7 Tips To Cold Weather Running

POSTED BY : Kirk Warner
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Our tips for cold weather running!

Cabin fever is REAL…especially in cold winter climates when you’re boxed inside all day and night, so you might as well embrace running outside! Regardless of where you live, running is actually the BEST way to take exercise comfortably outside…even in the coldest weather.

In fact, the equipment needed for cold weather running is surprisingly minimal, especially compared to other winter sports. Trust me, the fresh air is quite enjoyable once you prep yourself.

So whether you’re looking to refine your outdoor running experience OR you’re looking to take it outdoors for the first time, follow these 7 tips cold weather running tips.

1. Download a weather app

Choose an app that tracks temperature by the hour. Sure the day time high could reach a balmy 45 degrees, but it still might be 20 degrees first thing in the morning or after work. You’ll also want to know wind, precipitation, and sunrise/sunset. These crucial details will help you choose your clothing, footwear, and need for reflective gear and headlamps.

Remember, a sunny 25 degree windless day can be far more pleasant than a 40 degree day with freezing rain and howling winds, especially if not dressed right!

Wunderground is my favorite.

2. Overdress

It is far better to overdress and have to remove layers than to spend your entire run shivering. I opt for sweat-wicking material for cold weather running to avoid excess moisture on the skin.

The right clothes will not only keep you warm, but your ankles and knees will be that much more warmed up for your workout.

Below are some rough clothing guidelines for different temperatures:

If below 50 degrees: shorts or light leggings + light long sleeve top + light gloves

If below 40 degrees: leggings + long sleeve top + wind vest/jacket + hat + gloves

If below 30 degrees: winter leggings + warm long sleeve top + wind jacket + hat + gloves + warm socks.

If below 20 degrees: long underwear + winter leggings + light long sleeve top + fleece + wind jacket + thicker hat + fleece gloves + warm socks!

If below 10 degrees: all of the above + face mask

Looking to boost your winter wardrobe? Check out these Reebok offeringshere!

3. Bring an extra pair of socks

Whether you land in a random icy puddle or you’re battling some nasty rain and sleet, a pair of dry socks can be a game changer. Especially on those longer runs, dry feet means less blisters and less misery!

4. Warm Up…indoors

I have all my runners that I coach stop after 5-10 minutes to include some mixture of dynamic movement designed to athletically prep the body for better running. When it’s particularly nasty or dark out, spend 5 minutes doing these exercises BEFORE you head out the door: 10 squats + 10 leg swings + 10 lunges + 10 burpees.

Want an easy to follow warmup sequence? Check out “Step 2” of our Ultimate Guide to Better Running here. 

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5. Drink more than you think

The winter is dry, but cold weather running usually suppresses your thirst. Drink as much before, during, and after as you would in warmer months and you’ll be recovering in no time!

6. Plan your route

Are you dealing with slippery sidewalks? Perilously high snow banks? Or frozen and rutted out trails? Plan a route so you can execute your given run for the day safely and effectively. If you think you’ll be out in the dark, bring a headlamp and something reflective to wear.

7. Grow a BEARD…kidding…but seriously…

Women will swoon, cars will give you extra room, and you’ll instantly shave 3 minutes off your mile time. Plus, you’ll look extra cool when your beard is all frosted and frozen from your wintery run session. I’m 60% sure all of the above equally applies to women.


Written originally for Reebok. Read it here as well as other fantastic content on the Reebok site!

  • Rebecca Jakubowski Matteson

    I live in one of the coldest, snowiest regions of the continental US. I would add to these recommendations, Yak Traks for icy surfaces and packed snow. I encourage runners who live where there is significant snowfall to explore cross-country skiing and snowshoe running as options during the winter. Both are great work-outs and give a trail running kind of experience.