I have a love hate relationship with running in the winter. Temperatures in the south are typically bearable; however, by the time I’m ready to run, the sun is down. Most of the time, temperatures are between 30-50℉; however, there are occasional warm spells with spring-like temperatures. Additionally, at least once a winter season, we get a bit of mixed bag of precipitation. You see, winter in the south is tricky. Winter precipitation is rarely 100% snow. It usually snows, sleets, rains, or freezing rain all in one event. It leaves the roads/sidewalks an absolute mess. Altogether, running in the winter can be crazy!
Nonetheless, here are some tips to make running in the winter with your pup easier!
1. If you’re constrained to a 9-5 work week schedule, you may be running in the dark whether you’re a morning or evening runner. For this I suggest getting reflective gear for you and your dog. Sunlight is limited in the winter months and you will want to make sure you are seen by cars. Sometimes Olive will get spooked by things and she’ll dart away from me. I want to make sure EVERY car can see her cute little silhouette hustling along.
2. Get booties for your pup if you live in an area that often receives snow. Cities often put salt on the sidewalks to melt snow/ice. The salt is harmful to dogs’ paws. If you’re going to run on sidewalks, make sure to put booties are you pup. To get your pup used to booties, let them wear them around the house.
3. If you have sunlight to work with, stick to trail running when you can. It’s much easier on you and your pups’ joints. Plus, if you don’t own booties for your pup, there’s no chance of hurting their paws if there is salt on the sidewalks.
4. Dress warmly! Find sweat wicking pants and jackets. That will help with staying warm. It helps with keeping your clothing dry, so you don’t get too cold. Don’t forget about your hands and feet. I often wear wool socks and gloves! If my hands get too hot, I put the gloves in my pockets.
5. Make sure your pup is wearing comfortable running gear. I always make Olive run in a harness. If you pup has shorter fur and you live in a cold climate, get them a running jacket.
6. Get a leash that can go around your waist or attach to a running belt. You’ll want your hands to be free while running. I constantly keep an eye on Olive to make sure she doesn’t get spooked and run out in front of a car. I recommend running leashes with a traffic lead.
7. Lastly, have fun and chase after that runners high!
Aurelia Baca and Olive live in North Carolina. Aurelia trains for half marathons and runs with Olive. Both are happiest outside and together.