5 Tips for Running As the Seasons Change

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This post is sponsored by Fabletics. All content and opinions are honest and my own. Sponsorships help keep WMSB running, no pun intended.

5 Tips for Running Outside as the Seasons Change

original photo by https://unsplash.com/@kalenemsley

As I write this, the entire Seattle area is on an unexpected snow day. Last week, the weather teased us (and destroyed my sinuses) by having four days straight of really dry weather. Then, suddenly, it started to snow on Sunday. With the big game on, we didn’t mind, and figured it would let up. But as far as we could tell it kept on snowing until about 9:00 AM!

I looked out the window to find a winter wonderland of about 8 inches of snow, and a house with no power. I couldn’t believe it! I had intended to make some changes to my workout routine in order to account from the winter to spring transition, but I didn’t realize the changes would be so drastic from week to week!

Each season, the strategies for working out change. It’s really easy to run outside when the sun is shining, but not too hot, and the flowers are blooming. It’s harder to run outside when it starts to rain, everything is muddy, and it’s chilly. But if you’re anything like me, it’s imperative to keep your workout habit going or else you’ll stop exercising completely. I wanted to share with you 5 tips for running as the seasons change.

Tip #1: Wear Layers

As the weather changes, you’ll need a variety of articles of clothing. It is important to have multiple clothing options. A great way to build your work out wardrobe is Fabletics. Fabletics is Kate Hudson’s company. You may have heard about it as an option for subscribing to workout clothes. I was looking through my gym bag for a pair of long pants one cold morning, and realized all of my work out pants were capris. Luckily, my cousin bought me a rain-proof, wind breaking jacket for Christmas and that helped.

A photo posted by Brittany (@brittany_wmsb) on

But as you can imagine, my legs and the tops of my ankles were NOT happy with me after that run. Not only that, I ran for a shorter period of time because I was uncomfortable. By expanding your wardrobe in an affordable manner, like joining Fabletics, you won’t be as likely to find yourself in the situation where all of your workout clothes are the same. As long as your layers are light, you can shed them as your body warms up and adjusts. Just tie your long sleeve top around your waist like junior high in 1999 and you’re good to keep running!  (Remember, if you’re running a race in layers, put your bib on your shirt underneath so that you don’t have to take the time to transfer it when you remove layers. Many races require your bib to be on the front of your shirt, not the back.)

Tip #2: Moisturize Your Skin

I don’t know about you, but my skin is SUPER sensitive to changes in weather. As soon as it starts to get cold and dry outside, my skin  starts to protest. My legs get dry and ashy. The skin in between my fingers and on my wrist starts to protest. And my face… my face starts to hate me. I swear I can live away from the desert for the rest of my life, and my body will still protest the cold. The strange thing is, up in the PNW, the summer is great for my skin, as opposed to the desert where everything dries out. It’s the cold here that ends up frizzing my hair and drying me out.

Before you go on a run you should always put on sun block. You may not be tanning, but the sun doesn’t care about that, it’s hitting your skin anyway. Find a great sunblock/moisturizer for your body and face and season. In the summer, a light sun block is perfect because any thick moisturizer just adds to the feeling of slimy sweat on my legs and arms, and I HATE that. But in the winter, my body soaks up every thing it can, and a thicker moisturizer and sun block is the best option for me.

It’s likely you’ll need two different products during every season to avoid breakouts on your face, but it will be worth it. Don’t forget, when you’re wearing all of those layers on your runs in the cold, your face is totally exposed, so don’t skimp on that. Your skin deserves to be protected. Don’t forget to lather on the right product before you leave the house!

Tip #3: Listen to an Upbeat Playlist, Podcast or Audiobook

Sometimes I listen to more summer-music in the winter than I do while we’re cruising on the boat during the summer! As you can probably tell, I’m not a cold-weather girl. So to trick myself into believing summer isn’t that far away, you can find my workout and office playlists full of country music songs about boats and summer loves, and pop/top 40 songs about dancing the night away.

There are also other options, like beachy romance audiobooks or fun and upbeat podcasts that can take your mind off of the cold weather that’s teasing you with ALMOST being spring, and then ALMOST being summer. As the weather cools down again, these different listening tricks help me transition into fall with a better attitude, and then make late-in-the-year 5k runs feel less terrible. I envision myself running on a beach with the mist of the waves instead of running through a forest of trees, being hit by rain drops or puddles of water that finally fall down from the leaves.

5 Tips for Running Outside as the Seasons Change

Tip #4: Ease Your Body Into It

Be kind to yourself and expect that there will be an acclimation period for your lungs and muscles to get used to changes in weather. This might mean that you run for a shorter distance, or you finish your longer distance at a slower pace. You might need to stray from your favorite neighborhood “course.”  It can be demoralizing to feel like your workout has a set back, but remember, our bodies are adjusting to drastic changes in humidity, temperature, wind and pavement conditions.

You may even need to workout inside for a little bit. That’s OK.

A photo posted by Brittany (@brittany_wmsb) on

I used to only run inside, but once I started running outside, I found it to be terribly boring to get on a treadmill. As your body gets used to the change in weather, be kind to it and find some interior group exercise classes or a place to hop on a treadmill and keep going. It will be time to run outside again before you know it!


Tip #5: Bring the Right Accessories

My good friend Karlee is a total inspiration to me when it comes to running outside. Rain, snow or sunshine, she’s out there pounding the pavement. I asked her if she had any tips, and she shared her experience with Tip #4, and having to run inside or shorter distances while her lungs adjust to changes in humidity. She also pointed out that accessories are key.

Gloves, ear muffs, and sun glasses are going to be essential as the weather cools down in the fall, gets cold in the winter and starts to slowly, and randomly, warm back up in the spring. Until our snow day, I almost forgot how bright snow was! Even in the winter, you may need a good pair of sun glasses.

You can order accessories on Fabletics as well! They have headbands, socks, underwear (a good pair of workout friendly underwear is clutch in running and yoga!), and gym bags to meet your needs. I’m really budget conscious these days, because my focus is on tacking those student loans. But that doesn’t mean I will skimp on the things I need to take care of my body while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You shouldn’t either. Check out the awesome story behind Fabletics and decide if it’s the right way for you to transition your workout wardrobe during the next six weeks of winter. Thanks a lot, Punxsutawney Phil.

Do you love to work out outside? Have you ever tried Fabletics? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I loved these tips you shared! I always need to remember to run shorter distances when we get deep into summer and its super hot out.

    xo, emma

    • Reply
      February 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Ugh totally been there, Emma. It’s so gross to be miles from home and just DRENCHED in sweat. I hate that feeling.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    This post came at the perfect time! This crazy Seattle weather this week has totally thrown me for a loop! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      February 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      It’s been nuts! Yesterday, some places had snow and some had sun. Today it’s semi-sunny. I have no idea what to expect next but I’m hoping it includes more sun!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve made the mistake of forgetting sunblock as it gets warmer. Not fun. Great tips!

    • Reply
      February 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      It’s something I seem to learn the hard way every other year! But once I turned 30 I became a lot more conscious of my skin, so I’m hoping this year I can keep it better protected :)

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