Does the cold put you off?: Hi is anyone put off... - Couch to 5K

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Does the cold put you off?

LetsgoLizzie profile image

Hi is anyone put off because they are so cold? Should I be trying to do warm up exercises in the house before I go out. I am wondering how many layers is feasible.

I know - just get on with it and forget the cold.

76 Replies
John_W profile image

there you go :-)

Winter layering guide :-)
nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to John_W

Personally I'd add about 2-3°C to all of those recommended temperatures.

Cmoi profile image
CmoiGraduate in reply to John_W

Good grief, I'd melt if I had to wear all that!

Geimfarinn profile image
Geimfarinn in reply to John_W

Love the fact that chart only goes down to -6°C 🙂🙂

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Geimfarinn

look carefully - the last line suggest clothing for temperatures of " < -6C ", i.e. less than 😉

John_W profile image

Your warm-up doesn't have to be indoors - but it should definitely be done! Besides, if your warm-up walk is brisk and energetic enough, that should warm you up sufficiently.

Get yourself some gloves and a hat and a buff (thin, stretchy thing that goes around the neck)

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to John_W

Thanks I most certainly do the five minutes brisk walk and it does not warm me up. Yes gloves would be a good idea and I will try a hat and snood. Thanks.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to John_W

Thanks for your advice.

I think it is a balancing act. Too many layers and before too long you are melting.

When its cold I will generally have man tights to keep legs warm and two layers on top. I will also have a pair of gloves which i generally take off mid run, a woolly hat to keep my head toasty and a buff. 👍

Instructor57 profile image

Haha, your your last line answered your own question 😁

But seriously, a lot find running in the colder temperatures more comfortable .

As for warm ups , I tend to do in the house just before I go out and start my warmup walk

I personally don't mind warm or cold you soon become acclimatised !

Layers rather than thickness is the way to go and I would dress as though it was 4 or 5 degrees warmer as your body will soon get up to temperature .

My run before last was at -1 degrees.

I wore running tights (Yes, Man tights 😁)

A base layer on top with a thicker long sleeved running top and an extremely lightweight jacket.

I wore gloves and also a buff which following sinus problems helped to warm up the air I was breathing .

This combination worked well for me !

You may also find this post useful.

Hope that helps !

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Instructor57

Thanks I know I just have to get on with it but I do have poor circulation and do find it hard to find it fun when it is so cold.

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to Instructor57

Breathing through the neck buff is great when you start running! Also doubles up as a 'face covering' when running past bus stops with hoards of schoolchildren waiting! Although they are very well behaved and mainly wearing masks

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Roxdog

It's been ideal for me after my Sinus issue 👍

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Thanks a good idea I am new to running so will try with a snood I have .

If you look at the FAQ Posts you will find posts about warming up, and cold weather running, amongst many other topics.

Roxdog profile image

Well, warm ups help! It's always cold at first, but you'll soon warm up.An example was this morning, not quite light and minus 3 degrees. I wore winter weight leggings, a long sleeved running top, a very light little Nike running jacket made of lightweight fabric (not waterproof) a hat, neck buff and running gloves. Within 10 mins the hat came off, after a bit more time the gloves came off and lastly the neck buff was removed.

I got chilly during my short cool down walk and just popped my hat back on, but that was ample clothing!

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Thanks for your reply. I am not an experienced runner only starting out. I am re doing couch to 5k after lapsing. I have a feeling I just need to get out there but am wearing two jumpers in the house and the thought of wearing less and being outside is putting me off or giving me an excuse.

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to LetsgoLizzie

Be brave! The shock of the cold only lasts a couple of minutes! I saw a runner in shorts in minus 3 degrees last week!

John_W profile image

There are 4 weather conditions that can be off-putting for us runners:

- heat

- cold

- rain

- wind

When it comes to the winter, I don't mind cold - simply wear appropriate clothing.

Rain? Ditto

Wind? Ditto.

But all 3 together? Nah. I call that the Unholy Trinity and head to the gym and the treadmill instead.

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to John_W

Haha! I know you're an occasional fan of a treadmill and some won't contemplate it. I started on a treadmill and moved outside, but there are times when a large, hi tech treadmill calls me! When I retire I'm going to join a gym for the swimming pool mainly, but an occasional treadmill run in winter will work for me!

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Roxdog

"you're an occasional fan of a treadmill"

I'm a big fan of the occasional treadmill - subtle difference! 😂

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to John_W

🤣 indeed

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to John_W

There are two combinations of weather conditions that definitely stop me running:

* windy, cold and wet

* hot and humid

I've run in the rain. I've run when it's been below freezing. I've run when it's windy. All together? No thanks!

I've run in snow and hail. No problems.

And when we had the heatwave in July last year, I found it very hard to run as I turned into a puddle of sweat after a few minutes.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to nowster

We are two different beings. There is nothing at all that could make me run in the snow although I love rain and wind and hot weather is not a problem for me. Thanks for replying I think I just need to do it and stop thinking it is cold.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to John_W

Thanks it is just the cold for me. Thanks for your reply.

Frenc profile image

Hello. I warm up in the house and generally can’t wait to get outside because by then I’m really hot! I love running in the colder weather - and only wear one layer plus gloves if needed, but some folk will need more layers. 5 to 10 minutes in, and I’m at a comfortable temperature, not too hot, not too cold. It’s really invigorating - although pretty nippy during the warm up walk 🤣.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Frenc

Thanks for your reply. I think I will take your advice and warm up in the house then venture out.

Yesletsgo profile image

I can't believe how much I enjoy running when it's near freezing, and I'm the hypothyroid woman with a world class collection of thermals who used to sit in my office closing doors and windows and turning the heating up. I've found that wearing a thermal instead of a running top can feel kinder against the skin when it's chilly, make sure it's breathable. Keep the extremities warm - hat, gloves or mittens, warm socks, and go for layers like everyone else has suggested. After that you have to tell yourself it's going to be invigorating and smile.

As with so much about running it's about mental attitude. Inwardly laugh at all those people in huge down coats and scarves and just go for it. Once you start running you'll soon warm up (usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to remove a layer, except for the time when I ran at -10C and didn't take anything off


Frenc profile image
FrencGraduate in reply to Yesletsgo

I’m with you there Obk, I love this weather! Invigorating indeed 😊🧊😊.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Yesletsgo

Love it especially the smile. I am exactly the same have thyroid problems and work at home covered in blankets and duvets. You are right it is the mental attitude and that is what I have to master. Thanks for your reply.

Cmoi profile image

I much prefer to warm up in the house, whether it's hot or cold weather. I see no point in getting overheated in summer and chilled through in winter.

It's such a personal thing though. I love running when it's just above freezing, or even below, provided that the surface is OK. I'd overheat if I wore the number of layers suggested in the diagram, and would end up grumpy and with horribly itchy skin.

Yesletsgo is right about mental attitude too - I can, and have, happily run in just long-sleeved top and leggings on a day when I'll wear a thick jumper and down jacket to go for a walk!

Roxdog profile image
RoxdogGraduate in reply to Cmoi

I agree with you about the layers suggested in the diagram, that would be too much for me!

Cmoi profile image
CmoiGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Post-menopause I appear to have an all-too-frequently wonky body thermostat...

GoGo_JoJo profile image
GoGo_JoJoGraduate in reply to Cmoi

Cold water swimming helps with that apparently! 👍🏻🤣

Cmoi profile image
CmoiGraduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Hmm, my nearest - probably illegal - option would be in a river 20+km away. Were I at the seaside then I might actually give it a go!

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

You must be joking!!!

GoGo_JoJo profile image
GoGo_JoJoGraduate in reply to LetsgoLizzie

Not at all, this was Mondays sunrise swim...

Sea swim
LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Do you know what! Looking at that photo I could almost be with you. Great respect.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Cmoi

I am as well but always cold - can you believe.

GoGo_JoJo profile image

There's no such thing as the bad weather, just the wrong clothes (quote Billy Connolly)

Experiment and find what works for you layering-wise.

It's all very doable in every weather condition 👍🏻😁

MartinMX5 profile image

It seems from the replies that most people love the cold, but I'll offer a dissenting view as the really cold air triggers my asthma. This means I don't run during January and February (unless there's a mild spell) and go and do Pilates a couple of times a week instead. You can all sue me :)

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to MartinMX5

Oh that is interesting.

RunningJ123 profile image

I'm with you... I am a cold person and find it hard to get out the door when it's cold or wet! Good to read all the replies!

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to RunningJ123

Many thanks for your reply. Let us cold ones stick together.

Personally I love running in cold weather. I live in Hertfordshire UK and lately I’ve been wearing long running leggings, short sleeved t-shirt and long sleeved zip up top, gloves and ear warmers. It’s a bit chilly when I first step out, but after my brisk walk it’s ok. It all gets too hot after running 1k so it’s off with the long sleeves and gloves for the rest of the run. The only weather that would stop me is if it’s extremely icy as I don’t have appropriate shoes yet.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Kat1234_

THanks for your reply. I must just do it and not think about the cold.

Going out of the door is the worst bit, but then you quickly warm up…like jumping into a swimming pool really. I often start off with one long sleeved layer too many for the run. I take it off when I feel warmed up and tie it around my waist with the sleeves, and then put it back on for the post run walk home. Works for me.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Beachcomber66

I think you are right it is the getting outdoors is the hardest part. I need to work on my mental attitude.

Got to say I’d much rather run in the cold than when it’s warm. Dress for about 5-7c warmer than it is and get yourself a light wind poof top. Hardest part is getting out the door.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Morethanjustastrole

Hi Thanks. That is the conclusion I have come to - I need to change my mental attitude to getting out the door. I do think I will invest in a light wind proof top though.

Kauyak profile image

Just a hint, - if you're buying a BUFF. If you buy online using word "Buff" and then again on "snood" (same thing in most cases) you will find the latter at half the price of the former. Haha

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Kauyak

Thanks for the tip.

Hated2Run profile image

Yes - and the hot, and the rain, and the dark, and if I'm tired, andetc etc .... but I try to just do it anyway .. well at least 3 times a week.

Like today though I dont bother with a 'warm up' as such, just start a bit slower than normal pace for a bit and also wearlong top and leggings - decathon does loads and they dont cost much.

The main thing for me is not to overdress as you'll get too hot and sweat and then get cold afterwards. Conversely - loads of stretching after - I used to play squash and was unable to walk for 3 days after every game until I woke up to the benefits of a post exercise stretch! I now do 10 minutes post run and am always fine after that plus its another small target - chin to knee/flat hands on floor - not quite there but almost! : )

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Hated2Run

Thnaks so much for your thoughts.

To quote someone, the cold never bothered me at all 😀🥶 rain and cold on the other hand is awful.

The following works for me…

Above 12oC Shorts and T shirt

Above 5oC Shorts and T shirt and short sleeve base layer top, maybe gloves.

Below 5oC Shorts, T shirt, long sleeve merino base layer top, gloves and a hat.

That’s basically it, wind chill might affect if I wear gloves and hat.

Practice with difference layers. I always wear shorts, I know others use leggings and the like. The merino top I wear is great, I’ve got two from DHB about £40 in the sales.

My short sleeve base layers are cheapo ones from Decathlon.

The gloves were from Amazon about £20 nothing too special but it keeps my hands warm and if I need to I can put them in my belt bag.

They say dress for mile 2. Not bad advice.

Good luck!

Newbie59 profile image

Hi Lizzie, if you are like me you also get cold quite quickly when you stop running. I get in the house feeling warm, sit down and after half an hour I feel really cold.

I've tried different combinations and now I've come up with a winning formula for cold days close to freezing but not icy (I do not run when it is 1 oC or below).

Legs don't suffer too much from cold, so full length winter tights (I am wearing Craghoppers winter trekking tights, which I bought for walking).

Top half, merino wool is excellent for warmth and wicking, and it feels soft to the skin. I am wearing a thin long-sleeved merino wool base layer, with a thicker short-sleeved merino wool top over that, then I put my short-sleeved polyester running top on over that (you could wear a long sleeved polyester running top). So that's 3 layers on my top half.

A soft neck tube (or Buff) is essential on cold days, and lightweight gloves (I wear cheap fingerless acrylic gloves). Merino wool running socks if you can get them. Definitely not cotton socks as they get damp and cold.

You might feel this is too much to invest in as a beginner runner, but once you have the merino wool base layers, with careful washing they last a very long time and you will find yourself wearing them a lot, not just for running. I bought all my stuff for walking/hiking and it doubles up for running on cold days.

A very thin windproof jacket is useful but I would only wear it on very windy cold days, otherwise I get too hot.

The important thing is to feel warm when you leave the house and I find doing a few dynamic stretches does the trick :)

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Newbie59

Oh thank you for your advice sounds good. I am exactly as you say warm and then half an hour later cold again. Being new and only running for short bursts at the moment until I become more advanced the cold does bite. Thanks again greatly appreciated.

YES! It really does put me off, and I lack so much motivation to go out. I've been slipping from three times a week, to barely once a week because of the cold and then that has the knock on effect of me thinking I can skip it again.

However, I mustered up what ever nerve I had and went out yesterday morning, frost on the ground, full blown dragon breath as I huffed out, and actually did enjoy it after the first ten minutes. Main problem for me is breathing, even when I slow down, because I find my lungs protest.

I can run in the cold, and much prefer it to the rain, but I do find January and February to be difficult months, which might be as much to do with the cold as the grey skies. (I suffer from mild depression and SAD, and although running really does help, I do need to convince my brain at times.)

Looking at that chart for clothing and it was interesting to compare what I wear. It was around 0-1C when I ran, and I wore leggings, sports bra, vest, tee-shirt and lightish hoodie. I unzipped the hoodie on the way back, which felt great. I hate to think what I'd be like if I lived somewhere colder, not sure I'd ever leave my bed.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Crolla

THank you so much I thought it was just me. I am slipping back because it is just too cold. I do realise that I need a different mental attitude and that is what I have to work on.

Newbie59 profile image
Newbie59Graduate in reply to Crolla

Three layers is good :)

BradC profile image

It’s surprising what a difference a thin breathable running jacket or gilet makes. It creates an extra layer of air to insulate and keeps out the cold wind and at least some light rain. If you get too hot it can be taken off and carried - scrunched or rolled. If you’re lucky enough to have clothing with a spare pocket, it can go there.

One thing I find annoying with some running clothes is the shortage of pockets. Surely everyone needs at least two - for handkerchief and phone.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to BradC

Many thanks I agree about the pockets I will think about a gillet or a thin breathable running jacket. I tend to wear an ordinary hoodie for the reason it has pockets with zips.

BradC profile image
BradCGraduate in reply to LetsgoLizzie

My hoodie has four big pockets (2 inside), but either my gilet or my thin sleeved jacket (both zipped) will go over it.

I don't mind the cold, but black ice scares me

Indielass00 profile image

Cold weather is my favourite for running. Add a bit of light rain occasionally and it’s bliss! 😀

mistystream profile image
mistystreamGraduate in reply to Indielass00

Totally with you :-)

mistystream profile image

I've not been put off a run due to the cold. I do dress accordingly, long sleeved base layer, gloves and thin breathable running beanie. Also, running tights etc. Now heavy rain...

It's rarely above freezing here, and generally blowing a gale too being in a fjord.I run in joggers, t-shirt and a wool jumper.

The jumper usually just freezes up and I stand it up in the boot of the car when I've finished.

As for a warm up, usually have the car seat setting on low. Any hotter and it begins to cook my kidneys

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Geimfarinn

Well now I have to admit after reading your message I am a fair weather runner. Your image of the frozen jumper in the back of your car on the way home has been with me all day. Thanks for making me smile.

nowster profile image

Chilly air usually makes my nose dribble on to my upper lip for the first few minutes outside.

Often I'm sweltering in the house when kitted up in my winter running kit and can't wait to get outside into the cool!

As others have said, once you've stopped the run, you've about 10-15 minutes before the metabolism returns to normal and your body temperature drops. Change out of your kit as soon as possible after your run into something warmer. I find I'm still sweating up to 20 minutes after a run and have to change clothes twice so as not to get chilled (indoors).

(And I also have thyroid problems. One 100µg tablet daily seems to be keeping it under control.)

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to nowster

Thanks for your reply.

Minx76 profile image

What are people doing with all these layers/hats/gloves that they are peeling off as they get warmer? Surely too bulky around the waist, or having to carry in hand interferes with driving elbows back and forth? I've always wondered...

Speedy60 profile image

Love running in the cold, not keen on heat or strong winds though. If you have the Nike running club app, there's a very good cold winter guided run with lots of info.

I agree with the thin layers. T shirts with merino wool are good. I only buy them in sales though. I also have a pair of spin shorts I wear under my leggings if the temperature gets down to freezing. Other than that, gloves and a ronhill headband are my concessions to the cold.

LetsgoLizzie profile image
LetsgoLizzieGraduate in reply to Speedy60

Thanks for your advice. I have been out today and have worn a heat and gloves.

I actually much prefer running in cold conditions for some reason my body responds really well compared to running in spring/summer, I will wear snood and gloves, base layer, running jacket and leggings. Try to shower as soon as you get back or the cold really gets into your bones. Good luck. 🏃‍♀️

I have to say I waited an hour this morning before venturing out. I am not running though, I'm walking. Had T shirt, thin fleece, & rain proof which was inside 15 minutes. Hat the same but gloves stayed on.

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