Winter Running

It was 15 degrees (with windchill) for this past weekend’s “long run” (12 miles) which may make it the coldest weather I’ve ever run in. I realize that many runners routinely run in temperatures most colder, but passing up the treadmill for the cold is something fairly new to me.

In years past, anything under 25 would be a no-brainer treadmill run. I don’t know if it is a mental shift, a change in clothes from previous years, my weaning motivation to run on the treadmill or a combination of all of the above. But, I’m pretty pleased with the minimal amount of treadmill running I’ve done the last few weeks (note: I haven’t run that much to begin with, but when I have run, most of the time I’ve been outside).And it’s been more than just getting the runs in outside – I’ve actually been enjoying them along the way – which has been the most surprising part of the whole thing.

Since the only really tangible change I’ve made is my clothing, I wanted to share what I’ve done in case you are looking to run more in the cold or need some ideas for winter running clothing (most of my gear is Saucony since I have participated in a few ambassador programs with them, but most running brands should have comparable items!)

– More layers on my head. Instead of wearing a thin ear warmer which used to keep my ears warm but did nothing for my head OR wearing a super thick hat which caused my head to overheat and sweat (and then I would be cold for the latter miles of a run), I now wear a visor with a thin hat over. It keeps my ears and head warm without overheating. photo (85)I also love this combination hat from Saucony (it’s fleece lined in the inside and water resistant on the outside) that does the job of the visor and hat.


– Thin Jackets: I was under the assumption that the more layers I wore or the thicker the clothes, the warmer I would be. So I would often wear lots of layers and/or fleece layers on my upper body. But I never, ever felt warm. For Saturday’s run (in 15 degree windchill), I wore a long sleeve shirt and one of my Saucony jackets and I was completely warm and comfortable for the 90+ minutes.

The jackets are well insulated and does a great job at keeping the body heat inside – while also providing a great barrier to the wind and other elements.

photo (94)

– Full tights – no capris. I don’t think I wore tights once last year. In my mind, that 6 inch space on my legs wouldn’t make a difference if I was warm or cold. I’ve made the jump to full tights this year and wear them on almost every run. The tights are a thicker material than the capris I used to wear – so I am finding that my legs are staying warmer.

– Two layers on bottom. I did this for the first time on Saturday. I wore a pair of running shorts under the tights to keep my upper thighs and butt warm – two of the areas that are often cold when I return from a longer run. The extra layer helped and my lower half was toasty warm the whole 90+ minutes.

Thankfully, the 10 day forecast is showing fairly mild weather for the NYC area – so fingers crossed that we’ll get a bit of a break for a while!

*Disclaimer: I received some of the Saucony gear while a member of the 26 Strong team. The rest of the items I purchased myself. I am currently not sponsored by or a member of the 26 Strong team.


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    9 thoughts on “Winter Running

    1. Pingback: Winter Running Necessities |

    2. Funny – I’m the complete opposite… I don’t like winter at all but, when it comes to running, I don’t mind it because I do SO BAD duting the hot, humid months…

    3. Good for you Michelle. Cold weather running is NOT easy no matter where you live!!! Loved your tips and since I have many of your Saucony clothes it was really helpful!!!

    4. Most of my layers are Saucony too and it really is amazing what the right clothes will do! I really feel like training outside helps me come race day too. I love the idea of shorts under my pants! If anything is a little cold it is my thighs or my rear so that would be perfect on freezing days!
      Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..You don’t have to hibernate!My Profile

    5. I have somehow come to appreciate those super cold morning runs. Here in GA it doesn’t get too cold, but the last couple weeks temps have been in the teens or lower. I’ve learned the best thing I can do is always wear my fleece lined cold gear tights and a good wind breaker jacket with layers underneath. Here’s to hoping Spring comes soon!!
      Alaina M. @ The Simple Peach recently posted..RUNNING CHRONICLES: January #3 {Seattle in ATL}My Profile