If you’ve been running regularly, I hope you’ve come to the realization that there’s simply nothing better than running outside. Treadmills definitely serve their purpose, but I love running outdoors as much as Mother Nature permits.
When winter comes, I try my best to brave the cold and get out there for a run — because once I’m a mile or two in, I remember how much it’s worth it. Running in cold weather can be wonderful if you have the right gear and a few tricks up your sleeve to help stay warm. Here are my best tips for running in cold weather.
Invest in a High-Quality Running Jacket
Winter running jackets can easily cost more than $100, but the investment is worth it. Look for something that’s both warm and windproof. I personally prefer jackets that pull over your head because they let less air in than ones that zip all the way down.
I also avoid jackets with hoods, since hoods won’t stay up while running. Make sure the jacket has reflective elements if you’ll be running during dark winter mornings or evenings.
Don’t Forget Gloves and Head Warmers
Don’t forget to keep your head and ears warm during your run. Look for an athletic head warmer or beanie that’s nice and thick but also made of moisture wicking material.
The same rules apply when it comes to gloves. When shopping for gloves, seek out ones that have windproof mitten attachments for added warmth. I hate having cold hands when I run, so I always wear at least two pairs of gloves if it’s under 25 degrees.
Layer up and Tuck It in
Cold air loves to creep into open spaces, so make sure to cover every inch of your skin before you head out the door. Tuck in your base layers to prevent your core from getting cold. Put on your socks first so that they’re layered beneath your leggings (or else you’ll end up with cracked, bloody ankles!). Tuck your sleeves into your gloves and buy a running scarf if your collarbone area chills easily.
Reflect or Create Light
The short days of winter mean that many runners are forced to jog in the dark. Wear a head lamp, reflective vest or clip-on blinking lights to make sure you remain visible to cars and bikes.
Beware of the Wind
Although 10-degree temperatures sound cold, what’s really cold is 10-degree temperatures with 20-mph winds. Check the weather before you head out for a run and pay as much attention to the wind speeds as you do to the temperature. Anything over 15 mph will require an extra layer!
All in all, it’s possible to be a year-round runner, even in the wintertime. Prepare wisely, and you’ll have as much fun as you do running in the summertime!