How does running in cold weather affect you?

Ground breaking news, folks!!

I finally got my hair trimmed today.

This is big, because it’s only been over 6 months since my last trim.  I am cheap and can not bring myself to pay $80 & up for a trim.  I will spring the extra cash for color.  I have an appointment Wednesday for a touch up on my highlights & lowlights.

I promptly pinned it all up right after, so I’ll have to actually do it like a normal person and post a pic.  I am almost positive it will be the first picture on the ‘ole blog of it actually done.

This old one will have to do.


Good thing homeless hair is so in right now.


Okay let’s talk about cold weather running.

Let me start off by saying living in Cali my whole life, I don’t know cold.  I’m sure my friends that live where it snows are nodding your heads at this screen right now.



But I was curious about how it affects your body while running and just in case you were wondering, here’s what I found.

  • 50 degrees is the ideal temperature.
  • Running in cold weather is not harmful to those in great health.
  • Your lungs can not freeze.
  • It is impossible to get sick from being out in the cold.
  • Layer, layer, layer.  But we already knew that.
  • Change out of your running gear from head to toe ASAP.
  • In cold climates, it’s generally best to maintain, not train.  Not that you can’t, but I’d imagine it’s easier not to.
  • You should always refuel with a huge mug of coffee when your done.

cold winter running


Because I’m blonde, this chart from Runners World makes it easy to figure out how to dress to stay comfortable.  And alive.

30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).
10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over the tights.
0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.
Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.
Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, says Arribas, “Stay inside.”

I’m a cool weather runner for sure.  Temps in 50’s are ideal for me.

Good thing, because that’s about what temps are here in the winter.  I said cool, not cold.  😉  I admire those who run in the snow.  It actually looks like fun, but I’m sure after a mile, you’d find me on the side of the road making snow angels.  Or crying.  And I do not cry.  

Do you run or exercise outdoors in the winter?

Do you have any tips?

When was the last time you had a trim or cut?   


9 Comments on “How does running in cold weather affect you?

  1. I love running outside all year long, but running when there’s a fresh layer of snow on the ground is so beautiful. My tips for cold weather runs are wear gloves and a thick fleece headband to cover your ears and keep moving!

  2. Living in Colorado I better get used to running in the cold. In Germany, there were times I was running outside in single digits. I wore 2 layers of gloves but my hands were still numb for the first mile or two. It was brutal

  3. Good guidelines! I especially like change ASAP when you are done! I didn’t do that Saturday and froze! I also wear a gaiter around my neck/chin and sunglasses- snow is very bright.

  4. Good post. I would say that for me (male, 200 lbs) the ideal temp to run in is probably more like 35-40 degrees, but that is only IF there is no wind or precip, and if the sun is out. Temp is just part of the equation, wind, precip, and sun (or lack of) can quickly make 40 feel like 14.

    Totally agree, though, that in general winter running should be for maintaining, not getting faster.

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  6. I run Edmonton Canada where winter starts in October and leaves in April. That clothing guide is great and is how I dress my teens, I need one layer less for those temps, but I hail from the Arctic – so perhaps I am a hardier version of Canadian. Don’t forget your yaktrax run. falling on the ice is painful!

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