10 Cold Weather Running Tips and My Fave Cold Gear


Greetings from the frozen tundra of Tennessee.  We get cold weather, but obviously it is nothing compared to what some of you experience.  Here’s a list of cold weather running tips based on my experience.

Cold Weather Running Tips

1.  Layer your clothing.  Wear thin wicking layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed.

2.  Synthetic fibers.  Cotton is rotten.  It holds moisture and will keep you wet.  Synthetic fibers will wick away the sweat.

3.  If possible, warm-up inside to get your blood flowing without breaking a sweat.

4.  Protect your face, head, and extremities.  Wear gloves, an ear warmer, or a winter hat.  About 40% of your body heat is lost through your head.

5.  Try to start your run into the wind and have it at your back for the second half of your run.  Running into the wind after you’ve broken a sweat will only make you colder.

6.  Don’t forget to drink.  You’re still sweating and need to replenish your fluids.

7.  Your respiratory system will adapt to the cold burning in your lungs just like it adapts to running in the heat.  Give your body a few runs to adapt.

8.  Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and lip balm.  You can still get a sunburn during the winter, and the lip balm will help to prevent dry, chapped lips.

9.  Change out of your sweaty clothes immediately after your run, so your body can start to warm up.

10.  Runner’s World has a great “What To Wear” Tool to help you select your clothing based on the weather conditions.  When determining what to wear, don’t forget to pay attention to the wind chill.


Here are a few of my winter running favorites:

Nike Element Shield Full Zip.  The Nike Element Shield Full-Zip Women’s Running Jacket is warm and comfortable with sweat-wicking fabric and a 3-D interior that keeps heat close to the skin. I’ve had mine for years and it’s still going strong.


Lululemon Bang Buster Headband.  I’ve bought multiple colors because it fits so well.  I love that it has a thinner elastic band in the back that doesn’t ride up.


Wrightsock Double Layer Cold Weather Running Crew Sock.  I wear these when my regular Swiftwick Zero’s aren’t warm enough.  I’ve never had a blister from the Wrighsocks and they really do keep your toes toasty.


Saucony Ulti-Mitt.  Convertible mitten gloves.  The gloves are great and you can pull the mitten layer over when it’s super cold.



HotHands Hand Warmers.  On the coldest days, I will tuck a hand warmer in between the glove and mitten layer.  It works perfectly because it warms my hands without actually touching my skin.


Now it’s your turn!

What tips did I forget on my list?

What are some of your favorite cold weather running products?

 What is “too cold” for you to run outdoors?


15 thoughts on “10 Cold Weather Running Tips and My Fave Cold Gear

  1. Jen, those Saucony gloves look great! I need a new pair, I think…hmm. 😉 I love Hot Hands, too! Since my hubs is a hunter, we always have these around and I’m so thankful. Umm, is there a temperature that is TOO cold to run in?!? HA! I think the coldest it’s ever been while I was out on a run is 16 degrees; just takes a little longer to warm up, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loathe treadmills (mostly because I can run twice as fast outside vs. on a treadmill) so I endeavor to run outdoors all winter long. And where I live that means temperatures as low as -45º and colder (Canadian Prairies).

    So I have learned that it is never too cold for running, if you dress properly.

    My biggest tip for people is wear a face mask. It is uncomfortable at first, but really, breathing in warmer air can make such a huge difference.

    Second, when I go for long runs, I often do loops of my area, so that I am never very far from home if I decide I can’t continue. It is generally too cold for my phone to work, so keeping yourself safe and not being able to rely on being able to call someone is important.

    Third. Know that even though its cold out, your body still warms up. Generally my feet/hands are cold only for the first 2-3km, after that they get all nice and toasty. (I ran the second half of a half-marathon last year without mittens because my hands felt so warm. It was -30º)

    Oh, and if its icy, wear spikes on your shoes. Yeah they make your feet feel heavier, but its better than falling.


  3. I think you hit all the key points Jen!!! Numbers 4, 5, 8, and 9 are HUGE even for Florida where we get brief cold snaps throughout winter. And aren’t hot hands the best!!! I love them … best invention EVER lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that headband! I may need to get one.

    Last winter I became a big fan of running with a scarf on. I thought it would be constricting, but it is just enough neck/lower face coverage to keep me cozy!

    Liked by 1 person

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