Congratulations: it’s a freezing Winter day, and you’ve still motivated yourself to run outside! You’re dedicated, you’re committed, you’re a polar god or goddess. Now: how are you going to survive?

Cold runs are tough for a couple of reasons. Obviously, it’s cold out there and that’s uncomfortable, especially when you’re running, generating wind, and not wearing a puffy winter coat and thick boots. You’ll get warm if you run long enough, but then that becomes its own problem: overheating. There’s a fine line between feeling comfortably warm and sweating through your fleecy leggings, but you also don’t want to freeze during the first ten minutes.

And it’s not just a comfort thing. Keeping warm during chilly runs actually decreases your chances of getting injured, explained Dave Ringwood, USATF-certified running coach and training program coach at the Formula Running Centre in Arlington, VA. A higher body temperature increases blood flow to your working muscles and promotes good form. “Maintaining warmth helps your stride remain smooth and in control, keeping muscle pulls and strains at bay,” Dave told POPSUGAR.

So, how exactly do you do get to that perfect level of warmth — without overheating in the process?





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