Running is great exercise since it’s an effective cardio workout, but when winter rolls around most runners head indoors. However, with preparation, the right attitude and the proper equipment you can run in almost any kind of weather. If you follow these useful cold weather running tips, and add a little determination, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the fresh and crisp winter weather… instead of sweating it out in a stuffy room on a treadmill.
#1 – Dress in Layers
To stay warm and dry, wear an outer windbreaking layer over lightweight wicking fabrics. Dress for temperatures warmer than it feels outside because your body warms up quickly during exercise. Avoid wearing wool and cotton since they absorb and retain moisture, which will make you colder.
#2 – Wear the Right Shoes
To avoid injuries wear sport-specific shoes. Look for running shoes designed for your foot type that are well cushioned, and have a tread that will reduce skidding. Be sure to shorten your strides to compensate for slipping and save speed for indoor exercises.
#3 – Keep Covered
Wear a toque while running since about 40% of body heat is lost through your head. Keep your fingers toasty by donning mittens (they are warmer than gloves). Wear sunglasses so you don’t become “snow blind” from the glare.
#4 – Stay Safe
Wear reflective gear so drivers can see you. Run close to home and change your route often. Don’t listen to music while you run outdoors: you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always carry identification, and make sure someone knows where you are running and approximately when you’ll be back.
#5 – Stay Hydrated
You should drink water before, during and after a run. Although you might not be sweating, your body is still losing water.
#6 – Just Breathe
Although it’s not possible for your lungs to freeze, be conscious that the cold air can irritate the respiratory tract. If you can’t carry on a normal conversation while running — slow down — you’re running too fast.
#7 – Warm Up and Cool Down
Before beginning a run you should warm up properly for a few minutes. Start running into the wind at a comfortable pace and gradually go faster. Finish with the wind at your back to make it easier to get home if you’re tired.
Muchas gracias to our own reporter/assistant editor Maya Chendke for filling in as our model! Photos of Maya by Rob Dutchin.
Maya is wearing Nike apparel:
Sphere React Jacket, $185
Sphere Reach S/S Top, $60
Sphere React Tight, $80
Air Max Moto N2/Winter Running Shoes, $85
Triax Speed Watch, $79
Thanks to Nike Canada for lots of incredible winter running gear, back then and now.