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Taking the Chill Out of Your Winter Run – How to Run Outside in the Winter without Getting Cold!

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I gotta admit – winter is my favourite time of the year to run outside. The trees are beautiful, you burn more calories digging through the snow and I don’t feel as over-heated as I do when running in the summer. Don’t share my enthusiasm for winter running? Then here’s a few tips on how to run outside in the winter without getting cold so you can enjoy winter running too:

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How to run outside in the winter - these are great winter running tips for winter running motivation!  #winterrunning #runningmotivation #runningtips

How to Run Outside in the Winter without Getting Cold!

1. PILE ON THE LAYERS
The base should be a synthetic, moisture-wicking fabric; the middle layer should be a fleece; and the outer layer should be a windbreaker to protect against blustery weather and precipitation. But you don’t want to feel toasty. You should dress to run so that when you run out of the door, you should feel cold because at the end of your run, even if it’s only 20 or 30 minutes, you’re going to be sweaty. Thick cotton is a go-to winter fabric for everyday use but its a greedy fabric, it absorbs moisture and holds onto it. When cotton fibres get wet, they become coarser, becoming a breeding ground for blisters and chafing. Synthetics with “dry weave” labels are best.

How to run outside in the winter - these are great winter running tips for winter running motivation!  #winterrunning #runningmotivation #runningtips

2. WINTERIZE YOUR SHOES
The most common injuries winter runners suffer are falls – buy a pair of shoes designed for the season that are more wind and water-resistant with a multi-directional tread pattern on the soles. If you don’t want to make that kind of investment, you can strap traction devices  such as the ones manufactured by Yaktrax onto the soles of your running shoes to get a good grip. A DIY option is putting sheet metal screws on the bottom of your shoes.  (It might also be worth upgrading the size of your shoes for the winter to accommodate double-layered socks).

YakTrax-Run-Cleats

3. CHOOSE CLEARED RUNNING SURFACES
You may burn more calories trying to race through piles of snow, but a cleared sidewalk, road or trail will help you maintain a steady pace.

4. PROTECT YOUR FACE
Slather a protective layer of wind-blocker on exposed skin. My budget-friendly pick? Original Ski Balm ($9.89 from Amazon) bonus points for it also having an SPF of 40.

Another option is to invest in Buff Headwear.

How to run outside in the winter - these are great winter running tips for winter running motivation!  #winterrunning #runningmotivation #runningtips

5. USE THE ELEMENTS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Before you strap on your gear for a January jog, check the weather conditions – Even more important than the temperature is the wind direction make sure you’re running against it first, and with it on the way home. You might also want to adjust your running schedule in the winter when daylight hours are limited.

6. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
On particularly frigid days execute the “10-minute test”. Give yourself 10 minutes, get dressed and go out for a run and if you’re still feeling it’s too cold or too wet, go back. The beauty of that is that you still got 20 minutes of running in, no matter what.

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 Wind-chill factors, black ice and snowbanks shouldn’t signal the start of couch potato season!

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Do you run in the winter?  
How do you prepare for a winter run?

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

Thursday 18th of January 2018

I'm totally with you - I'd choose winter running over summer running any day, even with all the additional considerations that come along with winter running. I think it can be a very pleasant experience if you're on cleared pathways and are dressed appropriately (which is the #1 key to enjoying winter running, from what I've found). Merino wool is also great for a baselayer - I swear that stuff is magic.

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Lucie Palka

Friday 15th of January 2016

Those are great tips for winter running! I ran my first 10 km race last year, in -20 (-30 with Windchill) and it was quite the experience. Luckily I was dressed properly. What I find tricky is running when the snow is melting. I've had a bad experience with wet, cold feet!

Launna

Wednesday 13th of January 2016

I don't run but walking quickly always warms me up in the winter ... I need to purchase those tractions for the shoes... I'don't feel safer walking fast or doing a quick jog ??

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