Running in the cold can be intimidating to runners. Extreme temperatures can mess up your training schedule, but it doesn’t have to. Here’s ten tips to help keep you warm and prepared on your winter runs.
1. Wear wool moisture wicking socks, such as Woolie Boolies
Wool socks keep your feet warm, wick the water away, and are really comfortable to wear. They also can help you not get blisters. Defeet Woolie Boolies are good ones to use. Also a note here: never buy waterproof shoes. If water gets in (creek crossing, puddle, etc), there’s no way for it to get out and you’ll end up with swamp feet. Just trust me on this, you don’t want it! Stick to breathable shoes with moisture wicking socks for the best comfort.
2. Wear compression leg sleeves
3. Wear gloves
If weather is over 40 degrees, just cheap cotton gloves just from Walmart will do (if it’s not raining.) If it’s raining or under 40 degrees, you’ll need to get weather resistant wicking gloves rated for under 30 degrees. Fingers are the hardest to keep warm when running in cold temps.
4. Carry water
Even though it’s cold and you may not be sweating, you still need to carry water with you. A handheld with about 20 ounces of water should be enough in most cases. You need to keep hydrated.
5. Wear a windbreaker
If it’s cold and very windy, you may want to consider wearing a windbreaker to help keep warm. Just note that it’s not breathable, and you need to make sure you aren’t getting too hot and sweating on the inside of the jacket.
6. Wear layers
If it’s very cold, you’ll want to wear layers. Make sure that they are easy to take off, as most people overdress and end up getting too hot.
7. Take a pack
Consider taking a small pack to store layers of clothes. It’s also nice to be able to stash food, keys, cell phone, etc. in your pack. You could also get a moisture wicking toboggan or ear warmers.
8. Invest in a head/face warmer
Robbie recommends and uses the Inov8 rag. It can be used in many ways to keep neck, head, ears, and face warm.
9. Carry tissues
It may sound silly, but if you’re anything like me, your nose will run a lot more in the winter. Tissues are great to have and just chuck in your pack if possible.
10. Don’t panic if your feet get wet
Keep running and if you’re wearing the right socks, like Woolie Boolies, your feet will stay warm and dry back out. Robbie ran his first ultra (32 miles) in 8 inches of snow, with several creek crossings, and came back with all his toes intact 😉