What to Wear When Running in Cold Weather

Running is a popular form of exercise that many people enjoy year-round. However, as the temperatures drop in the winter months, it can be challenging to know what to wear to stay warm and comfortable while running. Running in cold weather can be safe and even beneficial if you take the necessary precautions and dress appropriately. In this article, we'll provide some tips on what to wear when running in cold weather, including how many layers to wear based on the temperature, and cold weather running tips for specific weather conditions.

Is it Okay to Run in Cold Weather?

When the temperatures drop, many runners might be hesitant to hit the pavement due to concerns about the potential risks of running in the cold. However, with proper precautions, running in cold weather can be safe and even provide some health benefits.

One of the main risks associated with running in cold weather is hypothermia, however, the risk of hypothermia can be reduced by wearing appropriate clothing, staying dry, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the cold. Another concern when running in cold weather is the risk of slips and falls, especially if the ground is icy or slippery. To reduce the risk of falls, runners should wear shoes with good traction and be mindful of their footing.

To sum up, yes it is okay to run in cold weather. It can be safe and beneficial as long as runners take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the elements. It's important to dress appropriately, stay dry, and be mindful of potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces. Lastly, please note that extreme cold temperatures can be dangerous, so it is always recommended to check the weather conditions before heading out for a run. With these precautions in mind, runners can enjoy the benefits of cold weather running and stay active throughout the winter months.

The Benefits of Running in Cold Weather

Running in cold weather can offer several benefits beyond just maintaining fitness throughout the year. Here are a few benefits:

  • Boosting the immune system: Research shows that regular exercise can help boost the immune system, making it less likely that you'll get sick. In fact, exercising in cold weather can help train your body to better handle stress and colds, as it has to work harder to maintain its core temperature.
  • Increasing endurance: Running in cold weather can help improve endurance, as the body has to work harder to regulate its temperature. This can result in more calories burned, improved lung capacity, and better cardiovascular health.
  • Improving mood: Running releases endorphins, which are the body's natural mood boosters. When you exercise in the cold, your body may produce even more endorphins, helping to elevate your mood and reduce stress.
  • Challenging yourself: Running in cold weather can be a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Overcoming the discomfort of the cold can help you build mental toughness and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Enjoying the beauty of winter: Running in cold weather can provide a unique perspective on the changing seasons. Winter can be beautiful, and running can be a way to experience it in a new way.

Overall, running in cold weather can offer many benefits beyond just maintaining fitness. By embracing the cold and taking the necessary precautions to stay safe, runners can enjoy the unique challenges and rewards of running in the winter.

What should you wear to run in cold weather?

Running in 50 Degrees

At 50 degrees, it's still relatively mild, so you can get away with wearing a long-sleeved shirt or a light jacket. You should also wear running tights or leggings to keep your legs warm.

Running in 40 Degrees

At 40 degrees, it's getting a bit colder, so you'll want to layer up a bit more. Wear a moisture-wicking, long-sleeved shirt under a lightweight fleece or vest, add ear warmers and some lightweight gloves to keep your extremities warm. Make sure you also wear a good pair of good winter running socks. Here at Venture Heat, we have our Heated Midlayer Shirt and some fleece options that come with different heat levels that would easily adjust to any cold weather changes.

Running in 30 Degrees

At 30 degrees, it's quite cold, so you'll want to wear multiple layers. Start with a base layer, such as a long-sleeved thermal shirt, and then add a fleece or sweater on top. Wear insulated running tights or pants to keep your legs warm, and add a hat, gloves, ear warmers, and some winter running socks. If you are looking to become a more dedicated or consistent cold weather runner, we would highly suggest looking into heated apparel that would help cut the bulky layers in half without losing any warmth. 

Running Below 30 Degrees

When it's below 30 degrees, it's extremely cold, so it's important to be warm and we would definitely advise that you invest in heated clothing such as a hoodie or a fleece jacket. If you don't currently own or aren't looking to invest in heated apparel, we would recommend dressing in layers and cover as much of your body as possible. Start with a base layer, such as a thermal shirt or leggings, and add multiple layers on top, including a fleece top and full length pants. Wear a hat, thick gloves, and ear warmers to keep your extremities warm, and consider wearing a neck warmer.

When it comes to running in cold weather, it's important to wear the right clothing to keep yourself warm and comfortable. Here are some guidelines to follow based on the temperature outside:

Running Cold Weather Chart

As an additional reference, here is a Running Cold Weather Chart for quick access and to easily guide you on how many layers you need and what specific layers to wear based on how cold it is outside. For easy access you may also click the button below to shop all of our heated running apparel that can easily be incorporated into any cold temperatures. 

Cold Weather Running Chart

Cold Weather Running Tips for Specific Weather Conditions

In addition to dressing appropriately for the temperature, here are some other cold weather running tips to keep in mind:

  • Windy Conditions: When it's windy, it can make the temperature feel even colder, so be sure to wear a windproof jacket or vest to keep yourself protected.
  • Wet or Snowy Conditions: If it's wet or snowy outside, wear waterproof or water-resistant clothing to stay dry. Additionally, wear shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on slippery surfaces.
  • Dark Conditions: When it gets dark earlier in the winter months, it's important to wear reflective clothing or accessories to make sure you're visible to drivers.
  • Hydration: Even though it's cold outside, it's still important to stay hydrated during your run. Bring water or an electrolyte drink with you, or plan a route that passes water fountains or stores where you can purchase a drink.

In conclusion, running in cold weather can be a great way to stay active and healthy during the winter months. By dressing appropriately and following these tips, you can stay warm, safe, and comfortable while you run.

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