Running in the COLD!

Run / Josh Eberly 1/5/11 Comments

How to run in the cold:

Well, I have a lot of experience running in the frigid conditions. 10 years in Gunnison, CO and 3 years in Michigan. BRRRR.

I have found some tips that will help you run in the cold conditions! Read on to find out more?

Rule 1: Warm your Core with a HOT Drink!

Hot Coffee!This is a very important rule. I drink a cup a coffee every morning before I run. I have found that in the 45mins to hour after drinking the coffee (hot drink) is the CRUCIAL time to GET outside and face the COLD!

After a cup or two of your favorite HOT drink, your CORE gets nice and warm! I have found that it makes it easier to get outside and start warming up!

I also found if you wait too long after your HOT drink,.. it takes even more GUTS to get out the door and warm up. So make sure you get your ARSE out the door in the 45mins - 1 hour after drinking!!!

Rule 2: Wear a nice tight base layer with just a jacket over it!

My favorite base layerYou might be one of the ones who puts on layer after layer after layer after layer. Let me tell you from experience from working in a shoe shop for 3 years that doesn't WORK!

Running apparel is so advanced these days, that you don't need much (if you pick the right gear)! You must FIRST get a BASE layer. These are usually fairly tight and not too thick. This helps connect your body to the material that will be creating the heat as you run.

Next is the JACKET~ the jacket must be a technical running jacket. It doesn't have to be super thick either. A jacket over the base layer helps keep that warmth from the base layer and your skin inside (to keep you nice and toasty). :-)

This is my favorite! (click for a look)


I don't know how many times I have over dressed. A countless amount of times. It makes the run horrible and uncomfortable.

There is a special number out there! It is "7". Yes, SEVEN! Right around the 7 minute mark of your run is where you start to warm up. Yeah, the first 5- 6 mins is tough, but if you can make it to the the SEVEN minute mark, then you are fine and dandy!

When you start a run and walk outside, if you are already warm... then you are wearing too much, and will be hurting mid run (i promise you). You should feel somewhat cold the first 5-6 mins. Once you get to the 7 minute mark, your body will have the fire going and you will start working up a good sweat!

Rule 4: Get some Yak Traxs!

If you have ever run outside when it is snowy or icy, you know how hard it is to keep upright! Well, with Yak Traxs on, it is a very nice and easy way to get traction if you are headed out the door and it is either snow packed or icy out.

The one bad thing about the Yak Traxs is that you need to find a route that has 99% snow. If you have a running route that has 50% snow and 50% road, then you will definitely damage your Yak Traxs. Not only will it damage them, but if you have ever run on the road with these things on, then you will know that it isn't that pleasant.

So a word to the wise. Make sure and pick your running routes carefully. Sometimes when I am running and I run into some concrete, I actually purposely jump off road and get into the snow.

These are a nice feature to keep you upright in the WINTER time. They have a PRO version and WALKER version. I have had both and they both work just fine. I actually did a 2 hour long run in the Walker versions and they performed brilliantly!

Rule 5: Hands cold, get some mittens!!

Brooks Paradox Mittens :: Full power vs Half power. These are descriptions we used to use in Michigan to describe if we used both layers of our mittens or just one layer.

Of course these mittens are produced by Brooks! They are insane! That is all you need to know. If you have trouble with hands getting cold while running, well you are in luck. I warn you though to be very, very careful when using FULL POWER (both layers) above 15 degrees. Your hands will sweat and get too hot!! I have made the mistake many times, leaving me no choice but to take off the mittens and stuff them in my pants so my hands can get a break.

Anyways, most of you will only use these mittens at HALF POWER, because you don't live as extreme as ME! That is okay, because they are worth every penny! Even if you use them at HALF POWER!


If you follow these simple rules, you should be fine in any temp. Did I forget any rules? Let me know. Below is a capture of our weather a few days ago. (Note, Maren and I ran 2 hours in this -25). And my body was ready for it!!!

Cold Weather Running