Winter Running Is Meant for Everyone, Just Run to See the Benefits

A lot of people loathe it and simply dismiss the idea, and prefer to stay inside. Such people are the ones who complain the most about cold weather. But there are people who totally admire it and claim that “Cold weather is not the problem, it’s our clothing choices which make it difficult”

Yes, it’s the winter running that we are talking about- which means that you should be prepared for freezing temperatures and bone penetrating winds, even in Washington.

A District resident, Kathy Pugh, however, has been standing firm against all of this. He has been a coach for almost a decade now and has been leading runs and races preparations in winters.

Pugh says that winter is her favorite season to run. Whole of the city seems to feel like your own as everything looks stationary and calm.

Choices for clothes


Pugh believes that running in winters acquires way more preparation and thinking period compared to running in summers. You are ready to leave in no more than 5 minutes in summers, all you need is a pair of sneakers, a shirt, and shorts.

If you want to run in the cold you must be prudently calibrated, else there is a high chance of getting your fingers numb and the high winds striking against your face will chap your face.

You should find out what suits you the best, I, however, give my fellow runners a suggestion to dress up for winters as if it was 20 degrees warmer outside.

It means, that if it is 15 degrees outside and you are setting yourself for a run, then make sure you are clothing up as if it is 35 degrees outside.

According to Pugh, in cold and windy weather you should try to keep your body as much covered as possible. The best way to cover your face and neck is by wearing a balaclava. She adds to it by saying “Cold weather has never been a reason to cancel my run.”

Snow and Rain


Hilary Chapman is one of Pugh’s longtime runners, she says that it’s not the cold weather which becomes a limitation in winter running, but the icy roads and chilly rains are.

Chapman says that her preference would be an indoor exercise session in case it’s raining. Whenever she misses an exercise drill while she is preparing for an upcoming race, Chapman covers it up with indoor cycling sessions. She does this training for the same duration and intensity as she had planned for the run.

She says, “I train to keep my effort level, time and concentration at the similar level intended for my run.”

On the contrary, Pugh is ready for an outdoor run in any circumstances. After years of running and coaching, she exactly knows her track when the streets are covered with ice.

Capitol building is a loop of 1.1 miles and within 24 hours of snowfall, it is plowed iceless. Pugh also tells about the loop at the Mall, where the pavements alongside the drives of Madison and Jefferson are quickly prepped and plowed after the snowfall.

To complete the desired distance, runners sometimes keep running on these loops. Pugh says, “even if we need to do repeats, we will do them.”

Pugh and Chapman also states some other running tips for winters:

Warms-ups and stretches should be taken very seriously, your consumption for breakfast should be huge and healthy, for every hour at least four ounces of water should be taken, don’t rush in your first mile, the stretching after your run should be done indoor and afterward quickly take a hot shower.

Race Day


You might have to wait before the race starts, so come prepared for it. One of the finest suggestions given by Kate Langbein, a D.C runner is to wear T-shirt with long sleeves. She says you can also wear, mittens, woolen socks, and skin blocking cream.

She also recommended some general tips for running in the winters. Langbein thinks that since that there are a lot of chances for you running after work, during the night you should run with a reflective gear. Even though she admits to the fact that winter running is an intimidating act, but for her, winters made her a runner. It was back in 2007 when she first ran for Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and her training had begun back in the winters of 2006.

Langbein loves to run in winters, as we concluded from her talk. It was almost 35-degrees in New York when she won the title for running at her best. New snow is her favorite training site located in Rock Creek Park and she calls it being mystic.

Treadmill is used by her only during the summer days when the heat becomes unbearable. Langbein doesn’t like the heat too much, and it was during one summer that she ran on the treadmill for 17 miles to avoid the high temperature.

The Meditating Wind

I had to quit running in big races despite having all of it, Chapman says, it is too cold and we have to wait around a lot. The disease of Raynaud’s doesn’t let blood reach Chapman’s fingers when the days are very cold.


She says, “No suitable gloves for winter running are available in the market”

Pugh Tips and Tricks: Take along a friend when going out for running during the dark and snowy weather. Make sure you have checked the forecast and dressed up properly according to it.


You can compare the wind to the summer heat index, Pugh says. If the wind is part of the equation then get ready for some moments of meditation.