How To: stay warm while running in the (single-digit) cold


It’s been in the single-digits for the past week or so, which has made getting up to run super easy.

Who doesn’t want to get out of their warm, cozy bed when they see this on their weather app?
photo (2)

Even if (when) you peel yourself out of bed and head out the door, there’s the battle of layers: wear too few and you feel like you’re going into cardiac arrest the entire time; wear too many and you sweat, making you wet, which makes you cold, which puts you back at square one.

Finding the right balance is an art, my friends.

Thus, I present to you, Efo’s List of Layers: aka, How To Stay Warm when it’s frickin’ freezing out.
First off, I start with wearing tights that are entirely too short. That way, my ankles freeze within two seconds of exposure!

Then, I make sure to wear three super tight long sleeve shirts that are really good at cutting off the circulation to my upper body. Wearing various sized layers, like jackets, creates insulation, which come on, we all know that doesn’t do anything.

Third, I like to wear the thinnest running socks I own, because toes are expendable. Lose one to frostbite? No problem! You’ve got 9 more.

Lastly, I cover my hands with socks, so that when I inevitably wipe out on a slippery sidewalk, I can’t grab on to anything to break my fall.

And if you’re a man (or girl, if you’re Cabo) with a beard? Even better. It’s the perfect place to accumulate icicles. Making you even warmer.
The Weez family; we’re doin’ it right.

But in all seriousness? How do I stay warm while running in the cold? I don’t. I’m literally always cold. The faster I run, the faster I’m done and back in a hot shower.

If you have any fabulous cold weather gear recommendations, leave ’em in the comments below!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Laurie says:

    Hahaha. For one, I would suggest purchasing some socks that cover the gap between shoes and tights. I have had many skid-shedding experiences from cold, exposed ankles.

  2. Holy bananas I cannot even imagine. I bet running in that kind of weather is quite the adventure.

  3. Holly KN says:

    BAHAHAHA! You’re hilarious. My train of thought:

    1. Oh good! I write this kind of list for my runners often. I wonder if she has any good suggestions!
    2. Oh, my. This is funny, but I can’t give it to new runners, since she’s being all sarcastic.
    3. Wait a minute…nope…I don’t think she’s being sarcastic. I think that this really is what she does…

    For someone who lives in a cold place, and does all this hiking and outdoor adventuring, you’ve gotta get a grip on this, girl! I may be speaking from Singapore now, but I spent 7 years in Upstate NY. We know cold and snow.

    First of all, get yourself some tall dork socks. A tall female runner will always be playing “ankles versus crotch” with her tights. I solved this problem by keeping the crotch high, but covering my exposed ankles with tall Darn Tough socks. [Note: I NEVER wear these tall socks with shorts. TIGHTS ONLY!!!]

    Second, on your next special occasion, request a Sugoi jacket. They make stuff for cyclists (and runners), but bikes are way faster – and breezier. I have a single layer jacket from them that’s water & wind resistant, and warm – but ventilated enough that I didn’t overheat (unless I accidentally wore it when the temps crept above 30 or so).

    But hey – you’ll be in a considerably warmer place in a few days, so who cares?!?! The tigers won’t care if you’re missing a finger or toe…. ;-)

    1. Efo says:

      Sugoi jacket, noted! :) While I honestly wear the things I listed above to stay warm, I do wish I had fancier cold weather gear. Hopefully readers can learn from my sarcasm! (longer thicker socks, running jackets, and nice gloves all add up to a warmer winter running experience!)

  4. YES! That was quick. These pictures are TOO cute! Also, no worries, my running tights do the exact same. I think it keeps us from getting too hot with all those layers!

    1. Efo says:

      Thanks for the blog idea, boo. Us tall girls, the tights are always an issue ;)

  5. DUDE! I was thinking about writing a similar post! I absolutely suck at dressing myself for runs. I’m either not wearing enough or too much. I’m too cold or too hot. The other day I was dressed so goofy to run outside, and then I got to warm! I’ve got to follow the comments to get ideas myself!

  6. Heidi Nicole says:

    The first thing to freeze when I’m out running in the cold is my butt! Actually, the entire thigh/butt region gets so cold! So I wear capri tights under my long tights! I also have a really light weight neck gator or whatever they are called that I usually wear snowboarding – but it really helps with cold runs!

  7. Maggie says:

    This is the best post ever! Love the sarcasm! I will have my first freezing weather/snow run in a couple weeks when I go to Montana…hopefully this So Cal girl can stay warm (with your tips, I’m good to go!)

  8. kimm bolin says:

    OMG, You clearly have not found “kimblz” they are the answer to your cold exposed dry freezing ashy ankles we all get when it freezing outside!! They are moisture wicking and keep the lower half of your leg warm and bridge that gap between you legging and shoe and if you are wearing long leggings then they add an additional layer. Not only that, you don’t even have to wear socks with them, because when your ankles are warm, you feet stay warm also, kind of the same way a scarf works. Therefore no bulky socks needed!! They were born for this very problem. Check them out at

  9. Skatsbo says:

    The answer to these cold ankle problems has been solved! No socks… no problem. Stay toasty below zero!! No joke and they are beautiful hand crafted in the USA!

  10. Christine says:

    Check out for a great layering tip to keep your butt cheeks warm! The undies keep your cheeks warm but don’t have added layering in other places that don’t require them. I love them for my outdoor winter activities.

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