Cold Weather Running and 10 Miles

So, I just randomly ran 10 miles this morning. I know it’s not that big a deal since I just ran 15 miles this weekend, but it was unplanned and I never run that long during the week! Long runs are like going out to me, I always think “I can’t do that on a weeknight (or day as the case may be)”.

I realized that I am going to miss my scheduled long run this weekend when I’m in Boston. I will be doing a 10 mile race, but was supposed to do 16 miles on Saturday. I figure 10 and 10 equals 16 in some twisted way? No? Oh well.IMG_9396

Post-run I went straight to the kitchen for FOOD! I wasn’t sure how much I was going to run so I didn’t bring any gatorade or gels. I needed refuel fast! I was lucky there are 2 water fountains on my route, but that definitely wasn’t enough and I was a chugging champion when I got back.IMG_9397

I made an open faced egg sandwich with laughing cow cheese the other side had butter, a sprinkle of splenda and cinnamon.IMG_9400

I ended up going back for another piece of bread with PB after this was gone in 3 seconds.

I am going to Boston tonight! Tina, Chandra and I will be running a 10 mile race on Sunday. But this means I’ll be running in the cold again!!! If you’re new to RER I had to run in the cold last winter when I lived in Maryland for a year.

I never enjoyed running in the cold, but I was training for the Disney Marathon during a pretty tough snow season so I had to learn how to survive.

Here are my tips for Cold Weather Running:

1. Gear Up! (See below)

2. Check the Weather – I know this may be obvious to most, but coming from Southern California, I only check the weather when I hear rumors of rain which isn’t often.

Be prepared to change your plans according the to weather. Be flexible with your training.

3. Join a gym and hit the treadmill. Sorry, if that’s not what you want to hear but cold weather running is brutal to me.

4. Be Careful! Snow and ice and rain make sidewalks very slippery. Go slower, be overly cautious and live to run another day.

Gear Up for Running in the Cold! Make sure you start with a base layer of a sports bra (if you have boobs, even little ones like me) and a long sleeve sweat-wicking top. IMG_8124

Then, pile on the rest in layers…

cold weather running gear

1. Ear Covers – your eyes will burn if they are left out in the cold! I got this at Old Navy a few years back.

2. Neck Gaiter – I got this at Target in MD. They don’t sell stuff like this at Target in CA, so you will have to find it at a specialty store.

3. Long Sleeve Top Layer – Make this wick-wear if it’s not too cold OR Waterproof if it’s rainy or snowing.

4. Gloves – Nike brand from Big 5. Gloves saved my chubby little blogging fingers from falling off, but these must be quality. The cheapie dollar store ones are useless.

5. Running pants – Target, reviewed here. There are many different thicknesses you can choose from depending on how cold it’s going to get.

6. Wool Socks – These were my snowboarding socks that I turned into running socks when I moved to MD. I have never seen anyone else pull wool socks over their pants, but I swear it’s good (even if you look like a running fool).

When it got super cold I added a wind breaker and/or thick vest to the ensemble. running vest

Now I must track down all this gear in the depths of my closet and pack it up for Boston! I’ve never been there before and am super excited!!!

See ya later Smile

Do you have any tips for cold weather running?


  1. says

    Great tips! Gloves are the first addition to my running wardrobe when the temperature dips below 50 or so. For the top, I highly recommend a wicking sports bra; a quality, long-sleeved wicking layer (Target has some excellent options for both); and some sort of long-sleeved outer shell (I like REI brand and Patagonia). For the bottom, running tights or 3/4-length capris usually work well for me. I wear an UnderArmor hat, too, on especially chilly days. Come to think of it, my cross-country skiing and cold-weather running wardrobes are identical! Good luck this weekend!

  2. says

    My tip is don’t do it! 😉 Just kidding (a little)…my tips are wear gloves, a wicking layer, and something to cover your ears!! It is brutal when ears and fingers are cold!!

  3. says

    I run in the cold a LOT, and my biggest tip is to not OVERdress. Overheating is no good and taking off the top layer is bad if the under layers are soaked with sweat.

    I am an expert on dressing a baby for cold weather runs though!

    • says

      In my experience, I find if I’m uncomfortably cold when I go out to start my run it’s perfect for my run..ha. I usually wear a big jacket to where I start my run, take it off and go from there with whatever I plan on keeping on- For some reason wearing a beanie helps keep me warm. Then if it gets too hot, it’s easy to hold and run. I’ve run where it was snowy, and I only wore a sleeveless shirt with pants, but even then I wanted to take the pants off- but I didn’t have shorts on under, so oh well.

  4. says

    I think you’ve got all the tips covered! My only tip is to push past the first mile because for the first mile in the cold you feel like you may die. After that, you’re warmed up and it gets better from there! At least for me! :)

  5. Michelle says

    Welcome to Boston! :) I hope I spot you at the race! I’ve been running here throughout the winter and those are all stellar tips. I also use hand warmers for most of my run. (Probably because I use dollar gloves!) They’re amazeballs.

    I’m also running the same race on Sun and it’s a rain forcast! Wah! But 51 degrees, which is pretty decent!

  6. says

    10 mile races are my favorite. It’s just the perfect distance for me.
    I hate cold weather running, too, but I live in Virginia, so it’s inevitable. I tend to underdress when running because I warm up quickly, but everyone is different. However, gloves are a must. My hands are always the last to warm up.

    Have a great trip to Boston!

  7. says

    Hi – I’m new to your blog but love it already!

    I’m in L.A. and I am seriously impressed you’re going to run in Boston! I can’t imagine the shock to the system!

  8. says

    I’m always running in the cold weather and I’m all about layers, layers, layers. You can always take off if you get too hot. I also sometimes run in those huge irish knit wool sweaters or a fleece. Have a safe trip!

  9. says

    You are lucky, it is going to be a balmy 54 degrees on Sunday! That may seem freezing to you, but when compared to a high of 25 today it is not so bad!

  10. says

    I definitely agree that gloves are a must! The first time I had a long run in the cold (Christmas day actually) I balled my hands up into fists to keep my fingers warm. I learned my lesson though. Every time I opened my hands for any reason the sweat that had built up was freezing! I think it was a good half hour before I could feel my hands again.

  11. says

    Have a blast in Boston girl!!! It is so awesome and pretty there! Try to run in the park if you can! Also, your layering up reminds me of when I still lived in Florida and thought 30 was cold! :) Now I think 30 is a heatwave and start shedding the layers! Oh how quickly we adapt huh?

  12. says

    Have fun in Boston! I’ve never been either but it’s pretty much the same weather here where I am. I learned to cover my mouth (I use a fleece headband with a knot in the back) when I had braces. They would FREEZE in my mouth. I haven’t had the braces for six years now but I still wear the “mouth warmer.”

  13. Alicia says

    I run so much better in cold weather, but about 35 degrees is my cut off. I agree with what someone said above, do not overdress! I cover up my ears and wear a good pair of gloves. I also wear my polarized lenses which keeps my eyes from watering. I wear just a basic wicking pant and a tank or short sleeved shirt that provides a thin covering over my chest bc I warm up FAST and nothing is worse to me than feeling overheated.

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