5 Tips to Help You Unlock Success on Cold-Weather Runs

Running in freezing temperatures and down snowy trails can definitely be intimidating. While these cold-weather runs require some additional prep time and planning, trust us when we say, once you get out there, you too will be hooked on the magic of a winter run. In this blog post, we’ll dive into 5 tips to help you both prepare and thrive on your cold-weather runs.

1. The Art of Layering

Layering up for a winter run is an art-form. You need to strike the perfect balance between not being too cold and not being too hot, while also dealing with other factors like moisture in the air, frozen fingers, wind chill, etcetera, etcetera. So what’s the magic formula? Here’s our recommendation: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer - this will help keep you dry and prevent that uncomfortable chill when you slow down/finish your run. Next-up, an insulating middle layer which helps lock in that precious heat but doesn’t add too much bulkiness. Our women’s Northeast Classic Quarter Zip offers this ideal balance - it’s soft, warm, sweat-wicking, and breathable! Finally, top this all off with a weather-resistant outer shell. This will be your trusty shield against the most undesirable elements like wind, rain, and snow. Make sure that this outer layer is also breathable so you don’t overheat as you work through your miles. With these three layers, you will be fully geared up to conquer whatever chilly weather mother nature throws your way!

2. Unexpected Essentials: 3 Overlooked Accessories for Your Safety

There are a few winter running accessories that often fly under the radar but can make a world of difference in keeping you comfortable and safe during cold-weather runs.

  • First and foremost, traction is paramount. While investing in new cold-weather running shoes (that have winter treads and are weather resistant) might not be everyone's cup of tea or within budget, ensuring proper traction is a game-changer to help prevent nasty wipeouts. Enter ice cleats – attachable to your existing running shoes, these handy, relatively low-cost accessories provide the grip you need, reducing slips and slides, and keeping you upright during winter runs. We are after all, runners, not figure skaters! Here’s a link for a pair we recommend
  • Second, with shorter days in winter, visibility is crucial! While we encourage planning your runs for during the day, if running in the dark is unavoidable, we highly recommend wearing a reflective running vest or a headlamp to ensure you are visible during your nocturnal adventures. This is especially important if snowy sidewalks force you to run along the road!  Also - please grab a buddy for those nighttime runs :) 
  • Third, don’t overlook your skin and eyes! The winter sun can be intense, and the snow’s reflection amplifies it. A layer of sunscreen (yes, even in the winter!) is a must against those potent rays (and wind burn!). Remember to also protect your eyes with trusty sunglasses–Goodr makes our favorite pair. The cold air and wind can be especially harsh on exposed skin, so layering on some moisturizer before you run can add protection and help prevent painful chapping.  

3. Be Flexible With Your Running Routine

Winter's whims can throw surprises your way, so stay flexible with your running schedule. If the cold becomes too biting, consider indoor alternatives like treadmill running or cross-training. Plus, cold weather can impact your body's performance, so be prepared to adjust your pace and mileage accordingly. Give yourself extra time to warm up your muscles, and don't push too hard, especially if the roads are a little slick. Ease into your run, and remember, getting out there is truly the battle, so be proud of whatever you are able to accomplish that day! 

Pro Tip: Plan your route before venturing outdoors. Opt for well-maintained (and shoveled!) paths and steer clear of spots prone to icy patches. Our go-to trick is running close to home, offering a swift escape if the weather decides to throw a curveball your way!

4. Stay on Top of Hydration and Stretching

Even in cold weather, staying hydrated is crucial. The dry winter air can be dehydrating, and you may not feel as thirsty as you would in warmer temperatures. Make a conscious effort to drink water before, during, and after your run to maintain optimal performance and recovery. Make sure you have a full and proper warm up with dynamic stretches and consider doing this indoors before hitting the trails. Cold muscles are more prone to injury, so warming up indoors is an excellent strategy to boost blood flow and prepare your muscles for the cold outdoor conditions.

5. Post Run Care

Once you're back indoors, quickly change out of your wet, cold clothes and put on some dry, cozy layers. Then enjoy a warm beverage, such as an herbal tea or cup of hot water with lemon to help rehydrate you (and sometimes, what you really need is a nice cup of cocoa, which is always encouraged!). Once you are nice and toasty again, cool down and stretch! Some simple stretching and foam rolling can help release tension and keep your muscles loose. Your body will thank you for the TLC!

So there you have it! These 5 tips will have you prepped and thriving on your cold-weather runs! Remember, it's not just about conquering the elements but also enjoying the unique joys that cold-weather brings to your running journey. So, gear up, hit the pavement, and let the winter running party begin! 🏃❄️

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