Plow Through: Cold-Weather Workouts

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Dec 17, 2012
  • Updated Nov 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM UTC
Illustration by Matt Collins.


Use cold-weather workouts to turn you into a stronger runner.

Pro triathlete and speedy runner Linsey Corbin proudly hails from Montana and doesn’t flee for warmer weather at the first sign of a snowflake. Instead, this Ironman champ uses unpredictable surfaces to her advantage, and you should too.

Tailor your training. Corbin almost always hits the trails for any workout other than speed sessions, no matter the conditions. “I love running in the snow,” she says. “I think it’s really good strength training because you have to work your stability muscles to absorb the side-to-side movement.”

Keeping a smooth cadence on unpredictable footing is another story, however, so Corbin does her faster training indoors. “I definitely don’t do quality tempo running outside when the road surfaces are icy and unpredictable because it alters your stride a little.”

Get adventurous. How cold is too cold to run outside? Dr. Jeffrey Sankoff says it’s a matter of personal preference. Unless you have a respiratory condition (asthmatics, consult your doctor), “there is no absolute temperature under which it’s unsafe to run,” says Dr. Sankoff.

Corbin errs on the side of adventure when it comes to temperature. “I generally try to always take it outside,” she says. “But if it’s 30 below and the wind is blowing sideways, I’ll move it inside. Maybe I’ll move my workout to later in the day or to another day.” Find your personal comfort level running in low temps, and be sure to dress appropriately (read: safely) for the elements.

RELATED: Does Winter Running Burn More Calories?

Next »

FILED UNDER: Run / Training TAGS: / /

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter