Running Outdoors in Winter 0
in Fit on the Side

Running Outdoors in Winter

trail running outdoors

Running outdoors. There’s nothing like leaving your home first thing in the morning when the world is slowly waking up and the sun is rising. As its rays hit the fresh gleaming white snow, you inhale deeply. The clean morning air enters your lungs, your muscles start pumping and the feeling is exhilarating. If only it were actually like this. While running outdoors (and general exercising for that matter) can and should be enjoyable, we all know that the reality doesn’t always match the dream. Especially when the mercury starts to dip. I’ve compiled a few tips to make it an easier experience.

running outdoors

Suit Up. Without overdoing it, make sure that you dress appropriately for the weather. Layers are very important. Also, choose moisture wicking fabrics.  I like to wear a tank top under a long sleeve shirt and then I put on a windbreaker over top. These items aren’t bulky and therefore give me the freedom to move. Then I reach for a pair of sweats or running tights.

– On my feet I usually wear my regular running shoes. I also look for warm woolen running socks with extra padding. They help keep my feet nice and toasty without giving me blisters.

– Of course I never leave home without my toque and a pair of gloves.  Frankly, I hate when my ears get cold so a hat is a necessity. As are gloves for that matter, since  running outdoors is never enjoyable when your extremities are freezing. There is a fine line between being warm and hot however, so make sure to remove or add layers accordingly.

Always wear sunnies. In winter, it is just as important to wear eye protection as it is in the summer months. The sun may not be as strong, but its reflection off the snow still has damaging UV rays.

Drink Up. Even though you don’t sweat as much in winter, you are still running outdoors so remember to drink plenty of fluids. For a regular daily run, water is usually your best choice.

Acclimate and start slowly. Your body needs to adjust to the lower temperatures so take your time. Also, it’s important to remember to breathe.  I focus on inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth.

running outdoors

Warm up and cool down. These are probably the most important tips. Before running outdoors, I take a few minutes to warm up and loosen (no deep stretching)  my muscles indoors. It’s much easier and safer to do this prior to being in the cold. If there’s a treadmill nearby, I might do a 5 minute run. Otherwise some light jumping jacks, pushups and simply hopping around will do. Never forget to cool down. This is the time when your body slows down, your heart rate drops to normal levels and you can give your muscles the stretch they need to stay flexible, healthy and strong.

group running outdoors
While winter is still upon us take your workout outside and stay healthy, fit and beautiful!

Do you love running outdoors?

*For more on running outdoors and other exercise join me on twitter and instagram*
Some images courtesy of Filip Bojko ,  Grzegorz Paduch &

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  1. the running is a good sport! nice pics and post 🙂
    I posted a new article, I’d love to know your opinion
    would you like to pass from my blog?

    1. Thanks! I was very lucky to use some amazing images.

  2. I should get better at running outdoors, the temperatures are not as bad this winter. So there is really no excuse.

    1. I’m telling myself the exact same thing every day!

  3. so good staying in shape outdoors despite the weather x

    1. Agreed! Although I’m thinking that in LA you don’t really have to worry about the cold. I didn’t when Iived in Vancouver….

  4. You’re a trooper to be running outside in the snow! I think both me and my puppy have gained at least 5 lbs being couch potatoes this season. lol.

    Eileen |

    1. Well it’s been kind of warm here…..

  5. Michi of Delphina Luxe

    Wow, go you !

    I find it so hard to get into the idea of running in cold weather. I did if for a while this winter but after a while I just couldn’t go on. Just hurts too much to breathe in the air.

    1. It’s really tough so I sometimes tie a scarf around my really helps.

  6. Hi dear, nice blog you have here and great post, would you like to follow each other on BLOGLOVIN? if you decided to follow me please let me know so I can follow you back. xoxo

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I will drop by your site.

  7. I don’t like to run in cold weather… I prefere my tapis roulant!!!!
    Have a lovely weekend darling!!!!

    1. Oh I agree it’s not always fun….

  8. Love your post! 🙂

    1. Thank-you!

  9. So great <3 have a good week 🙂

  10. Ah… I wish I loved running, but I hate it. especially in winter, when it’s definitely a no-no. In spring/summer though it’s OK. Great tips Caroline! xoxo

  11. loving this post! amazing winter you have
    Kisses from Miami,

    1. Thank you!! I guess you don’t really need to worry about running in winter.

  12. we love a good morning run! and luckily for us, it’s not exactly snowing where we are 😉

    1. Yeah, running outside when it’s warm is so much more fun!

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