1. Get Motivated
Make a date to meet someone for a run, there's no wimping out when someone is waiting.
Solo? Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it's really bad, Usually you'll stay out there. Of course, not everyone objects to winter weather. A night run during a light snowfall is one of the most peaceful things you can experience, just remember to stay safe, and let someone know where you will be.
2. Arm Your Feet
To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm.
3. Get Dressed
You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer, You should be slightly cool when you start. Think layers of technical fabrics, to wick sweat, with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. You'll learn your own preferences, but always wear gloves or mittens and a hat.
4. Be Seen
With limited daylight, chances are you'll be running in the dark (We Scots sadly, get only a few hours of dim light per day). Tall snowbanks on plowed streets make you even harder to see. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear, and don't be shy about lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree, use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, less so you can see where you're going and more so people can see you.
5. Warm up Prerun
Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too. The cold doesn't feel so cold when you're warm. If you're meeting a group of running buddies, don't stand around in the cold chatting before you run.
6. Deal with Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn't blast you after you've broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. You can also seek man-made wind protection. Use BodyGlide on your nose and on your cheeks to prevent frostbite, Other options include Vaseline (a bit messy) and Kiehl's All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector.
7. Forget Speed
Winter running is more about maintenance miles than speed work. In very cold weather, look for "inversions," places that are elevated and where the air will be warmer. Even 300 feet up, the air can be 20 degrees warmer, which makes a big difference.
f you can't run in the middle of the day when the temperatures are warmest, run twice a day, three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening: That's better than doing one long six-mile run where you might get very cold toward the end.
8. Change Quickly Postrun
Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. To avoid a lingering case of the chills, change your clothes-head to toe-as soon as you can. Women need to get out of damp sports bras quickly. Put a dry hat on wet hair. And drink something hot. Driving to a run? Bring a thermos of green tea or hot chocolate in your car.
9. Deal with Rain
"In my car, at all times, I have a spare pair of sneakers, a running outfit, and three beach towels," says Allyson Lamey, a member of the local running club "When it's raining, I slip my stocking feet into plastic bags, then put on my running shoes. The bags keep your feet dry even when you run through puddles. If you have to dry shoes overnight, crumple up newspaper and cram it tightly into your shoes, with the insoles removed. The newspaper soaks up the moisture.
10. Go Someplace Warm
For runners in the South who want to race close to home, winter is the only time when temperatures are moderate enough to go after a personal record, which is why Florida alone offers seven marathons in February. Not up for 26.2 miles? Other popular races include the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5-K/10-K, the Hilton Head Half-Marathon and 10-K, and the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona. Or go to the Race Finder to choose your own distance and destination. What more motivation do you need?