How to Run During the Winter


If you decide to try adding screws, Greg Haapala, race director of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., recommends trying it on old running shoes first, and making sure that the tips of the screws don’t poke through to your foot. “You can either simply wear older shoes as your ‘screw shoes,’ or once you know they will be comfortable for you, remove the screws from the older shoes and attach to your newer ones,” he said.

Haapala wears trail running shoes, which tend to have better traction, when running on snowy streets and sidewalks in the winter. He also wears sunglasses “even if it’s not very sunny to block the winds and potentially blowing snow,” he said.

Jay Ell Alexander, owner and chief executive of Black Girls RUN!, a group devoted to getting more African-American women to take up running, carries disposable hand warmers, which are typically sold at drug and hardware stores. “I keep a pack of them in the trunk of my car,” she said.

You’ll still need to hydrate on long runs in the winter. You can carry water in a handheld bottle, but that hand can get cold fast. Instead, considering a running waist belt with slots for water bottles, or a hydration vest. Just make sure that vest is running specific, not one designed for hiking or biking.

If you’re still working from home, and have flexibility in your work-from-home schedule, winter running doesn’t have to be in the cold, dark morning, or the cold, dark night. Midday runs may be an option — especially since your co-workers can’t tell if you’re sweaty when you get back.

However, if those dark hours are still the best time for you to go, make sure that “you’re lit up like a Christmas tree,” said Loeffler. This is especially important “when the weather isn’t great because most people do not expect to see runners out,” she said. “They’re not looking for you.”

Loeffler said a simple reflective vest “does a world of good,” as long as it’s reflective on front and back. You can also buy light-up belts and sashes, or clip-on lights (those that work on cyclists work just as well on you). She also said that her store has seen a big sales spike in headlamps this year, which double as lighting for the path in front of you.


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