Running in Cold Weather: How to Psych Yourself Up

running in cold weather

Running in cold weather has arrived and I need a pep talk. It is my least favorite time to run, but I don’t let the cold ruin things. Join me and psych yourself up for the experience!


Running in the cold weather is especially challenging for me. I get cold easily and this makes the running experience my least favorite. But I don’t let the cold ruing things. No way! There are unique things I love about running in cold weather, which help me enjoy it throughout the winter months.

If you’re like me, then you need a pep talk. I’ve learned how to psych myself up for cold weather running and ultimately look forward to it. I need to get my runs in, because simply skipping four to five months is not an option. Prepare for a pep talk, your survival guide, the bare bones checklist to making the most of running when the weather is rather frightful.


Dress For Success

By no means can I dress the same way I do when it’s much warmer outside, but simply adding a hat is not enough. I’m always amazed when I see people running in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of winter. That is crazy to me, so I layer and cover and make sure I’m comfortable. The best thing I’ve ever done is expand my cold weather workout clothing.

First, you might be thinking how I live in Los Angeles. Why would any of this be relevant? Let me tell you, its cold in the early hours of the morning and its very cold by comparison to the mid-day highs. I run in the 6 AM hour and during the winter months it’s in the 40s. That is chilly! I bundle up and wear thin running gloves and a thin running beanie. If its colder, then you’ll want something thicker and more insulated.

Our Favorite Running/Workout Sneakers
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I own an awesome running pullover, running pants, thin gloves, and a thin hat. Along with layering underneath, this is more than enough for me to feel warm. This way I don’t mind if I sweat under my clothes, because if I’m warm at first then the slight chill makes my runs so much better. I’m also a huge fan of layering, which is why I’m stressing it so much. I layer whether I’m running on the west coast or on the east coast during the holidays.

You don’t have to break the bank for any of your running clothes. Keep them light weight but insulated. There are so many great brands to pick from, which is one of the best parts about running. It’s an extremely affordable and approachable form of exercise. The running pullover below is a new favorite of mine and it’s actually on my Christmas list! You can check it out here and thank me later!

Thermal Fleece Running Pullover


Update Your Mindset

This step is not easy and is probably why you need a pep talk to begin with. But if you’re serious about running year-round, then updating your mindset is essential. It’s how I turned myself into an outdoor runner. The key to your mindset is accepting that it takes time to change. This is not something that you can just alter overnight. Practice makes perfect.

If you are like me and running in the cold presents a road block, then work on slowly implementing this activity into your routine. Start by setting small weekly goals to help with the change into the cold. If you normally run five days a week but the thought of running in the winter turns you off, then start with two days a week and exercise indoors the other three.

I’ve found that setting smaller goals has helped me update my mindset and achieve my bigger goals down the road. This is what I do when I go to the east coast for the holidays. I know that I won’t run six days a week, but I prepare myself for running outside as much as possible. I give myself slack, add in other workouts, and in the end feel proud of how much I’ve exercised!

Tackling cold weather running while pregnant earlier this year.


Celebrate When You Run!

Every morning, no matter what route I take, I run by a thermometer. That means that during these cold months I know exactly how cold it actually is. There are mornings in the dead of winter where the temperature dips below 40 degrees here in Los Angeles, but even though its cold, I still get my bum moving! That is something I celebrate.

For the longest time I avoided running in the cold. This made it extremely hard for me to form a running habit and work toward my goal of effortlessly running outside. Celebrating the days when you tackle the cold weather and go running is a great way to keep your motivation alive. Continue your journey of running in cold weather no matter what!


From February 2020, while I was still pregnant.


Have A Backup Plan

I’m not the biggest fan of backup plans, because I believe if you have a backup plan, then you’re likely to use it. Work toward your original plan, but with alternatives to your success. When it comes to running outside, you need options. I’m able to break out my elliptical machine and get a good workout indoors if the weather is uncooperative.

Using the elliptical is not the same as running, but it’s still a good workout. I especially like using the elliptical on cold and rainy days here in Los Angeles. If I lived in a snowy climate, then I would buy a treadmill as well so I have a direct running option as needed.

No matter how cold or rainy or snowy it gets, I can always get a cardio workout in! That is my backup plan and it keeps me focused on exercising no matter what. If running is your go to form of exercise, then acquire a treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine for when it’s too cold, rainy, or snowy. It will keep you on track!


Let go of the dread of those cold weather months. Embrace them as another part of your running journey and the unique experience they offer. When I let go of my disdain for running in the cold, I learned to actually enjoy it! You can too.


Meet our Runner:

Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Writer, and Co-Owner of BuzzChomp. She’s an acclaimed Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for her film work, or get lost in her comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow her on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

BuzzChomp is an affiliate for products and services recommended herein. Please read our Full Disclaimer for further information on affiliate programs and opportunities.

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