How to Run in the Cold

Cold Running Hydration

You may not sweat as much in the winter, but that doesn't mean you don't need to stay hydrated. Hydration is just as important during the winter as it is in the summer. Here are a few reasons why.

Cold air has less moisture than warm air, which means each time you inhale and exhale, the dry air steals a little bit of moisture from your lungs. Also, lower temperatures trick your body into ignoring its need for fluids. Therefore, you should hydrate even when you don't feel thirsty.

Earlier, we talked about dressing in layers to trap heat and keep warm. It's important to remember that wearing moisture-wicking clothing may prevent you from knowing how much you're sweating. You should keep hydrating, even if you think you're not losing fluids. You can determine how much fluid you're losing while you run by weighing yourself before and after running. It's best to weigh yourself in the nude; don't weigh yourself while you're wearing clothing that's soaked with sweat. For every pound of weight you lost during that run, you should consume 16 ounces of fluids. Any weight lost during running or other strenuous exercise is mostly water weight, so you need to replace it. Now that you know how much you typically lose during a run, you can ensure you hydrate the correct amount the next time you run.

Many runners -- especially long distance athletes -- will wear a water belt so they can hydrate during their runs. A water belt is worn around your waist and it holds bottles of water, so your hands can remain free. An added bonus of the water belt is that the water stays close to your body, which will prevent it from getting too cold in the freezing weather.

For more articles about running and exercise, check out the links below.

Related Articles


  • McManus, Melanie Radzicki. "Winter Advisory." Runner's World. August 2004. (Sept. 5, 2010),7120,s6-238-267-269-9262-0,00.html
  • Morris, Rick. "Dressing For Cold Weather Running - Staying Warm And Dry When Running In Cold Weather." Running Planet. 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • Morris, Rick. "Running In Cold Weather - How To Avoid Hypothermia and Frostbite." Running Planet. 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • "North Pole Marathon: World's Coolest Marathon." North Pole Marathon. 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • Pribut, Stephen M. "Running in the Cold." Dr. Pribut's Running Injuries Page. Jan. 23, 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • "Since I don't sweat much when it's cold, do I still need to hydrate during my runs?" Runner's World. Dec. 5, 2006. (Sept. 5, 2010),7120,s6-238-267--11144-0,00.html
  • Solkin, Mindy. "Running in the Cold." 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • Switzer, Kathrine. "Don't Let the Cold Slow You Down: Tips For Cold Weather Workouts." Cool Running. 2010. (Sept. 5, 2010)