conquering cold weather running

Conquer Cold Weather Running

Pittsburgh weather in the winter can make training tough. Mona and Jack are both college athletes in Pittsburgh and are here to help become you a winter running pro!

1. Layer Clothing

Jack: When running in the winter, it is tempting to wear your warmest gear to eliminate any possibility of feeling cold during your run. However, your body will warm up fast as you begin to exercise, and nobody wants sweat-soaked clothing. It is best to start with a moisture-wicking base layer and build from there. Activewear quarter-zips and vests are popular options, and a lighter shell jacket can be added in colder weather or strong winds. Being able to shed layers if you get warm is a helpful tip that can keep you comfortable on your runs during the winter months.

Mona: It’s important to wear appropriate layers during winter runs that will keep you warm and comfy while not overheating. I always try to dress as if it's a bit hotter outside than the actual temperature because I know my body will warm up quickly. Gloves, warm socks, and headbands are also key to staying warm.

2. Warm Up Well

J: Cold weather can increase the risk of injury when running and exercising outside. A warm-up is essential in all weather, but it should be emphasized and even lengthened when prepping for a colder weather run. Aside from helping prevent injury, an adequate warm-up will help make winter runs more enjoyable. Rather than taking the first portion of the run to get your body prepped, you will be ready to go from the start and can perform your best for your entire run. 

M: In the winter, your muscles are more likely to contract and become tighter. That’s why it’s super important to get a good stretch in before your run. I always like to do dynamic stretches like lunges and leg kicks and a few laps around the track before my runs to help warm up and activate my muscles.

3. Remember to Hydrate

J: It is easy to hydrate in the warm summer months when a cold glass of water is all you can think about on your run. Hydrating in the winter proves much more difficult but just as important. It is vital to remind yourself to hydrate both before and after your run. If you run early in the morning, be sure to get some fluids in you before you leave the house. If you choose to run later, prioritize hydrating all throughout the day. You will feel much better when running, and recovery will come easier if your body is hydrated. No matter the time of year, building a hydration routine can help improve your running, maintain your health, and ensure you’re feeling good.

4. Plan Your Route

M: Living in Pittsburgh has taught me the importance of planning your running route in advance based on the weather conditions. You’ll quickly learn which trails/routes are safe to run on in icy and snowy conditions, and it’s important to stick to those routes to avoid any injuries! 


Learn More about the P3R Athletes and Follow Them Here: P3R NIL Athletes 2023