9 Tips for Running in Cold Weather

One of the great things about running is that it's a sport you can indulge in all year round. Whether the temperature is chilly or hot and humid, with some reasonable precautions, you can still get out there and enjoy your daily runs.

Running in winter, however, does require a certain amount of planning to ensure that you don't end up stuck out in the cold. There's nothing more unpleasant than being miles from home in foul weather with no way to get back other than on foot.

Follow these tips to help ensure your runs are not only safe, but enjoyable, too:

4 Tips to Dress Properly for Running in Cold Weather

How you dress for the elements can make or break your winter runs. This doesn't mean you should pile on all the clothes you can possibly manage to stay warm. It is possible to dress too warmly, and the result can leave you sweaty and uncomfortable.

The rules for dressing properly are:

1. Dress in layers.

Wearing several thin layers of clothing helps trap warm air between each layer keeping you considerably warmer than if you were to wear one heavy layer. This includes socks; wearing two pairs of polypropylene socks keeps your feet warmer and drier than one heavy pair.

More: 3 Tips for Training in the Cold

2. Wear the right fabrics.   

One area where modern runners have a huge advantage on those who started out in the running boom of the late 1970s and 80s is in the types of fabric available for running gear. Materials such as polypropylene, capilene, and some wool/synthetic blends wick moisture away from your body and keep you as warm and dry as possible.

Avoid wearing cotton because it doesn't wick moisture and also has very little insulating ability, which will leave you wet, cold and uncomfortable.

More: 5 Minimalist Winter Running Tips

3. Wear a protective shell.

It's critical that you wear some sort of waterproof windbreaker or shell to protect you from the wind and precipitation. Gore-Tex is the best material to wear as it does a great job of releasing moisture from the body while also keeping out moisture from the outside elements. Nylon also does a reasonable job for a lesser price.

4. Cover exposed skin as much as possible.  

A hat and gloves are absolutely necessary once the temperature dips below freezing. Your body will lose the majority of its heat through any exposed skin, so cover up as much as possible. If it's really cold, you can cover exposed areas such as your face with Vaseline to reduce the potential of frostbite.

More: Don't Let Cold Slow You Down