How to Run During the Winter


Winter running is about more than just covering your upper and lower body. For your head, you can wear a hat or a band that covers your ears. If your fingers are cold, try mittens or mittens over gloves so you can take the mittens off if things warm up.

For shoes, you can buy winter traction devices that go over your sneakers, or put screws in the bottom of them to give you traction on slippery surfaces (you can buy cleats or boot studs made for this purpose, or quarter-inch or half-inch sheet metal screws, which are available at any hardware store; Chase the Summit, a YouTube Channel about trail running, has a great video on how to insert them).

If you decide to try adding screws, Greg Haapala, the race director of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., recommends trying it on old running shoes first, and making sure that the tips of the screws don’t poke through to your foot. “You can either simply wear older shoes as your ‘screw shoes,’ or once you know they will be comfortable for you, remove the screws from the older shoes and attach to your newer ones,” he said.


Haapala wears trail running shoes, which tend to have better traction, when running on snowy streets and sidewalks in the winter. He also wears sunglasses “even if it’s not very sunny, to block the winds and potentially blowing snow,” he said.


Jay Ell Alexander, the owner and chief executive of Black Girls RUN!, a group devoted to getting more African-American women to take up running, carries disposable hand warmers, which are typically sold at drug and hardware stores. “I keep a pack of them in the trunk of my car,” she said.

You’ll still need to hydrate on long runs in the winter. You can carry water in a handheld bottle, but that hand can get cold fast. Instead, consider a running waist belt with slots for water bottles, or a hydration vest. Just make sure that vest is running specific, not one designed for hiking or biking.

If you’re still working from home, and have flexibility in your work-from-home schedule, winter running doesn’t have to be in the cold, dark morning, or the cold, dark night. Midday runs may be an option — especially since your co-workers can’t tell if you’re sweaty when you get back.

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