Stay safe and warm with three tips for winter running


Max Boettner is a licensed athletic trainer with Aurora Sports Medicine Institute.

Although we have been very lucky so far, the typical Wisconsin cold will catch up to us at some point. For many, that means moving their workouts indoors to a track or a treadmill.

Personally, I get really bored on treadmills and running on a track so I am going to join the group of people that brave the conditions and continue to run outside.

In order to do this safely, there are a few guidelines we should follow.

  • Dress in layers.  The layer closest to your skin should be a wicking layer that doesn’t hold onto moisture.  The best options for this layer are the “high tech” synthetic fabrics.  Cotton shirts are great for wicking away moisture, but they hold onto that moisture so they are not recommended as a base layer.The base layer should be followed by an insulating layer like a cotton or fleece long sleeve shirt.  The last layer you need to wear is a wind/water resistant layer on the outside.  As far as the rest of your body is concerned, it is also important to wear a hat or headband over your ears and gloves.  I would also recommend wearing a pair of tights that wicks moisture away from your legs but also has a thermal layer.  (I recently purchased Under Armour ColdGear tights.)
  • Protect your lungs. Once the temperature really drops (less than 15 degrees), it is also recommended to wear a balaclava to avoid breathing in harmful cold air.
  •  Maintain a safe temperature.  The general rule of thumb for cold weather running is you should be a little cold at the start and your body heat should take care of the rest.  If you feel comfortable in 2 layers, then wear that and save the third until it gets colder.  When in doubt, wear an extra layer that you can always take off.

Keep the questions and comments coming!

Don’t give up the sport — give up the pain! Visit the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute at 13 Wisconsin locations, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, browse our YouTube channel, or call our hotline at 1-800-219-7776.


About Max Boettner

A licensed athletic trainer, Max Boettner looks forward to the challenges of working with athletes of all ages and abilities. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training; his experience includes a football internship at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and seasonal athletic training coverage for the Milwaukee Mustangs Arena Football League Team , and coverage for various UW-Milwaukee Athletics. From injury prevention and rehabilitation to athletic performance, Max is an athlete’s best friend because he understands the drive to “stay in the game”. Originally from Waunakee, he now calls Milwaukee his home. When not working in the clinic or with athletes at Whitefish Bay High School, Max enjoys participating in sports, especially golf and football.
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