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A Beginner’s Guide to Winter Running and Walking

Winter is tough enough as it is, and if you’re just getting into running, the cold can be cruel. Creating a plan of action before beginning is key to a successful winter season. With a little guidance and a lot of preparation, you’ll be excited to lace up and head out the door.

4 Ways to Prepare for Winter Running

  1. Set a Goal
  2. Like anything, setting a goal helps you better stick to a plan. Buy a journal to jot down notes on every run; they don’t have to be long winded or take too much time. Simple notes about how your run felt, what you enjoyed about the run, or what you can improve on the next run will provide insight into making every future run better.

    Who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition? Download free apps like Strava or MapMyRun to record your runs and follow other runners. We love these apps because they show us when we’ve beaten our own personal records, and even better, how we’ve matched up against runners who use the same routes.

  3. Stock Up on Winter Running Gear
  4. Winter workout clothes are all about the layers.

    First, your feet. Wear socks that keep feet cool and dry, and feature moisture wicking fibers to prevent feet from getting cold as you sweat. We recommend Enduro Low Cut Socks from Balega. If you’re running in cold temperatures where ice, snow, and slush is common, gear up with the Yaktrax Run. This unique winter traction device easily slips over almost any running shoe and allows you to run your natural stride on packed snow and ice.

    Next, your base layers. For women, a moisture-wicking sports bra is a must. Men and women should also invest in a fitted, wicking shirt that helps to maintain warmth while wicking away sweat.

    Time to layer. If it’s really cold, wear a less fitted running shirt or a light fleece over your base layer. This will keep you warm when temperatures dip below zero. Make sure your outer layer is wind and waterproof. You’ll be able to find a variety of styles with breathable features and removable sleeves, making it easy to take off layers if you get warm.

    Don’t forget about your hands, ears, and face. A good pair of running gloves wick away moisture and feature water resistant fabrics. Keep your ears and face warm with headbands or beanies, again, making sure the fabric helps remove moisture while trapping heat inside.

  5. Stay Safe

    Winter running comes with winter weather conditions, and you’ve got to be prepared. If you’re running in the early mornings or late afternoons, it probably means you’ll be running in the dark. Making sure other runners and cars see you is imperative to safe winter running. LED arm bands and reflective vests are affordable and easy ways to make sure you stay safe all winter long.


  6. Find a Running Buddy
  7. There are going to be cold days, rainy days, and tough days. Those days ache for a running partner. Winter running partners help push you through the times where motivation is not enough to get you out the door. If you don’t know anyone who runs, check with your local running club or independent running store.

    Yes, winter running is a challenge. Can you do it? Absolutely. Be prepared, layer, stay safe, and run with a partner. You got this.