Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake: How to Dress for Winter Running

Hello friends!

I’m currently on my way to Germany with my mom and brother to meet up with my dad for our family vacation (stay tuned for some fun Europe posts!), so in the meantime please enjoy this guest post from one of my blogger BFF’s, Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake!


Tina’s blog is a favorite of mine and one I’ve been reading for years — long before Tina and I were real life friends. I love how blogging brings people together :)




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Guest Post from Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake:

How to Dress for Winter Running

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I’m running my first marathon in just a few weeks. It’s in Phoenix, where the weather is warm and sunny, but the majority of my training was done in a much cooler climate. In fact, I did my 20-mile run in 30-degree weather along the Charles River in Boston. Needless to say, it was a cold, long run!

Just because the winter brings chilly temperatures, doesn’t mean that my running routine has to suffer. I used to dread running outside in the cold, but learning how to dress properly for the conditions made it much more enjoyable. Here are some winter running tips to get you out the door and running!

Dress In Layers

Dressing in layers for a winter run is important– but you don’t want to overdress either! I start with a thin layer of ‘wicking’ clothing, which absorbs body sweat. I avoid clothing made out of cotton because it holds in moisture, which is uncomfortable and ultimately makes me feel colder. The next layer that I wear is a breathable layer that will protect me against the cold and wind, but releases heat so I don’t overheat.

When getting dressed for a run, I like to keep the "25 Degree Rule" in mind because my body heats up as I run, so this temperature estimate gives me a better idea how to dress. If you haven’t run in the winter before, go out for a quick test run around the block and add or take away layers if needed.

Cover Your Hands and Head

My hands get cold quickly (even in the more mild weather), so I always wear gloves once the temperature outside gets below 50 degrees F.

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Similarly, when the temperature drops below 30 degrees F, I wear a hat on my runs, which prevents heat loss through my head.

Just Do It

The thought of running outside in the winter always used to make me miserable, but training for a marathon in November and December in Boston quickly changed my thinking. Instead of obsessing about the cold, I focus my attention on how great I will feel once I’ve accomplished my run. Usually, it takes me five minutes or less to forget about the cold.

Be Smart

Before I head out for a run in the winter, I always check the weather report. If the wind chill is in the single digits or there’s snow and ice on the ground, I take my workout inside to the treadmill. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


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Thanks for the guest post, Tina! :) These are great tips. I actually like winter weather running way more than summer running (heat is my kryptonite), and “just do it” is one of my main tips, too! It’s really hard to walk out the door on a freezing cold day, but once you start running, you’ll be warmed up in mere minutes.

I hope you guys enjoyed the guest post! Do you prefer running in hot or cold weather?


  1. 1

    I’m finding that I like running in the cold a lot more than the hot and a lot more than I thought I would! I agree — that hot shower afterwards is such a great reward!

  2. 2

    Haha I supposed I like running in moderate temperature the best! That’s probably not surprising. If I had to choose, I’d rather it be colder than hotter…but I live in Chicago so that may be why.

  3. 3

    I like to run in moderate temperatures (actually, in a fairly narrow range of 12 – 22 Celsius). But I feel like if I ever get more serious about running (I’m a dilettante currently), I may learn to enjoy running in the cold (I mean, I am down with skiing, so why not, as long as you dress properly?)

  4. 4

    I don’t run. I am one of Anne’s mature readers but I do love to walk every day. I enjoy brisk walks in the cold weather. I get too fatigued in humid weather. (I live in Atlanta and it can get very humid). I belong to a walking group and we meet at my church every day to walk for one hour. I envy you girls that can still run, I wish I could.

  5. 6

    I have to say that even though running in the cold can be difficult at first, I prefer it to running in the heat. It gets SUPER hot here in Florida during the summer and it is downright miserable.

    • 7

      UGH I lived in Tampa over the summer of 2009 and I hear you on the heat! Running there in the summer was BRUTAL. I just remember dreaming of water the whole time.

  6. 8

    Great tips! I love cold weather running over hot/humid running! My favorite temp is about 50.

  7. 9

    I just started winter running this year. In previous years, I’ve taking my workouts to the gym beginning in November. But this year, I’m still going strong outside. We just got about 12 inches in our blizzard. I went out for a run this morning (@ 12 degrees F and a windchill of about -1) BUT, with layers, running mittens, neck gaitor, Yak Trax on my shoes, and a hat – I felt great!

    I love reading your blog and look forward to it everyday!

  8. 11

    Definitely prefer the cold, but TOO cold is awful for me! I recently ran a 10 mile race in 15 degree wind conditions, and my fingers went so numb that they were in pain! When it’s that cold, wear TWO pairs of gloves!

  9. 13

    I definitely prefer really cold to really hot, but got used to running outdoors int he Texas heat last summer. It was in the 30s for my half marathon earlier this month and I loved it! Gloves are crucial.

  10. 14

    I will admit that I haven’t been running outside basically since the 5K on Thanksgiving! Shameful, I know, but it’s COOOOOOOLD. I guess I don’t have too many excuses to complain now that I’ve read these tips though – goodness knows that Jenny has beefed up my workout wardrobe with plenty of layerable UnderArmour running goodies. Thanks for the info! Now that this ridiculously crazy wind seems to be dying down here in DC a bit (it’s seriously been like, brace-yourself-as-you-walk windy) I can give it a try and really finish out 2010 strong!!

  11. 15

    I’m usually without gloves until the temp hits about 20 degrees. I’m a very hot (temp wise, haha) runner. I usually go for a face mask in the negative temps. When there is a lot of ice, my pace slows down significantly but all is good to run outside as long as my cleats are working. When they stop, it is time to run on the tready!

  12. 18

    I start trying to talk myself out of running when the temp drops below 60F. hahahahahah.

    Instead I just throw on a giant hoodie, which is totally the wrong way to go, because as soon as I warm up I have to run with a giant hoodie tied around my waist. I need to invest in some long sleeved running shirts.

  13. 19

    I prefer running in warmer over colder to be honest, but running in really hot weather is definitely not fun. For some reason I shy away from cold though and I think its because my throat really hurts when I run in the cold. I wonder if that is something that would go away if I just did it a few times.

  14. 20

    I’m one of the crazies that much prefers running in the heat to the cold. Even extreme heat. I just hate the chills I always get after running in the cold. Although, even I will admit that once I get started it’s usually okay.

  15. 21

    I’d rather run in the cold than the extreme heat, but my cold weather running has a limit. As long as it’s not too windy, too cold (negative degrees or single digits NO), or too snowy, I’ll run. It’s hard to get a day in VT that doesn’t fit those criteria though, so the treadmill and I have become friends lately.

  16. 22

    Great tips, Tina! I also live in Boston and though I am only an occasional runner (I use it to break up my gym routine), I love winter weather! I start running outside around Thanksgiving and go through the winter! Besides black ice, it is a blast! Love your tips! See you by the river? ;)

  17. 23

    I prefer running in neither hot nor cold! But if I had to choose, I would pick cold. You can always layer and remove!
    Good luck during your marathon!

  18. 24

    Cold weather running is definitely preferable to warm or hot weather running, unless there’s a strong breeze, that is. And I’m with Tina, that gloves come first, as the temperature drops, then a cap that covers the ears, then long-sleeve T-shirt, and finally, running pants and a sweat shirt or other top… It’s easy to overheat in the winter if one wears too much “snivel gear!”

  19. 25

    Speaking of cole weather running, I’m training for my first half marathon in april so the majority of my training is going to be in January, February, and March and the biggest thing I struggle with is a VERY sore thoat from breathing in the cold air. This seriously affects my runs :( I really don’t know what to do to prevent this and wonder if anyone else struggles with this as well.

    • 26

      Unfortunately I don’t really have any tips for you – I’ve had this problem before too but normally it’s not a huge problem. Have you tried wearing a face mask or anything to warm the air a bit before you breathe it in?

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