How to survive winter running

“Build toughness during the cold winter.”

Get motivated

Think of cold morning or evening runs like expeditions. Get connected via social media (join me on Twitter! @NoelPaine) or with running friends or groups to keep you going.


Plug in the earbuds and listen to great podcasts like (DizRuns) during quiet, dark winter runs.


A list of other options from Runner’s World: Running Podcasts

Get out the door

This is usually the hardest part. Get into a routine and when fully prepared you will be able to do it. A run outside will make you feel tough. This ways you do not have to endure dreadmill running all winter! Once you get rolling it gets easier.

Stay warm

Proper gear always helps. Warm insulated tights like those from Canadian company Sugoi (Sub Zero), tuque, gloves and layers. Dress just warm enough not to get cold (you will warm up once you get going). Try some warm socks like those from Smartwool to keep toes warm.

Get an insulated balaclava or a buff to ward off wind depending on how cold it is.


For super cold days have some hand warmers to throw in mitts if necessary. Not super fan of the Running Room here in Canada but they do sell some super warm mitts!

Watch the wind chill

Use a weather app or check online – wind can make things much colder. Apply some Vaseline to the face if needed. Temperatures near -40C with or without wind can cause frostbite pretty quick. Make sure you have a good running jacket to stop the wind.

Stay visible

During dark winter runs use reflective clothing, a headlamp (like one from Princeton Tec) or innovative products like Panther Vision that incorporates lights into running hats and tuques!

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Stay on your feet

On slippery days make sure your running shoes have good tread, like found on many trail shoes and screw in some icespikes into your shoes (or secondary icy day pair). These really work and take the worry out of running during icy conditions.



Get motivated, prepared and go get your run in!


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