How To Keep Warm Running In Cold Weather

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is coming just in time–it was in the low 40s for my last few runs! Last year’s polar vortex taught me a lot about how to keep warm running in cold weather, but I wouldn’t mind a few more weeks of fall weather before winter settles in. 

running in cold weather
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In some ways I am a fair weather runner–I won’t run if the wind is whipping or it’s pouring down rain–but I don’t mind bundling up to go out in the cold. The D.C. area weather can change dramatically from day to day–it’s not unusual to have 20 degree temperature swings–so every morning I have to check the weather to see what I need to wear for my run.

When the temperatures are in the 50s, I usually wear a long-sleeved top and shorts or capris. When the temperatures dip into the 40s, I make sure I wear a warm top and capris or tights. This is new outfit I got at Target. Each piece was only $20-something dollars!

Target C9 Gear

The top is cozy and fuzzy inside–but no thumbholes!

If it’s in the low 40s, I have to think about keeping my ears warm and my hands warm. I prefer headbands to hats unless it’s really cold. Under Armour has a nice line of fleece headbands that come in a variety of colors.

When it gets colder, it’s time for gloves. Last year I learned that I need at least two pairs of running gloves. First, having two pairs means I will have a back up pair if I lose a glove. Second, it’s nice to have one pair of lightweight gloves and one pair of insulated gloves for really cold days. I love that most running gloves are made with touchscreen-compatible finger tips!

This was my go-to polar vortex outfit last year–my Nike Women’s Element Half Zip Running Shirt, a down vest my Mom gave me for Christmas, and Nike running tights.

Nike Running Half Zip

Of course, the best way to warm up after a cold run is to take a long hot shower and enjoy a bottomless cup of coffee! 


How do you stay warm running in cold weather?

Is there a temperature that drives you to the treadmill?

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31 Responses to How To Keep Warm Running In Cold Weather

  1. I’m sitting here this morning thinking about how cold it is going to be at the race today ๐Ÿ™‚
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…November Ultimate Coffee DateMy Profile

  2. Jennifer says:

    I look forward to winter running (minus the snow and ice). I usually layer up like an onion!
    Jennifer recently posted…New York City Marathon Race Recap Part 1My Profile

  3. I love target’s running clothes! And I also have those pulse lite gloves, and I think I have the same nike half zip too! All great finds! I am so not ready to start layering up for my runs again….
    Lisa @ Running Out of Wine recently posted…Training FlashbacksMy Profile

  4. Yes to the warm beverage waiting !! Its made a big difference to me!
    Smitha @ FauxRunner recently posted…Cold Weather Running – Just Do ItMy Profile

  5. Oh yeah it’s great to have multiple pairs of gloves. Without fail I seem to lose at least one glove every winter….so frustrating! One time I ran and it had to be below 20 degrees….I just was NOT prepared. I would’ve fared better on the treadmill that day!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run: Cold Weather RunningMy Profile

  6. Yep, a warm shower and a warm drink are the best reward after a run in the cold!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Cold weather running=beast runningMy Profile

  7. Kim says:

    I’m a total wimp when it’s cold – the treadmill is my best friend!!!
    Kim recently posted…Do You Know Your Purpose?My Profile

  8. Thanks for the deals. I will have to chck these out. I need to update my winter running gear.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…The Race Shirts That Will Keep You Warm ( and a Discount Code)My Profile

  9. Great post! Loving that vest by the way!!!
    This morning I thought I had dressed right, but soon after I got out the 31 degree’s felt fine until this breeze kicked up and them pretty much ate right through me. Gonna make a few apparel changes before my run tomorrow morning, that is for sure!
    Kristy @Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…High Falls GorgeMy Profile

  10. Running in cold weather for me is all about layers – and yes that hot shower afterwards!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Some New GoalsMy Profile

  11. I’m in South Florida, so if the temperature dips below 60 degrees I freak out a bit. If I had cold-weather running clothes I would probably look like what you look like when it’s in the low 40s or colder. Any temperature below 55 and above 96 drives me to my treadmill oasis.

  12. Post run hot tea is my go to!!!
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Rock โ€˜nโ€™ Roll Savannah Half Marathon GoalsMy Profile

  13. April at RunTheGreatWideSomewhere says:

    I live in Florida, so we don’t get cold enough to send me to the treadmill, but I will delay my run until the afternoon if the lows dip below 50 degrees. I do have a couple pairs of gloves and arm sleeves but I don’t have any long pants for running! Usually a running skirt and compression socks are enough on a chilly day! Thanks for linking up with us today!

  14. I haven’t braved running outside in the winter yet, even though this is my fifth winter here in Alaska! This is the year!!!! Thanks for the tips on gear – I marked some items for my Christmas list!
    Katie@Run Wild in Alaska recently posted…Abstainers versus ModeratorsMy Profile

  15. Yum Yucky says:

    I looove that first outfit on you. But all this talk about cold weather has got me fa-reeeeezing all of a sudden. Keep that up and I’m not coming back to this blog until spring. Sheesh!
    Yum Yucky recently posted…Weird Holiday Gift Ideas That Are Actually Kinda CoolMy Profile

  16. 38 degrees is the coldest weather I have ever run in and I thought I was going to freeze to death!!! It was my fastest run last year! I need to look into some of those warm headbands, that would help. The first outfit looked nice on you! I like it here when it gets cold enough for long sleeves ๐Ÿ™‚ I am kind of wimpy if it is just a training run, if under 50 i won’t run it, I will wait, it is Florida it could be 70 degrees the next morning!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Avg vs. Awesome? Run with friends!My Profile

  17. Lisa says:

    This is a hard one! First, it’s never really THAT cold here in Oregon (winter is typically in the 30-40 degrees temperatures with not much snow). Once I layer up and get outside running (or hiking) I warm up and start sweating. But when it’s REALLY cold out, what bothers me most is how the cold air feels in my lungs. Kind of makes my chest hurt a little!

  18. MCM Mama says:

    Cute top!

    I totally hit the hot shower with a hot cup of coffee, followed by warm and cozy clothes. I ran through most of the weather last year, so I’m hopeful I’ll manage it again this year.
    MCM Mama recently posted…Tips for staying active during the holidaysMy Profile

  19. I’m loving that Target outfit and we must think alike becuase I also love that Starbucks cup! I love my Starbucks cups!! I like to warm up post run with a cup of hot chocolate. It’s post run treat and it warms me up from the inside out! Grea tips!
    Brandy @ Pounds2Miles recently posted…Friday Five: Five Cold Weather Running TipsMy Profile

  20. Great list. Can’t go wrong with some coffee or hot chocolate to warm up after. Well, for me some Nuun to hydrate then the coffee.
    John @ run. geek. run(disney) recently posted…Five Other Cold Weather Running Tips | Friday FiveMy Profile

  21. Coffee is a must. Before and after my run:)
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Items you’ll want for cold weather running…..My Profile

  22. Amber says:

    I completely agree with you that the best way to warm up after a cold run is inside and out! Hot shower and pipping hot soup for me!

  23. I just discovered my puffy vest is awesome for warming up when out running, but then I got too hot! I think it will work well when the temp drops even more though. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! recently posted…Taper Time!My Profile

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