The best coach tips for running in winter


In summer, jogging can be a very carefree activity, super pleasant and which does not require too much effort on the motivation side. But in winter, we can not say that it is the same !! It’s darker, colder, you have to deal with the often capricious weather… In short, not very encouraging at first sight!

But running in cold weather is not necessarily painful, provided you do it the right way! So what are the benefits? What equipment(s) to use? The right things to do? Here are some tips to make your winter training easier!

Running in the cold, good or bad idea?

Even if we no longer present the many benefits of running on the body and health, the cold also has advantages!

But beware, running in cold weather is safe, on condition of adopting a smart approach! Know how to use common sense by taking into account your sporting objectives, your comfort and your safety.

We are not embarking on a training under 0°C as if doing 20 ! To prevent health risks, a few principles must be respected!

Before getting to the heart of the matter, here are some benefits that can help you put on your sneakers, even when the thermometer is in the red:

  • Strengthens the body’s resistance capacities: running at low temperature stimulates the natural immune system, helps to evacuate toxins and increases our resistance to viral diseases such as coughs, colds, flu…
  • Boost Morale: getting out of the house and exercising in the light of day helps to produce endorphins (the hormone of happiness) and fight gloom.
  • Forge the mind : just imagine the pride you will feel when you finish your race!! Think of all the difficulties you will have overcome! You will see, in your head, you will be a real warrior!

The point not to be overlooked if you want to have fun during your running outing: have a suitable outfit! Perhaps you have already heard this famous Swedish proverb: there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. Well that’s exactly the case here!

How to dress for running in winter

Upper body in winter: the 3-layer rule

Instinctively I know what you’re going to want to do: put on layers and layers of clothes to brave the lowest temperatures… ERROR !! In winter, you have to know how to find the right balance. Do not dress too much so as not to be TOO hot but still enough to be comfortable and not feel cold.

During exercise, body temperature will slowly but surely increase. That’s why you shouldn’t overdo it either! Initially, it may be unpleasant and you may be a little cold, but you will warm up quickly, take that into account.

To be covered effectively and optimally, we recommend wearing 3 layers of clothes techniques, more or less thin, each of which will fulfill a very specific function.

By doing this layering, it creates layers of air between the garments which provide more warmth than a single thicker one. And then, it is better to be able to remove some rather than the opposite 😉

1- Breathable

This layer is your base! The one that will allow you to wick away perspiration while keeping you dry. To do this, I advise you to use a long-sleeved t-shirt in synthetic textile (polyester, nylon, etc.) or merino wool.

In general, it is necessary avoid cotton because it absorbs moisture and retains it. Result: if it gets wet, you will stay wet too!

Choose it adjusted, even downright tight, so that it is light and like a second skin. This way, you won’t even feel it during your practice!

2- Insulating

This intermediate layer serves to regulate and retain heat. A warming garment such as a fleece jacket or a down jacket does the job perfectly! You can adapt the thickness of this layer according to the temperature.

3- Protector

As its name suggests, it serves you protect from outside elements like rain, snow or just wind! Again, the garment must be thin enough, it will just serve you for its water-repellent side!

Practical advice : you can for example create your own windbreaker using a large garbage bag, by cutting a hole for the head and for the arms. So yeah, it’s not super glamorous, but at least the upper body is well protected and you can easily throw it in a trash can, unlike a jacket that you have to tie around your waist.

Lower body: what to wear when it’s cold?

The legs generate a lot of heat, so you don’t have you don’t need so many layers on your lower body. In case of negative temperatures you can wear tights or thermal leggings. Otherwise, simple long leggings will do!

Not to mention the ends!

Running in the cold: protecting your extremities

For your comfort these areas also need to be covered!

  • The head : I generally use a headband for the ears; because I find that hats or even balaclavas are really too hot! But it’s up to you to make your own opinion 😉
  • Hands : opt instead for thin gloves for the hands. Personally, I always wear it up to 5 degrees!!
  • The feet : put the cotton socks in the drawer and choose a pair of thermal wool socks, for example. They are usually a bit thicker and longer.

As it concerns the shoes, they must be in line with the surface on which you will run !

I advise you to orient yourself towards trail running shoes with crampons which will, on the one hand, hold you well and protect you but which will also have better grip so as not to slip in the event of rain, snow or ice.

In summary, what does it give?

Here is a short summary to know how to equip yourself well according to the weather conditions:

Ebetween -10 and 0°C Between 0°C and 10°C
– Thermal running leggings

– Bra, long and warm technical T-shirt, down jacket with sleeves

– Hat or headband for the ears

– Thin gloves

– If necessary, water-repellent jacket

– Long running leggings

– Bra, long and warm technical t-shirt, sleeveless down jacket if you wish

– If necessary, water-repellent jacket

If you wear dark colors, they will absorb the sun’s rays and emit a little heat. And that, even if you don’t see them!

4 reflexes to adopt

stay visible

Night falls quickly at this time, so don’t take any risks and make sure you’ll be seen by everyone! For this, you can add reflective strips to your jacket or running clothes. You can also use a headlamp. Personally, I prefer to wear it at the level of the sternum, the light is more diffused and less disturbing.

Warm up

Warming up before running is always important (and sadly often overlooked), but it is even more so in winter! And the colder it is, the longer your warm-up should be. So take the time to relax your muscles, your joints and increase your body temperature to sweat lightly. This is essential to avoid muscle strains or incorrect stresses. In addition, if you do it indoors, the feeling will be less unpleasant and your muscles will not be as tense when you face the outside air.


Just because you aren’t thirsty, sweaty, or hot doesn’t mean your body isn’t dehydrated. You may feel like you sweat less in winter because it’s cooler, but your body still needs water!

Breathe correctly

Pay attention to your breathing! Avoid inhaling dry, cold air through your mouth. Otherwise, your airways and mucous membranes cool down. In addition to an unpleasant burning sensation in the lungs, this can cause an irritable cough. Suffice to say that it is not super cool!

You are now ready to experience your best winter running sessions! I have only one word to say: enjoy 😉


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