3 Tips for Cold Weather Running

I hate cold weather. It’s one of the main reasons why I decided to move from Michigan to Texas. That doesn’t mean I completely escape the cold weather, but there are certainly less below freezing days down here. I also love running. So what happens when I want to get a run in but the temperature outside doesn’t agree with my preferences? Here are 3 tips you can use when it comes to running this winter.


#1 – Sweat Before You Run

No one likes warming up. It’s probably one of the reasons why so many people skip a warmup and jump straight into an exercise or cardio routine. But when it comes to running in colder temps your warmup becomes your best friend. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are all at an increased risk of injury when you try to go from 0-60 mph. It’s a shock on the body that’s completely avoidable.


A proper warmup primes your vascular and respiratory systems for increased loads, it makes your muscles and tendons more pliable, and it decreases your risk of incurring an injury. A good warmup will have you sweating before you’re even out the door.


#2 – Dress for the Temps

Trying to run in your typical winter coat isn’t going to be very comfortable. Runners seem to have their own sense of style when it comes to dealing with the elements. You want the protection from the cold, minus the bulk. Along those same lines, the best way to stay protected from the cold is to dress in layers. Moisture wicking nearest the skin, then an insulating layer that traps in air, and a shell on the outside to deflect wind. Don’t forget about gloves and headgear as well.


#3 – Don’t Forget Your Water Bottle

People think that because it’s colder out, that they won’t sweat as much if they are outside. You might not sweat as much as you would on a summer day, but you’re still going to sweat. That means you’ll need a hydration source while you’re out on your run. The size of it will depend on the distance you are running. For shorter distances, you will be fine with a 16 or 20 ounce bottle, while longer distances might call for a race belt or CamelBak.

Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters, police, EMS, and military personnel. He is a personal trainer, strength & conditioning specialist, full-time firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman. Join the movement to ensure all emergency responders are physically and mentally prepared to face the challenges in their day brings by following Max Fortitude Fitness on Facebook.