Category Archives for Winter Running

Runners! You must know how to fall.

As someone who runs in the winter over snow/ice and who does plenty of trail running, falling is a risk that comes with the game.

Knowing how to fall can be an important skill to lower your injury risk!

In the below video I discuss a few points:

  1. Don’t try to stop a fall by putting your arms straight out.
    1. This is going to trash your palms, potentially hurt your wrists/elbows, and have you face-planting.
  2. Instead, land with bent elbows under your body, tuck and roll.
    1. Talk to any experienced martial artist or skateboarder – they know how to hit the ground!

Runners: How to train HARD in the winter.

For those of us that live in the parts of the world which receive snow and ice during the winter, performing effective training sessions outdoors can be difficult.

An example would be the classic workout of Yasso 800’s.

During the summer I would simply run to the track and perform 10 x 800m roughly at 5k race pace with 200-400m jogging recovery.

However, during the winter went the outdoor track is completely covered in snow this workout becomes impossible to exactly replicate.

So what do I do?

What I would instead recommend for this workout would be to simply perform the run on as cleanly paved of a path as possible.

In my neck of the woods Rapid City typically does a great job keeping the bike path clean. I’ll do 90% of my quality workouts on the bike path when there is snow on the ground. I’ve also noticed that the steepest roads in town are the best plowed. This

With the 800m repetition workout, you have a couple options. You can either use your GPS to track 800m or .5mile and use it as you would a track to do a distance repetition. Another option (and my preferred) is to simply determine how long the repetitions would normally take you and run at a hard perceived exertion for that duration. Recently instead of doing 15x1k hard + 1:00 jog I did 15 x 4:00 hard + 1:00 jog, for example.

I’ve also noticed that the steepest roads in town are the best plowed. This makes doing hill workouts in the winter quite easy, actually!

Cold Weather Race for Hot Weather Runner

Recently I was emailed a question from a Florida runner who has a Colorado half marathon coming up.

His concern was that he has never really ran in temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the half marathon will likely be in the range of 20-50 degrees.

What to do?

When I had an athlete from Florida run the New York City Marathon he drastically over-dressed according to what most people would recommend, but the late 2016 NYC event was much cooler than what he was used to. This meant that 50 degrees for him felt much much colder than how comfortable it would have felt for me.

So my initial thought is the athlete is going to have to bundle up because 40 degrees will feel very chilly for a Florida runner even though I would be in shorts!

Next consideration is that the half marathon will have the body generating a great deal of body heat. While the start and early miles may feel very cold the runner will warm up drastically.

So my recommendations and thoughts are:

  1. Tights
    1. I usually switch to tights at 40 degrees, so I think this runner will likely want to be in tights or capris.
    2. Under tights, I usually wear a pair of compression shorts.
  2. I would suggest a buff or headband to cover the head and ears.
  3. On the hands, I would wear a lighter pair of gloves under a pair of mittens or even just a pair of mittens that has a flap to open. This provides some versatility since you can open the mittens or remove them if they get too warm and still have some hand warmth.
  4. The chest will be the most difficult since it will warm up the most once the race gets going. For such a high effort run as a half marathon in those temps I would likely wear a long sleeved shirt under a light jacket. This way you can open the jacket or even remove it if the runner gets too warm.

Pre-race is a different story. If the event is an outdoor start and very chilly the participants are best to really dress heavily so they do not get too terribly cold before the race even starts. Most events will have areas for you to ditch extra clothing if you must. If you have a car or family/friends there to take something from you that you do not want to lose, that’s an option as well.

What to wear under your tights in the winter?


For those of us who run in sub freezing temps, tights are super important to keeping your legs and lower bits warm.

When the temperature is around 30-40 degrees I’ll make the transition from shorts to tights. I usually just wear my regular boxer briefs that I wear on a daily basis under my tights, they work very well. If it’s a really short run I’ll wear regular underwear, not a problem for a half hour jog.

A nice thing about tights is that you can usually get away with only 3-4 pairs since they don’t really get sweaty from hour easy runs when it’s 25 degrees out side!