Apr 14

1) join a running group – There is nothing more motivating than a dedicated group of
like-minded friends to encourage you to show up for scheduled runs, no matter what the
weather conditions have in store. My Saturday running group is one of the highlights of
my week, and we typically run rain or shine.

cold weather running 2) 2 sets of gloves – I have a set of Petzl running gloves, but they are typically not
enough once the temperatures drop below 10 degrees. A large set of fleece gloves
over the running gloves does the trick. If I end up overheating, I’ll remove the extra
gloves and stow them in my running belt.

3) compression socks/leggings – Though not their primary use, compression socks are a must have for single digit temperature runs.

4) running pants – Ditch the shorts around 32 degrees, depending on conditions.

5) head lamp – An essential piece of gear; our 7A start times are quite dark during the
winter months.

6) extra distance between yourself and the next runner – It’s essential to give yourself some extra distance between the runner in front of you. Just like driving on snow, the extra distance will give you time to react to trail conditions. You’ll want to pay particular attention to ice, snow, rocks, and other trail inconsistencies, which are all pretty typical hazards we run into very week.

7) go early – This may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but going early in the morning
is a great way to start the day. Our group typically starts out between 6 AM and 7 AM,
depending on the time of year. This gives you plenty of time to fit in a long run, while
still leaving the bulk of your day intact.

8) stop and enjoy then sunrise – fortunate as we are to live in Boise, ID, our runs in the
foothills provide tremendous views of the city, as well as various types of wildlife. A
brief stop to enjoy the views is food for the soul. Topped off with frequent sitings of
owls, coyotes, deer and elk, just make me appreciate the surroundings even more.

9) water bottles – Single digit temperatures cause water bottles to freeze within a hour of your departure. This applies to nutritional supplements as well, like Hammer Gel, Gu,
Cliff Bars, etc. You’ll hold off the inevitable a bit longer by storing these items closer to
your body (e.g. in a jacket pocket, etc,).

10) elk/deer scat – like running on ball bearings when frozen, exercise caution.


Mark Parsons

One Response to “Top 10 tips for cold weather running”

  1. Eric Says:

    as a member of Mark’s running group, I second these. A Nathan brand water backpack left me with water instead of ice in those single digit temps.

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