Winter Running

This morning I woke up to this:


Not much compared to what some people have got lately, but still a decent amount especially considering I was headed out for a run!

I don’t have the luxury of NOT running in the snow. Even though Kamloops’ winters are mild compared to where I grew up, we still have snow and sub-zero temperatures for 3-4 months of the year.

The coldest I’ve ever ran outside in is -15 C (5 F) and snowing. This morning it was only -1 C (but – 6 with the windchill) so about 20 – 30 F.

Here are a few of my winter running tips:

1. Dress for it!


You’re not going to get cold if you’re dressed properly. This morning I was wearing my sugoi mid-zero running tights (highly recommend these by the way) a sugoi long-sleeve top and my “running jacket” that I bought at Target in October! (I also wore gloves, which I am not wearing in this picture)

You lose a lot of heat out of your head so wearing a toque when running in the winter is very important. And, yes, it’s called a toque, not a hat 😛


2. Get something for your shoes

I have these nifty little grippy things that I bought at Costco for $14. They go on the bottom of my shoes and really help grip when running on snow and ice. They’ve saved me from falling more than once this winter.


Close-up of grips:


3. Be prepared to run slower

This morning I ran 5.75 miles with my new run group and the combination of fresh snow, rolling hills and running against the wind kept us at about an 11:00 min/mile pace. I find running on fresh snow to be comparable to running on sand, it can be really hard to push through and inevitably it’s going to slow your pace down.

Be OK with that! In the winter I just like to keep my base mileage up and have fun with running, I can focus more on speed in the spring/summer/fall when there’s no ice and snow on the ground!


By the way, I’m currently enjoying my latest obsession while writing this blog post. Send help!


I’m headed to a Traditional Hot (Bikram) yoga class in 1.5 hours. Today will be class 21 in 20 days for me! I can’t believe there are only 10 days left in the challenge.

Happy Saturday!

Do you run in the snow and cold? If so, what are your winter running tips?

47 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    with those temps i also need something on my face…you’re a rockstar running in that with a naked face!

    • MissAmber says:

      This morning when we were running against the wind something on my face would have been nice but unless there’s wind I don’t mind having my face exposed. Good tip that I missed, though!

  2. J says:

    IT was cold here this morning but not as cold as you! The key really is bundling up! I would much rather be really warm than cold on a run!

  3. Lauren says:

    I haven’t been running much this winter, but I sometimes do. I’m fine when I dress for it, but sometimes, my face gets too cold with the chill and wind. Congrats on all your yoga, that’s awesome!

  4. Jen says:

    I really struggled this winter with what to wear running since last year I stayed on the treadmill all winter. I did get a sweet Nike running jacket that is perfect for 20-30 F degree temps here in upstate NY. However, I’m a wuss and don’t run outside if its under 20 degrees. 😉

  5. Carol says:

    I find people often overdress for cold weather running, which makes it worse after you start to sweat! The coldest I’ve run (it was caught on TV – H-woman is my witness!) was about -30C, and the most I’ll layer is 2 plus a coat. Tights under my running pants, a skin-tight shirt under a regular technical shirt and then the jacket. Something that is windproof but still wicks moisture is important. I may wear a wrap around my neck (usually a head band, worn lower) but I never cover my mouth or face. I’m just weird that way. And a toque…although it was proven by the medical community that you really don’t lose heat any faster through your head than any other part of your body. And I think the Myth-Busters dudes also cracked that one.

    It’s supposed to be -16C for our run tomorrow morning, and we’ll have about 20-25cm of snow to run through. It is just like running through sand, so I just think about the extra buttocks workout that I’m getting as a result!

    Happy running!

    • MissAmber says:

      That’s interesting!

      Must be a mental thing for me then because Wednesday night I DIDN’T wear a toque and I swear I was colder on the run than today 😉

      • Carol says:

        It’s actually a difficult thing for me, because when I wear the toque, I sweat so bad, I look like I just stuck my head in the shower! So, I end up running with wet hair…and have to be careful that the toque I wear wicks moisture as well! I almost prefer no hat, but do wear it when it’s really cold or windy. More to protect the ears than anything.
        And for my feet, I’m trying trail runners this year that have the grips already in place. I heard too much about the clip on things throwing your foot/stride out of alignment…have you found that? The trail runners aren’t bad, but their first big test will be tomorrow…at least 6″ of snow out there now, and it’s still snowing.

        • MissAmber says:

          Nope – I haven’t noticed any difference in my gait/stride running with them vs. running without them!

          Have a good run 🙂

  6. kelly says:

    Would you believe we’ve got even more snow since I last took pictures?! Its getting ridiculous! I kinda think its unsafe to run outside now bc we have no sidewalks and narrow streets that can barely fit the cars. Still, I love your winter running outfit! Congrats on making it through 2/3 of the yoga challenge, you are amazing!!!

  7. Do I run in the cold and snow? That would be a negative. But I will cheer you on all day! 🙂

  8. Great tips. Sounds pretty much like what I wear in winter running. Lots of layers; love me some long johns too in really cold weather. I also tend to look down a lot more because you never know when you’re going to hit some ice.

  9. Leigh says:

    We just got a HUGE dump of snow last night, so running outside is a no go for me today. I don’t mind running outside, but I am a big baby when it comes to the cold! I definitely need to pick up some of those cleats for your shoes because it’s so hard to run when it’s super slippery out!

    Great tips Amber 🙂

  10. Becky says:

    Hahaha I’ve never even heard the word toque! You’re awesome for running in that – way to make the most of your circumstances – and hooray for 21 days out of 30! You’re almost there!

  11. stephanie says:

    I love running in the cold, its my favourite running temp. Snow is difficult though. I love my balaclava when its super cold, no wind gets anywhere near my ears – which is my problem area in the cold. My run was in the cold, but only about freezing so not that bad really. No snow either.

  12. Sana says:

    You are so badass for running in the snow!

  13. I have never run outside in the cold but this morning I was tempted – then I realized I totally didn’t have appropriate clothing. Me thinks I should fix that and run outside next year.

    Or this year if winter lasts longer . . .

    As for Fernie – it’s gorgeous and makes for a perfect getaway!!!!!!! The river and mountains are spectacular. The skiing is world class and the hiking is amazing too. Plus for a small place it has a remarkable amount of yuppy big city amenities – think fantastic restaurants and cafes, wonderful downtown, yoga, health places, and the list goes on!

    I know Revelstoke is much closer to you but if you ever get a chance to visit Fernie I totally recommend it!

    Trust me, if my job wasn’t based out of another city in the Kootenays I would totally make Fernie my home! 🙂

  14. Jenny says:

    I am not pleased with the change from spring conditions to winter conditions again! The snow is a bit of a problem but I’m mostly worried about the ice hidden under it 🙁 Luckily tomorrow is a LSD, not a pace run, so the snow won’t be as big of a problem.
    I’ve got the same grippy things for my shoes and I invested in a thicker running jacket this winter. In the winter I really try and run into the wind for the first half of my run so that it is at my back on the way home and I try to stick to routes where I know people or the city will have cleared the snow.

  15. You are insane! The coldest I’ve ever run in was 34 degrees in Colorado. I was wearing capris… probably not a good idea 🙂

  16. Lisa says:

    Those grippy shoe things look cool! I’ve seen something similar at REI. I’ve never tried running in the snow because we don’t get much in Portland.

  17. Tamara says:

    oh my…i’m totally impressed. running in the rain is a big deal to me! i dress like this {minus the sticky shoe things} for california central coast foggy runs…i feel like a total wimp!

  18. Nicole says:

    running in such extreme temps is NO joke!!! great job!

  19. Brave girl. Do the cleats slow you down. too? I feel like that would be a lot of grip to overcome.

    • MissAmber says:

      No they definitely don’t! I *only* wear them if there has been a heavy snowfall or if the sidewalks are icy so the grip actually helps me go my normal pace rather than slipping and sliding all over on the ice!

      Now, running through a new snowfall is a different story but I think it’s the snow that slows me down moreso than the grips in that case!

  20. Yipes! I hate running in the snow, but at the same time I kind of love it, is that weird? I havent seen those grippy things at Costco yet. I’ll have to keep looking.

    • MissAmber says:

      They are in the aisle with all the winter sports things – like sleds and stuff! In our Costco it’s the aisle right by the bakery 🙂

  21. You look bundled up! That jacket is super cute. I always prefer to be more bundled than freezing. Lately, we’ve been having some spring like weather here in Eugene (i.e. I took the dog for a walk/run this afternoon in shorts). Craaazy. But I do need a new pair of thicker spandex if it gets cold ever again here. My one pair isn’t cutting it.

  22. Sarah says:

    Brrrr – I feel like diving under the duvet just at the thought of those temperatures! Good for you for taking it in your stride – and those grips are a fabulous idea. I was wondering how you could possibly avoid slipping and sliding all over the place. Now I know! 😉

  23. Naomi says:

    i often wondered how do people run in snow! i had no idea about the shoe grip things. great tips!

  24. Emily Jane says:

    I have so much admiration for you and your dedication to running no matter what!

  25. Bela says:

    I may be a Canadian but I have not yet braved running in the cold. The cold is not my friend 😉 After the fall I am a treadmill runner until the spring.
    Glad you are still enjoying your obsession!

  26. Caroline says:

    We’ve gotten sooo much snow here! Good thing I’m not training for anything right now cause I can’t motivate myself to go out when it’s cold!

  27. Lisabeth says:

    Icebugs~ check ’em out. Alaska sidewalks (yes, we have sidewalks here in Anchortown) have snow or ice for 5-6 months. They are running shoes with built in “studs”, and they rock. I found the cheapest prices at Sierra Trading Post. They run a bit small. I wear 6.5-7.
    Size 7 fits great.

  28. You are so hardcore! Your dedication to running continues to impress me!

  29. I will run if it is -5 or so, but not colder than that.

  30. Steena says:

    Way to embrace the winter running! It’s not so bad, is it?!
    The shoesnappy thing looks really neat too.

  31. phampants says:

    Those grips are brilliant! I should invest in those. I just need it to be warmer than -4 for me to run outside. (See what I did there? I converted for you Canadians. =D) Otherwise, it’s just too painful on my lungs.

  32. Deidre says:


    I do yoga 4-5 times a week, but I am so impressed you’ve gone everyday. I can’t go more than 4 days in a row otherwise my body struggles. so good on ya!

  33. Jessica says:

    First off, LOVE the outfit. So cute. And those grips are really nice. I always fear falling if I were to run in winter, those would definitely help!

  34. Anais says:

    I am so jealous that you’re having -1 weather… It’s been way too cold as of late for an outdoor run but I’m hoping for one in the next week or so!

  35. Lindsay says:

    I thought I couldn’t justify spending $$ on yak trak-like shoe things but try don’t seem expensive afterall. (this is s. Carolina, I would probably only use them 1-2 times per year at most)

  36. I haven’t ran outdoors in so long! I am def going to run when I am in Paris, though! In general, I prefer to run in 20 degree temps or warmer. Anything below the teens is just a little bit too unpleasant for me!

    Good job on getting that run in despite the winter condition! You look great – love the running jacket. 🙂

  37. Kristen says:

    My two biggest winter running tips: good socks! (if your feet get wet you REALLY want good socks in the winter.) non-cotton underwear! (frozen cotton + butt and lady bits= bad bad news).
    I definitely run in the snow and cold, I’m already sick of it and it is just February 2nd. I’m in for a looong rest of the winter (no matter what the ground hog said)

    And you’re right- definitely a toque!

  38. Stefanie says:

    I went on a run in 6 degree F wind chills today (in TEXAS! Out of all place!). I usually wear my long running tights when it’s around 32 degrees but added a second pair of pants this time around. I also wore a thick North Face down jacket (which might have been a bit too much but it made me feel very cozy and warm during my run).

  39. […] ran in some pretty cold weather before. But none of those runs even compared to last […]

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