Fitness & Outdoors

Tips for Winter Running


Brian Nelson from NovaCare Rehabilitation, here in the Twin Cities, wrote an article that includes some great advice for winter running.  Brian has included some smart tips for us runners that still have a lot of winter left, but need to get out and train for upcoming Spring races, for those who have already gotten a jump on marathon training or for the runners who just CAN NOT run inside on a treadmill.  I hope you enjoy!  I know the next time I head out for an outdoor run, I will keep his words in mind.

Preparing for Winter Running

by Brian Nelson

Running in the winter can be a great deal of fun, but you need to pay more attention to your surroundings in order to avoid injury. Here are a few recommendations about how to run safely in the winter months:

Stable footing is the goal: Run on the street (safe from traffic) and sidewalks that are plowed.

Don't overdo: Slow your pace and increase your cadence (faster leg turnover).

Run with a partner.  This helps you stay motivated on those colder days and keeps you safer.  It is easier for drivers to see two people than just one.  Also, in case of a trip or slip you have someone to help you.

If you can't run with a partner, let someone at home know that you are leaving, your intended route and when you expect to be home.  Once you arrive back, make sure you let them know as well.

Make yourself seen: Run in well lit areas with reflective clothing, even lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree.

Good shoes: Buy good shoes for winter running, as advised by running stores.  Cold weather decreases a shoe's shock absorption, so look for a pair with EVA foam cushioning.

Cross training/Strengthening: Work on balance and proprioception to improve footing on uneven terrain.


About the author

Brian NelsonBrian Nelson is a Physical Therapist at NovaCare in the Twin Cities.  Brian has run 27 marathons to date and specializes in injury prevention and injury management.  For injury questions or concerns, contact the NovaCare injury hotline at [email protected]


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