Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them.

Don't Just Survive Running in Winter Months...Enjoy Them.

Surviving running in the winter months means dressing well and changing your attitude. In the summer, there is an abundance of articles about how to survive summer running, and in the winter, there are plenty of articles on “how to survive winter running.”

Don't Just Survive Running in Winter Months...Enjoy Them.

Both of those arguments imply we are only surviving the summer and winter months.  They imply we aren’t supposed to enjoy running during that time…just survive.

While winter can be frigid and summer can be scorching, the reality is every season has their positive and negatives. Parts of Spring and Fall are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. For argument’s sake, we will say about three months of the year are good running months are actually decent to run.  You can pick any weather to complain about.

That logic leads me back to the beginning.

How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?

It’s something I’m battling right now. I had no idea some days in Northern California were 35 degrees and pouring rain. The 35 I can do, the rain is eh.

I’m not a cold-weather person.  Ironically, I went to college where it could be -30 in January. I don’t miss that. Why I chose to do that, I don’t know, but I also don’t regret it.  This year, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there (even if out there is to the treadmill).

Here are a couple of tips to survive running in the winter months:

Run Indoors:

If it’s too cold or miserable, run inside. This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous, or miserable.  I wrote about it recently, but a treadmill is a tool. It’s not bad, embarrassing, or shameful. Stop calling it a treadmill, and you’ll be happier for it.

Layer Up:

If you are running outside layer up. Surviving running in the winter means dressing well. There are countless pieces of running apparel to keep you warm.  People who train successfully through the winter months, wear appropriate clothing.

Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built-in windbreaker leggings, and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, I prefer to wear more layers. What works for you, doesn’t work for everyone.  It might be trial and error for figuring out the right amount of layers for different temperatures. Surviving running in the winter means wearing the right gear.

Running is lifelong:

One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable.  Get a gym membership and try new workouts and cross trianing  Cross-training will only make you stronger, plus help burnout. Many gyms have created at-home workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice.  I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college.   I ended up breaking my arm.

Survive Running in Winter Months Conclusion:

Running in the winter months is fun. You can survive running in the winter months. Still, it involves wearing the right gear, as well as adjusting your attitude towards the possibility of running indoors or having to skip a run due to safety.

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Questions for you:

How do you enjoy winter running?

What are your favorite pieces winter gear? 


    1. I actually bought a pair of northface/gore tights last year that are fleece lined but also wind and water proof. They are the winter MVPS

  1. Sub zero running tights, merino wool and a down jacket keep me happy in negative degree runs:)

  2. I’m fine to about 32F, then I bundle up. As long as my head, hands and feet are not cold I’m okay.
    I love items from Craft such as their compression shorts, gloves and mittens. Under Armor gear is also great for layering.

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