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Winter Running Tips

By Kenzie Kramer on 02/11/2016 | Wellness Tips

With winter's chilly temps and short days, it's tempting to pass up running in exchange for a cozy blanket and couch time. As we all know, exercise is key for overall well-being and running is a great way to get up and get moving. To help make getting outdoors feel more doable, we talked to four running bloggers about their must-know tips for wintertime running. 

Dress the part! Layers are key, and make sure everything you're wearing is technical, breathable, and functional. Repeat after me: no cotton! (Also, remember you'll warm up a mile or so into the run, so be careful not to over-dress!)

- Ali from Ali on the Run

Lots of layers. If you really hate being cold at the beginning of a run, wear layers you can peel off and tie around your waist as you warm up. If you have a wind breaker, wear it. Wind can have a huge impact on your run and comfort level.

- Karla from Run, Karla, Run!

Appreciate your pockets! One of the reasons I love winter running is because all of my running jackets have pockets, so I can easily stash my phone, keys, credit card/cash, and energy gels without worrying about a fuel belt. 

- Gabrielle from Marathons and Macarons

Protect your feet. Invest in wool or extra-warm tech socks that wick away sweat. Feet often get forgotten when you're busy layering up the rest of your body. But as wind whips through the mesh of your running shoes or snow seeps in, your toes can get extremely cold.

- Karla from Run, Karla, Run!

Don't forget to hydrate! You may not seem as thirsty during a chilly run as you are during, say, a 75-degree day. But hydration is still really important, so make sure to drink water before, during, and after your run, even if you don't necessarily feel thirsty. 

- Ali from Ali on the Run

Use running as part of a circuit. You could do a cardio circuit consisting of rowing and running (example: 500m row as best as you can followed by 1/2 mile run as fast as you can. Repeat 3-4 times). Another way to integrate running into your workouts would be to use it as part of a strength set, for example: 10 burpees, 30 alternating mountain climbers,  20 alternating step ups with dumbbells, 15 kettlebell swings, 5 minute run. Repeat circuit 3 times. This keeps it fun and breaks up your runs into segments so you can push harder for each. 

- Katie Bottini

Wear reflective gear. Chances are, if you have a 9-to-5 job, many of your winter runs will be either before sunrise or after sunset. Wearing reflective clothing ensures that cars, cyclists, and fellow runners can see you from far away. 

- Gabrielle from Marathons and Macarons

Run with a friend! In the winter months when it may be less motivating to get outside, plan to meet a friend, takes the mental thought out of it and holds you accountable! Or better yet, find a running group you can join. 

Katie Bottini

The things that everyone agreed on: Be safe and enjoy a warm cup of cocoa afterward! Your cozy blanket will be even more enjoyable post-run. 

Warm gear is a big part of winter running. If you're looking for a way to protect your toes and support Girls on the Run, SmartWool, one of our national partners, has created limited edition GOTR socks that you can find here. For each pair sold, one dollar will be donated back to Girls on the Run. 

Kenzie Kramer


Kenzie, a veteran GOTR coach, is excited to share content that connects readers to the GOTR vision and inspires them to bring the joyfulness of the core values into their lives. In her free time, she enjoys baking, biking and running with her dog. 

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