Cold-climate runners offer their best advice for plowing through the chilly season.
Sometimes, the seasons seem to change overnight. One day, you’re ticking off miles on a brisk, 60-degree afternoon with sunshine overhead; then the next morning, the temperature dips below freezing, and your route is dusted with snow. But winter running doesn’t have to be all bad. With the right gear and mindset, you can not just continue training as usual, but you can actually crush your workouts.
Instead of turning back to the cozy comforts of home—or powering up the treadmill—use these 10 tips from cold weather pros to make the best of your winter running when the chilly weather hits.
How to Make the Most of Winter Running
1. Give Yourself a Carrot
Luring yourself out the door with the promise of a reward at the end—whether it be a catch-up with a friend or a sweet treat—works. “Set a date to meet someone for a run,” says Jean M., a reader in Colorado. “There’s no wimping out when someone is waiting.”
In January and February, the Running Room in Edmonton, Alberta, hosts the Hypothermic Half Marathon, which attracts 3,500 runners in 14 cities across Canada—even at temps as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. “There’s a big, free brunch afterward,” says John Stanton, the founder. “People will do anything for omelets and pancakes.” Solo? “Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it’s really bad,” says Patti Finke, a coach in Portland, Oregon. “Usually, you stay out there.”
To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better, says Mark Grandonico, president of the Wear socks that wick away wetnessbut keep your feet warm, like non-itchy SmartWool socks.in Portland.