Running in COLD temperatures (Read 1082 times)


    I can't bear the thought of running in what has been cold as heck temperatures. Instead, and in the meantime, I run inside the club. I, of course, had been in and out of the cold when I go out, which is frequent, and for as little as a half an hour, I get numb. so, for those who run in cold temps., how do you do it, what type of clothes do you wear, and how do you do it without tripping in icy conditions, how Thanks Lisa
      Layer. Not that you will be a bit cold the first 5 minutes, take it easy and try to run with the wind until you warm up. Don't overdress so you start sweating though, and always use moisture wicking clothes. If you're sweaty you'll get colder and very uncomfortable on longer runs. From top to bottom: Head: I wear a breathable fabric hat. Important, it must cover your ears if you don't want them to break off! Face: Face mask below (-15 C / 5 F) (I made myself a couple face masks by simply sewing a bit of fleace in a tube shape with a pointy v in front. Or you can buy fancy ones in the store) Upper body: Synthetic TShirt Synthetic, thin long sleeve Shirt below (10 C / 50 F) Add a mid-layer undershirt (polartech power dry type) below (5 C / 40 F) Add a thin fleece pullover below (-5 C / 23 F) Add a running jacket below (-20 C/-4 F) Hands: Mine get very cold. Very thin lycra type gloves below (5 C / 41 F) I have a pair of fleece mittens lined with thinsulate for below (0 C / 32 F) I have huge mittens for below (-25 C / -13 F) Legs They're the last ones that get cold. Running pants/tights below (7 C / 45 F) Add long johns below (-20 C/-4 F) Feet Polyester, moisture wicking socks and my regular running shoes I might add a sock liner or warmer sock below (-20 C/-4 F) When it's very icy, I put on those rubber things you put on your shoes "Get a grip ice jogger". But I rarely use them and try to avoid instead icy routes. This is roughly my routine when I go out. If it's windy, I tend toa add a layer. Noticed you had two locations on your profile, Minessota and Iceland. Are you currently running in Iceland? It sounds cold, although Minnesota is probably colder. - R
        This is my 7th. year of running through the winter here in Michigan and although it doesn't get as cold here as in does in Minnesota the same techniques apply. Dress in layers. I wear from one to three layers of wicking type running clothes; long sleeve shirts on top and tights on the bottom. If it's very cold or windy I'll add an ordinary long sleeve cotton jersey or a fleece on top to break the wind. Any runs below freezing also require a pair of Cool Max briefs (a critical accessory for us guys). Don't bother with jackets because unless they are very well ventilated they'll just trap moisture inside and get you wet. Any tube type head gear or light weight polyester stocking cap works well for the head. To keep my hands warm I wear a pair of light weight Cool Max glove liners and if it's very cold I'll add a pair of mittens. Thorlo makes excellent wicking type athletic socks. I wear my normal running shoes year round and rarely have trouble with slippage. You tend to shorten your stride in the snow or ice so your c/g stays over your feet. I've slipped more while walking than running. If it's really icy you can use screw shoes. Just convert an old pair of running shoes and keep them on hand. Key points to remember are always dress as though it's about 20 degree warmer than it is. You should be cold for the first mile or so. It's better to be under dressed than over dressed since moisture is your worst enemy when running in the cold. Also, never wear anything made of cotton next to your skin. It will get wet and conduct heat away from you body. It goes without saying that you should stay close to home or at least close to help. A sprained or broken ankle can be a very big deal at sub zero temperatures since you will be lightly dressed. Tom

        I've got a fever...

          Lots of good info from the previous posts. My simple rule of thumb is to dress for running how you would if you were just going to hang out in weather that was 20°F warmer. So if it's 20°F outside for your run, dress like you would for being inactive outside in 40°F weather. This keeps you from overdressing, which was always a bigger problem for me than underdressing when I lived in Michigan. Be sure to take the wind into account with this rule of thumb. Of course, being in Minnesota/Iceland, you're talking about bitter cold. If you're out in extreme cold and wind, in addition to dressing like the previous posters have advised, I'd suggest putting vaseline on what skin is exposed on your face. Protects your skin from the cold and wind. I usually did this below 10°F and/or if it was extremely windy.

          On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

            Layers are the best options. It gets pretty cold here in Mass. My typical attire for a really cold day (we had a -15 with wind chill day that I had to do a long run a few weeks back) would be running shorts (tri shorts actually) spandex running pants - well, they are tight anyway - not sure if they are spandex wind pants - mine are lined with fleece long sleeve shirt running jacket gloves hat and for really cold days I have a face mask that I think is for skiiers but works good for me. But you should typically be a little bit cold as you walk out the door because you will warm up. Best of luck Jeff
              Hey, I'm in Maine (and a weather wimp) and all of the above sounds great to me... To add, I typically feel better if I warm up inside, especially hands and feet, so 1-2 miles at the local YMCA and then outside shorter neighborhood loops so I can add/ shed layers or get a cup of coffee (helps with the last lap) .I can change to dry clothes and do my cool down/ stretching inside too without freezing up. Careful on the ice - I've already fractured an elbow in a slippery driveway - just getting back to the push ups two years later Good Luck, reward yourself with hot cocoa!



                This is the second winter I have run through and I have only slipped and fell once. It was while making a hairpin turn around a pole, The ground was Ice with about a 1/4 inch of standing water on top of it. I know, don't know what I was thinking, you just have to fall in that situation. Having run over 700km the last 2 months without a problem, I guess I didn't even think about the possibility. As long as bare skin is covered in temps 25 F or less you will be fine...so thats light gloves not big warm ones, a hat and a face mask of some sort. Now your stomach and butt will be red from cold but you won't feel it until you are done. I've been out for over 2 hrs in -10C weather with just tights a thermal dri- fit wicking top over a base layer of wicking type material pants and top .......and the gloves, hat and face mask ofcourse. If it is windy you will need another layer for sure.

                "The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling." - Lucretius

                  The how I get out there in the first place is a lot more difficult to answer. Sometimes I don't, but really it just helps if I know I have a schedule to meet. If a treadmill is an alternative, sometimes I'll do that for shorter runs. Still, with regards to the how.. I've run enough in winter (Maine, Wisconsin, and Syracuse) to pick up a few thoughts on this. The first thing, there is a temperature below which you should Not go out, doesn't really matter how bundled up you are, it's not worth it. If it's too cold, you're risking much much more in the way of your health by going out than you are by staying in and taking the day off or finding something else you can do. The less time it takes for you to get frostbite, the less time you should be outside, that's just common sense. As has already been mentioned, also don't go too far from home. If you have to put in distance, it's better to do laps around a couple block square than to go on some long out and back that takes you away from civilization. With the "don't go run in -25 with 15mph wind chill" bit out of the way, dressing for the cold isn't really that difficult. If I'm not going to be dealing with snow for the most part, I'll usually just wear my normal type of socks, though ones that definitely go up above the ankle. Just make sure they aren't cotton. I usually wear some running shorts and some tights. The tights I have right now are some Sugoi ones made for cycling, with a thin lining inside as well. Any pair with a bit of lining will probably do the trick. That's been fine down to the teens if there's no wind. I've added some poly/lycra skiing pants (not tights) to get down into the singles or near zero. If there's wind, or it's below 0, I usually throw on the warm up pants I have, and that's been fine. For the torso, it depends on what I'm getting into. A poly short sleeve shirt, a quarter zip poly nordic skiing long sleeve shirt are my base layers. From there it depends on how cold and such what goes on top. I have a nice nordic skiing jacket from Craft that does a bit of wind/precipitation blocking, and with that on top I'm pretty much fine. That can be changed out for something a little heavier in worse weather, as long as it protects you from whatever elements, and can breathe a bit (vents, etc), you're in business. I don't tend to go running in weather cold enough to really make me want a face mask, but they can be really handy if you can deal with it. I've had bad experiences with the head sock things though. I picked up an Under Armor arctic beanie which is incredibly light, fits down over my ears, and has really surprised me with how warm it can keep me. I've used a variety of other hats for colder weather, but that one has done a great job. I may be a little unconventional, but for gloves I prefer to shy away from running gloves. My hands always get cold a little too quickly. Instead I usually just steal from my cache of nordic skiing equipment and wear one of my pairs of Swix skiing gloves. Fairly light weight, warm enough for exercise, and they can protect you from the elements. As always, with the central parts of your body, layering is the key. It'll take some time trying things out to figure out what works for you. Always better to have too much and take off something than to not have enough. The other cardinal rule is that if you're going to be generating sweat and it's cold, you really Have to have something that wicks. You need to get the moisture away from your skin as quickly as possible. It's about staying warm instead of staying cool, but not doing it is probably a fast-track to frostbite, hypothermia, etc. And for ice? Short quick strides tend to work pretty well. There are a variety of spikey things you can put on your shoes as well (I even knew one person who had a pair of racing shoes that he kept just for ice, he'd put short pointed spikes in and claimed that did the trick), though I haven't experimented with them.



                    Try a polyester wicking layer to maintain dryness while running.  I have found an inexpensive long sleeve top made by SB Tech that wicks well.


                      i agree with the layers.  the first few minutes until you get warmed up will be cold, and make sure you give yourself time to properly warm up, but after five or ten minutes you should be pretty warm.


                      registered pw

                        Holy old thread! layers are always best.

                        2017 goals:

                        sub 1:30 half