Tips for Getting Out and Getting Going During these Colder, Darker Months

Here are some of our favorite Go-To Tips and Tricks starting with our resident cold weather expert, staffer Kaleb, who grew up in Galena, a small village in the heart of Alaska and then went on to compete for University of Alaska Anchorage before transferring to Western:

Kaleb’s tips:

  • Sprinkle a little chili powder or cayenne pepper on the bottom of your feet before putting your socks on. 
  • Wear wind proof briefs or if you are in a pinch or can’t afford them, a few strips of duct tape can also do the trick.
  • Put your shoes on a boot dryer that has a heat option 30 minutes BEFORE the run. Even if your shoes aren’t wet, this will feel like putting on a hoodie that is fresh out of the dryer. 

And more great tips we’ve used over the years:

During my time training on the Palouse, temps could dip into single digits with wind chill! My teammates and I would put a thin layer of Vaseline on our cheeks, forehead and nose to help act as a barrier between our skin and the frigid cold! I (thankfully) never experienced any sort of wind burn with this method!

That said, our hair would freeze every so often on an exceptionally foggy, chilly day. Which always sparked the debate of who looked the most like Jack Frost!

Run within yourself! Slightly shorter strides, landing underneath your body will increase your stability in wet/slick conditions.
– Chris

My favorite time to go for a walk or run in the winter is later in the afternoon. I feel so thankful to be catching those last rays of light and get the opportunity to recharge and re-energize. There are still plenty of hours left in the day before bedtime and this gets me more motivated to not just hunker down for the rest of the day (because I do love to hunker 🙂 ) .
– Genevie

Smart clothing is a start, but most importantly, it’s mindset and identity that will get you out the door. Are you a runner? Then don’t debate about whether you will run or not – just run. It’s the daily internal negotiation and deliberation about whether the weather is just right, that can make it tough to be a runner. In addition, most of us live relatively comfortable lives. Getting cold or wet while playing outside is a gift that makes feeling healthy, warm and well-fed even more satisfying and gratifying. 

Best tip, in summary – Don’t think about it so much. Get some weather appropriate clothes on and go run!

7. After reffing soccer games on cold days, I always have a puffy jacket, warm sweats and fresh socks waiting in my car. I strip down then bundle up before getting in the car. (And while reffing games, hand warmers nestled in gloves is a welcome luxury.)

Layers are key! The more layers you wear, the easier it is to manage your body temperature as you warm up because you can shed layers as you go. But don’t toss them aside as you might need to put some back on again.

Find an online community or program that focuses on racking up miles during the colder months, which will give you rewards when you meet your goal!

To elaborate, I signed up for Believe in the Run’s WINTER GRIT program, which is all about that aforementioned concept. They give you “tiers” to choose from that are based on the mileage level you want to hit (100-199 miles, 250-350 miles, etc.). I get rewards upfront by registering (an ASICS 1/4″ zip, stickers), but I would also be entered for a raffle by completing my goal for a new pair of ASICS running shoes at the end of the month!

And for those days when it doesn’t feel safe to head out, here’s some safe indoor options to keep your momentum going –

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