gear. Photo credit: Run2Succeed


I’m a believer that most weather is appropriate for running in, you just need the right gear to help keep you warm. With a little bit of preparation beforehand, you can keep warm and still perform well. These are my best Winter running tips that I’ve learned over the years from friends, running magazines and my own trials.


Cold Weather Running Gear Tips

  • Purchase “throw away” layers from Walmart or a drug store. You can toss them after you’ve warmed up. Look for cheap sweatshirts or hoodies. Most races collect and donate them to people in need post race.
  • Apply Duct Tape over your running shoes to keep cool air out and your toes warm. See an example here. They’ll stay dry too, if it’s snowing.
  • Purchase shakable hand warmers to keep in your gloves. You can toss these later as well.
  • Focus on keeping your core warm. Vests often work well to keep your core warm without feeling cumbersome. This running jacket is my current layering option that I wear, from LuluLemon. It has a removable vest that I can add for colder runs or remove if needed. So far, I love it!
  • Emergency blankets are also a cheap option to keep you warm until the race starts. I usually stock up on several from Walmart and keep them in my running bag.
  • Apply Vaseline or Aquaphor to your face to protect against the cold.
  • Still hydrate like any other training run. The cold shouldn’t alter your hydration plans. I use Nuun hydration tablets as my preferred sports drink.
  • Bring a dry pair of clothes for after the race or another emergency blanket. Large races will pass them out. You’ll be cold post race too!


Tell me…

Do you have any Winter running secrets or tips?

Or do you stay inside and train on the treadmill?


Wednesday 10th of February 2016

Cold weather and running do not go together for me... Well, really, running and me don't go together. ;-)


Monday 8th of February 2016

I'm not much of a runner but I'll certainly be keeping some of these tips in mind for hiking. I never knew that races donated the "throw away layers." I think that's pretty cool!

Yona Williams

Monday 8th of February 2016

I haven't run outdoors before, except for maybe a lap or two around a high school track when snow was still on the ground. I like the duct tape tip – I would not have thought of that.

Nikka Shae

Sunday 7th of February 2016

I commend you for running in the cold. I'm usually running out of the cold to stay warm.


Sunday 7th of February 2016

I have friends that run all winter long, which is impressive living in Maine. I agree on the suggestion of the thrift store!

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