Running in All Sorts of Weather


Living in Minnesota gives me the chance to run in all sorts of fun weather since we get a little bit of everything throughout the year. You name it and I've probably run in it, barring anything dangerous. Here's some of my best tips for running the most common weather I encounter in the year.

Winter: Snow and Cold

Usually, I spend most of the winter running with a good amount of snow (and/or ice) on the ground. This year was completely different and we barely had snow. But we did have the cold (and windchill), there were a couple of days that I turned to the treadmill when it was a feel like temperature of -20°. When it gets to below zero, I usually head to the treadmill (it helps that I'm usually in-between training cycles and don't have super long runs during the winter).

When I am running outside in the winter, I am layering up. At a minimum, I have a pair of tights, long-sleeved shirt, running jacket, headband and light gloves. Depending on how windy it is, I'll switch out the headband for a hat, add on a second pair of gloves or a thermal base layer top. I also have a face mask for those extra windy days when the snow is blowing at me.

Winter Running

During the winter, there's a lot less light as well so I make sure my winter running clothes are some of my brightest. I also have a headlight that I wear on runs after work, more to be visible than to see where I'm going. The area I run is well-light but I feel more visible with the extra light.

Most of the time, the paths where I run are cleared of snow and ice quickly so I haven't had much experience with slipping during runs. Mike did get me pair of Yak-tracks for Christmas one year that worked great on icy patches but broke down pretty quickly since the ice was patchy and I was running on the actual path of times also.

Spring: Rain

Right now, it's spring in Minnesota and pretty rainy. Like with the snow and cold, there are points where it's raining too hard (or there's lightning) and I'll run on the treadmill. Otherwise, I don't mind getting wet out on a run. I haven't had to race in the rain but I have plenty of experience if I ever have to!

The only change I make from my normal spring running clothes if it's raining is adding a baseball hat. Even if it's just a light rain, it keeps the rain off of my glasses and makes it easier for me to see. I also try to pick out brighter colored shirts to increase visibility. Having a waterproof watch is also key for me, I killed one FitBit Flex after getting caught in the rain but I've never had a problem with my Polar M400 getting wet.

Spring Running

I run with a FlipBelt to put my phone and keys in and I haven't had problems with my phone not wanting to work after a rainy run. You could put your phone in a plastic bag to be extra careful with it but I don't fe I usually don't take my Bluetooth headphones with me in the rain since they don't feel that comfortable on my ears if I'm wearing a hat.

Summer: Heat

After spring, we'll get into the heat of a Minnesota summer. The key is to time your runs either early morning or later in the day to avoid as much of the heat as you can. Usually, it's more humid early in the morning but cooler than it would be in the late afternoon.

I always do my weekend runs as early as I can (learned that the hard way during training for my second half marathon when I did a seven mile run in 90 heat). I'll also be doing Wednesday runs once I get up during marathon training since they'll be between five to eight miles and I have knitting group those nights. Summer is actually my favorite running time, even with the heat and humidity. I hate being layered up and early morning runs are my favorite since it's so quite outside.

Summer Running

Other than that, I make sure to carry water and dress as lightly as possible. Tank tops and shorts are my go-tos during the summer, even at 5 a.m., along with sunscreen. I also make sure to get my hair off my neck as much as possible, either with a bun or high ponytail.

How do you get your runs in with bad weather?