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Elise's Winter Running Tips Posted on December 23, 2013

For many runners, the winter season is a time for rest. A lot of runners consider winter to be the “off” season, the time between fall and spring races.

But I’m different. I prefer to run right through the winter and take time off in the summer, when the heat and humidity keep me from being motivated to leave the comforts of air conditioning.

So if you’re like me, and you find running in the summer to be a drag, consider doing your training in the winter! There are many great reasons to train the winter: getting outdoors during the holiday season can be a great escape from the stresses of the season; running in the snow is a magical experience; it’s a lot easier to stay warm in the winter than it is to stay cool on a hot summer day!

If you’ve never called yourself a winter runner, fear not. Here are a few tips to get yourself out the door on the next snowy day:

Get the right gear

Every winter runner needs the right gear. You should have at least one pair of running tights, and another pair of heavier sweatpants that fit over your tights. Most days you’ll be fine just wearing the tights, but on really cold days, you’ll be happy to have that extra layer.

On top, you’ll want to wear a tech shirt that wicks moisture away from your body, as well as a coat to layer on top. I have two fleeces that I alternate between, and sometimes I’ll throw a lighter jacket on top of that if I want an extra layer of warmth.

Finally, you’ll need gloves and something to cover your ears, whether that’s a hat or a headband.

Once you get used to running outdoors, you’ll figure out what combination of gear works for you. Be sure to check the weather before you head out, and note the temperature and how you warm you felt on your run, and adjust your wardrobe accordingly in the future.

Consider your route

In the summer, trails and sidewalks are all clear for you to run on, but in the winter, these same paths can be icy! If it’s snowy or icy where you live, take it slow on the sidewalk or park trail until you know that you’ve got good footing.

Or, even better, consider running on the roads, which are usually plowed and salted, leaving them clear for cars—and runners.

Remember, you’ll warm up eventually

It usually takes me about 10 minutes to really start to feel warm on a winter run, no matter the temperature. So use the “just-get-out-the-door” rule: run for 10 minutes, and if you’re not yet starting to warm up, feel free to turn back around. But I’d bet that won’t be a problem.

Don’t forget to drink

Just because you might not be sweating as much doesn’t mean you don’t need water! Make sure you’re drinking some water during runs longer than thirty minutes, even if it’s just a sip or two. If cold water doesn’t appeal to you, heat it up before you fill up your water bottle and it’ll be nice and warm when you take a drink.


Running in the winter is a great opportunity to get out of the house during the dreariness of the season! Take a chance and try out some winter running today.


                               (Me running a winter 5-mile race last January. I was nice and warmed up by this point.)




*Elise Moser is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team!*




by Mark Spewak

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