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Winter running tips

Hoping to be outside running more this year than on a treadmill.  Wondering what tips and gear I should consider to stay warm and to not slip on the ice or snow!

3 Replies

Winter can be the best time for running!  (I think so, anyway.)  Dramatic weather can be thrilling to be out in. Nanospikes are good for running on hard-packed snow and ice.  You can just slip them on over your favorite sneaks. I also like a light pair of gaiters to keep snow and slop out of my socks.  My favorite gaiters for running shoes are made by Ice-Bug.

For the rest of it, I keep a variety of layers on hand: a few different weights of tights, the same for tops along with a wind-proof shell.  I usually don't need a lot of insulation, especially up top, but wind protection is important on some days. Sometimes I wear a small pack so I can shed layers.  For example: I often start out with cold hands and wear double layers of mittens, but by the time I've gone a mile or two I need to take off a layer.

I also keep two kinds of eye-wear on hand: sunglasses for sun-on-snow brightness, and also a pair of lightly tinted glasses for days when it's cloudy but the snow or sleet is blowing - they keep the ice-grains out of the eyes.

Go outside 'n' play!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I just remembered one more thing - I put vaseline on my exposed face when the temperature gets into the single-digits.  It works well.  I don't care for balaclavas.

 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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@jbweb I love winter running, especially if you live in a location that has seasonal change. There is something to running the trails after all the leaves fall! Here are a few tips that served me well over the years.

  • Always layer up. Start with a nice base layer and make sure it is non cotton. Choosing a next to skin layer really comes down to personal preference. I love running in a Smart wool Mid-Weight base layer, but if you don't like wool on your skin I really love the REI Co-op Lightweight Base Layer Long-Sleeve Crew Top. Next I usually go with a fleece or another non cotton layer if it is super cold, then a fleece as my outer layer generally. I never wear a down layer and would opt to wear two fleece layers or running jacket\wind breaker rather than go with a more insulated options.
  • Always wear a hat if you’re cold before you start your work out. Cold is relative depending on the person but if you walk outside and are immediately cold, grab a hat. You can always put it in a pocket or carry it. You lose so much heat from your head. Also sweat and cold don’t mix, so this is as much as a moisture management tip as it is a means to keep your body temperature regulated.
  • Wear gloves!  I wear The North Face FlashDry Glove Liners, a light weight soft shell glove.
  • Make sure not to wear cotton socks. Go with a wool or a synthetic blend. I prefer to use Balega Enduro Quarter Socks. They maintain shape after long term use, they have seams in the right places, and manage moisture really well.
  • I grew up in Wisconsin and slipping is a concern almost 6 months a year. Making sure your eyes stay focused on your path and keeping proper running form is key to staying on your feet. I personally prefer not to wear a traction aid. One of my favorite places to run was on a frozen lake in the winter. I used to run the snowmobile tracks, usually the trails they create have good foot traction. It is also a great way to enjoy a local lake from a different perspective.  

I hope your winter running is amazing and inspiring!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.