Andie Thueson » Wellness » Healthy Living » Tips for Healthy Living » How To Run In The Snow and Cold

How To Run In The Snow and Cold

· · ·

 As temperatures start to drop it is important to learn how to run in the snow and cold properly so that you will prevent injury and keep your body temperature stable.

As I look at the upcoming forecasts, it’s enough to make a grown woman cry. This Arizona girl is not a fan of the cold and snow and it is a coming quickly to the great state of Utah. Did I mention that I’m a complete wuss when it comes to running outside? Well, I am! On that very same note, I really detest running on a treadmill…

Picking the least of the two evils and having to knock out some serious miles on my journey to train for a marathon, I decided I needed to give running outside a chance. So I did a little research to help make the most out of (in my opinion) an unpleasant scenario.

As a result of my intensive research and my need to stay warm, I’m sharing with you lovely readers some of the tips and tricks I came up with. All tested and approved to keep us toasty and comfortable when running in the snow and cold, icky weather! (Well as comfortable as you can be anyway.)

First off, its all about wearing layers! You want to start with a loose fitting, long sleeve, wicking base layer. Think Dri Fit, Thinsulate, Thermax or other such brands. This will allow you to wick your sweat away and keep you dry and warm. DO NOT wear a cotton base layer as this will leave you wet and cold and that is NEVER a good combo.

Second, you’ll need a wind or waterproof layer. You’ll want one that will allow both heat and moisture to escape to prevent overheating or chilling. One with a zipper is optimal to allow you to adjust for the proper exposure and allow you to self-regulate temperatures as needed.


You’ll also want to wear close-fitting long running pants or leggings. Your legs generate the most heat so you don’t need as many layers. Just stick with a synthetic material.


Wear a HAT! As they say, you lose a ton of heat from that region! Wearing a warm hat or headband that protects your ears will help keep you warm! A fleece or wool hat is best! If you start to overheat you can easily take your hat off and tuck in the back of your pants. 

You also want to wear gloves and nice, NON-cotton socks. They have great wool socks nowadays made from merino wool that are amazing! They keep your footsies warm and toasty and actually prevent foot odor for a win and a win!

Some other things to consider when you are learning how to run in the snow and cold: 

  • Wear protective lip balm – the cold and the wind can chap those soft lips of yours.
  • DRINK your water! Do NOT forget just because your cold… your body still needs it!
  • Give your body time to warm up and adjust. Walk briskly for a bit as your body adjusts to the cooler temps.
  • Warm your body up with dynamic stretching and avoid static stretches.
  • Stay low. Shorten your stride and your feet lower to the ground. This will help you better navigate the sometimes treacherous terrain.
  • This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Avoid running on packed snow and ice. This will help keep you running instead of ending up with a good ole’ injury.
  • Think warm thoughts – imagine running on a beach or in a park in the summer. Never underestimate the power of your mind to help you power through.


There it is folks! After a couple runs in my new winter gear I’m an old pro and less of a wuss. Of course, I still have my limits! It’s no dice if it’s under 20 degrees.

Are you a winter runner? Any sage advice I might have missed? Speak up!


  1. double up on your layers and a face covering and you are good to go under 20.

    1. Great Tips!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. -Add micro-spikes that slip on over your shoes and you are good to go on ice and snow!
    -You do still need water, but not as much as in the heat since you aren’t sweating as much. Generally you don’t need to bring water with you unless you plan to run for longer than 40 or so minutes, but do drink plenty as soon as you’re home!
    -And because the photo might be misleading to some, do a slow jog to warm up- don’t stretch before running as it increases the risk of injury. Stretch after a warm up jog if you like, but always make sure to stretch after returning from a run.
    -If you drive elsewhere for a run, don’t forget a change of clothes. Sweat-soaked clothes can leave you cold FAST once you’re stationary.
    -Don’t forget a headlamp or other visibility measures given the shortened daylight hours in the winter.

    1. Yes! Thank you for mentioning that – the pictures drove me bonkers when I came across this! Lots of people believe you should static stretch before a run period, but in the cold weather you should DEFNITELY be doing a dynamic warmup before you start, and I usually do mine indoors so that I’m already warming up when I walk out the door instead of trying to warm up muscles that have already been blasted by the cold.

      1. Sarah, I should clarify that! It’s hard to photograph a dynamic stretch! But you’re right static stretching is not the best! 🙂

  3. Saw your great post on Pinterest. Here’s my take on cold weather running when it’s below zero outside!

    1. Thanks for sharing your tips as well! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the tips! My marathon training started this week and we are buried in snow with temps only in the single digits, and no end in sight!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Does anyone know where I can get that beanie?!?! I’ve been searching and can’t find it 🙁

    1. I got it at a local running store– so not sure where you can find it online 🙁 Sorry!

  6. This is so good to know! Important to continue exercising even though it’s cold out.

  7. Great tips – finding the right gloves has always been key for me, my fingers freeze!

  8. I love these tips, especially b/c the temps just took a nosedive this week! Thank you for sharing!

  9. These are really awesome tips! Thank you so much! So helpful!

  10. I’ve lived in Ohio all my life, and I’m still a wuss when it comes to running in cold weather. Thanks for these tips!

  11. Renee Goerger says:

    I’m new to running and will one day run outside (right now I’m on a treadmill). Thanks for the great tips.

  12. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for posting this! I am trying to get in shape and it’s freezing up here in Iowa and I am also from Arizona and have only been here a little over a month. You have no idea how perfect this post was for me! Haha thank you again! Great tips, I’ll be using them all!

    1. Stay warm friend!! We Arizona girls need to stick together! 🙂

  13. Great tips! I just started running this summer. I’d like to continue but I’ve been dreading when the weather turns cold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *