7 Tips for Running in the Cold

The best way to get yourself out the door in these colder winter months is to get prepared. We know it’s going to be tough, it’s chilly, it’s windy, it’s dark but if we are prepared we will have no problem crushing miles this season.

Layer up

The best way to get yourself prepared for the winter is to invest in some solid running gear. This stuff is built to make your run more comfortable. Layering is key to keeping you toasty and dry. When you’re getting dressed your top layers should be as follows. You’ll want to start with a base layer that sits right up against the skin, this top should be made of a polyester blend material that moves moisture efficiently. Over top of that a great half zip is the way to go. Using these two pieces should get you through most of the winter. The third layer to think about would be a nice jacket to go over the top. These can be lightweight and water resistant to help keep you dry on a rainy or snowy run. With the base-layer, half-zip and shell you are golden.

Stay on your feet

Usually when it’s cold there is ice. Ice can be slippery and you want to stay upright when you’re running. So keeping your wits about you is key for running in the cold. You’ll want to keep your eyes on the road to make sure you don’t miss that puddle that just froze over, or the snow pile that melted and froze overnight. If the weather is a little more rough and the snow and ice are covering the ground completely you may want to invest in some Yak-tracks. What are those? They’re an awesome tool that you strap to the bottom of your shoes to give you better traction. They’re incredible.

Cover them ears up

You need to be comfortable to make sure you get your run done. The best way to do that is to be warm when you’re out there. Now some folks will rock a winter hat and some folks will rock a headband. I’m not super concerned with what you prefer but want to make sure that you keep those ears covered up.

Do not overdress

I’ve fallen victim to this lately I’ll look at the thermometer and throw on clothes that folks would wear walking through the Arctic Tundra not running on the East Side of Providence. Our rule of thumb is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than it is outside. So if it’s 20 degrees and you’re heading out for a run, dress like you were just hanging out in 40 degree weather. So maybe forget about that ski jacket and pants.

Stay Hydrated

Folks forget about this and by folks I mean…me. Just because it’s cold out side you can’t stop drinking. We remember in the summer because we’re constantly reminded that we’re losing water through our sweat. Well newsflash you need to drink in the winter time. Folks who are training longer distances need to remember this, you’ll truly regret not taking that water along on the 20 miler even though it’s only 20 degrees out. If you’re training for a Spring Marathon you need to stay on top of hydration. You can do some serious damage not hydrating properly in the winter.

Cover your face up

Wind and cold can do some damage to your skin as well. Make sure to cover up as much exposed skin as possible. When the temps dip down into the teens and single digits think about investing in a face-mask or bandana. These can be used to cover your nose, mouth and cheeks throughout the winter. You’ll severely reduce your risk of windburn by covering your face up. Sunglasses are not just for the summertime these days. A good pair of sunglasses can help keep snow out of your eyes and protect them on a windy day. It can be pretty sunny on a winter morning run especially with the sunlight reflecting off the snow.


Sometimes the weather is so bad it’s not the best idea to go outside at all. If at any point the weatherman mentions to stay indoors or if you’re not comfortable running outside, don’t. If you have a treadmill awesome hop on that and get a few miles in, if not you can cross train a little bit or take a day off. You’ll make it up when the weather clears up!


Coach E

Bob Bischoff2 Comments