Baby, It's Cold Outside: Winter Running Tips

Published: January 12, 2020

Rock the Block Run Greenwood Indiana

By Monica Harvey for RTBR

Sticking to those new years resolutions or training goals for a race can be difficult when the weather is less than desirable. 

It’s hard to enjoy that long run when it gets dark at 5:30 p.m. on a snowy Monday after work. So we are providing some tips to help you get through the coldest months of the year.

Before you head out
  • Drink some water. It may be cold outside but that doesn’t mean you should stop hydrating.
  • Stretch and warm up your body indoors.
  • Check the weather conditions.
Plan your route accordingly
  • If it's been snowing then you’ll want to run along plowed or salted roads and paths.
  • If it's super windy then you’ll want to avoid running in large open spaces.
  • Avoid running on snow-covered trails. There’s more risk for injury.
Plan your layers of clothing
  • Layers are key to running in the wintertime.
  • Long sleeve base shirt and a pair of running tights.
  • Socks – some runners prefer wool socks others layer with an ankle sock and knee-high socks over their tights.
  • Hat or headband (bonus - layer both for extra warmth).
  • Gloves (bonus - stick hand warmers inside your gloves).
  • Fleeced lined, moisture-wicking, waterproof and wind-resistant are all good words to keep in mind when selecting winter running clothes.
Run or workout indoors
  • Especially if the path is icy.
  • Run on the dreaded treadmill.
  • Visit an indoor track at a local gym or recreation center.
  • Give your muscles a break and try biking or swimming.
Other tips
  • Consider running with a light or headlamp when running in the early mornings or evenings.
  • Bright colors and reflective gear help others to see you better.
  • Use Vaseline to protect areas of exposed skin like your face. Use body glide for more sensitive areas under your clothing to help prevent chafing.
  • Indulge in a warm beverage and a meal after your run!
  • Be smart, be safe and always listen to your body. 
Monica Harvey, a former Center Grove High School runner, participates in 5K, 10K and other races. A Rock the Block Run volunteer, she is a Community Relations Specialist with the Johnson County Public Library.