WINTER RUNNING: Common Mistakes

Winter running can be complicated. Between dealing with the cold, poor road conditions, unpredictable forecasts, and crazy precipitation, your motivation can plummet really quickly. Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid to help winter running be as comfortable as possible and keep you out there:


Yes, it is possible to overdress even when it’s 10* out. And that can be just as bad (or worse, even) than not wearing enough. [LEARN ABOUT LAYERING]

When you’re exercising, even in very cold temperatures, your internal body temperature rises. Your body perspires to cool itself. If you are overdressed, your body temperature rises more quickly, you sweat more, and the clothing you’re wearing can’t deal with it. Sweat builds up more quickly than your clothing can wick it away, creating a generally uncomfortable situation.

Rule of thumb – look at the temperature and add 15*-20*. Dress as if it is that temperature. You should be cold when you step out the door. Embrace it.


Your baselayer and midlayers should be SNUG! If they’re too loose, that cold air can get right in. Tuck your baselayer into your tights for some extra protection – most of them offer a long and lean silhouette for this reason.


Don’t spend so much time focusing on getting the right clothing layers that you forget about important accessories! On the very cold days, gloves and hats are a crucial part of your running wardrobe and can help keep you comfortable out on the roads.


Don’t be a hero. If the conditions are dangerous, alter your run or reschedule it.

If you had a morning run scheduled but it’s super icy out, maybe push it to the afternoon when the sun has given things a chance to thaw out a bit. Or if you’re planning to do a tempo run but it’s dark and sleeting outside, maybe try switching your schedule around, saving the tempo run until tomorrow and just doing some light mileage to keep your legs moving.

Yes, we highly encourage going out and getting it done no matter the weather – but there are some instances where safety (and quality of run!) is a consideration. Winter in New England means we have to be adaptable – you night owls may just become morning runners after all!

And for those instances where the ice just isn’t going anywhere and you’re itching to run (hello, January and February), invest in a pair of ice spikes – we carry spikes by Yaktrax, Kahtoola, and Due North in our stores.