A Warmup Indoors Can Get You Psyched for a Winter Run Outdoors

This routine will make all your cold-weather kilometres feel way better.

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You’ve heard time and time again about how you need to warm up before a run, particularly with some dynamic stretches that prep your muscles for movement. Well, that’s even more important if you literally have to warm up prior to clocking kilometres in the frigid temperatures of winter.

Some of our winter-run loving readers do moves like burpees, jumping jacks, and a few laps of the couch to help them get the most of their chilly kilometres—and make stepping outside into the cold a bit less of a shock.

As it turns out, thousands of you love going out for a cold run—we asked via an Instagram post for winter running tips and why winter running is better than summer running. Even if this doesn’t sound like you, you might still be looking for ways to make winter running more bearable. So we asked, Runner’s World Coach Jess Movold to offer some tips. What she wants you to know: Getting prepped to get out the door is all about mindset.

“Sure, getting your blood pumping a little bit is important so you don’t step out on cold muscles, but it can also help you get hyped up to go outside,” she says. “As useful as it is physically, it’s more mental—having positive energy can help you convince yourself it’s warmer, even when it’s not.”

In addition to doing some high-energy moves, jamming to your favorite song before you hit the road can also help amp you up, says Movold. If you go the route of an active warmup, you’ll want to make sure you don’t get too sweaty or overexert yourself before your run.

The intensity of the warmup should be low to start and progressively become a little more intense while never feeling stressful or overly challenging. (Save that for the workout or the run itself, says Movold.) She suggests doing what you might do in in an actual cross-training workout, such as a burpee, at 60 percent intensity. When you start to feel like you might be losing you breath or are heating up and get tempted to take off a layer of warmth you put on for the outdoors, you know you’re good to go for your run.

Need more advice on getting warm and excited for a winter run? Here are a few things you can try that your fellow runners do to psych themselves up for a cold run and warm up their bodies.

  • “Agree to run with someone else. Don’t let them down—encourage them to stick to the plan. If going solo, warm up before you leave the house with mountain climbers and burpees, which will help when you hit the fresh air with inner warmth.”mac.l.83
  • “I just need gloves, a beanie, and those neat headband/earmuffs/scarf thingys to keep over my neck/mouth/nose. Warmup inside before running out the front door!”minimelini
  • “Fun run hats! I get all layered up then do some jumping jacks until I’m too warm…then the cold feels good! Then a reward of a warm beverage when I return.”elizabeth5wells

If doing a few moves to get warm sounds like something that will help you look forward to running in the cold, try this warmup created by Movold before you head out the door.

Pick four movements and do a Tabata-style warmup, performing each move for 20 seconds with a 10-second rest between, going through each movement twice. Rest. Then, pick four more movements and repeat the same way. After those two Tabatas (that’ll last eight minutes), you should be good to head out the door. Here, moves to inspire you.

Coach Jess’s Warmup:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Hamstring sweeps
  • Burpees
  • Hip circles



  • Jumping jacks
  • Plank hold
  • High knees
  • Butt kicks


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