07 December 2022

Winter training: 10 tips for running in cold weather

December 30, 2016

It can be a struggle to maintain training regimes through the winter months, so we’ve put together our top ten tips for training safely and efficiently when the temperatures plummet. Get prepared – many are common sense – but we all need reminding from time to time!


1. On really cold days there is no shame in adjusting the intensity of your workout – the extreme cold saps your energy, so your body is working harder already.

2. Keep your extremities covered. This is especially important if there is any breeze or wind, since so matter how warm you are an icy blast is always energy sapping (and remember mittens are warmer than gloves).

3. Warm up well, start at a comfortable pace and slowly build up the pace. Remember this may take longer than usual – this is because of the cold not because your fitness levels are dipping.

4. Shorten your stride if it’s icy – this will help prevent slipping and injury.

6. Wind chill factor is really important to take note of. If it’s cold AND windy you will get colder much quicker. Be prepared, especially if your training involves phases of walking or breaks between efforts. Better to lower the pace and reduce the time stopped or going slower.

7. Look at your running route and see if you can make adjustments to avoid the worst of the wind. Even simply reversing a route can help and if there is no avoiding it then try to start running into the wind and finish with it behind you – when you are most tired.

8. Consider running in a loop. That way you can shorten your route anytime it becomes too slippy or if you are really struggling.

9. Leave the speed sessions or hill efforts till conditions improve. If you get injured in icy conditions you will lose more than just that weeks training. Consider moving indoors to a gym or treadmill for those high intensity sessions if that’s an option.

10. If you carry a water bottle then try and tuck it inside your clothing – freezing cold water is hard to stomach.

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine


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