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The Dos and Don’ts of Winter Trail Running: How to Make It Fun 

Winter trail running doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. In fact, it can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience with the right mindset and preparation. Plus, it’ll set you up to start next summer stronger than ever. Here are six tips to infuse fun into your winter trail runs. 

1. Have a Pre-Run Dance Party

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Start your winter trail run on a high note by incorporating a pre-run dance party into your routine. Crank up your favorite energizing tunes and let loose for a few minutes before hitting the trail. Not only does this get your blood flowing and your muscles warmed up, but it also sets a positive and upbeat tone for the rest of your run. Embracing the joy of movement can make the chilly temperatures feel invigorating rather than daunting.

2. Pack a Treat

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Reward yourself by packing a delicious treat to eat along the way or when you’re done. Whether it’s a small snack, a piece of dark chocolate, or your favorite energy bar, having a tasty incentive can add an element of excitement to your run. Choose a treat that is easy to carry, won’t freeze, and provides a quick energy boost when you need it. Knowing you have that reward waiting for you can make your winter run more delightful.

3. Run with Friends

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Winter trail running becomes exponentially more enjoyable when you do it with friends. Organize group runs with fellow trail enthusiasts and experience the camaraderie that comes with tackling challenging terrain together. Running with friends not only provides motivation and support but also turns your outing into a social event. Share laughs, exchange stories, and revel in the beauty of winter nature as you navigate the trails as a group.

4. Participate in Holiday Runs

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Infuse a festive spirit into your winter trail running routine by participating in holiday-themed runs. Many communities host Turkey Trots around Thanksgiving and New Year’s runs to celebrate the start of a fresh calendar. Joining these events can add a sense of community and festivity to your winter workouts. Dressing up in holiday-themed gear, running alongside others in festive costumes, and participating in themed activities can really take your runs up a notch.

5. Put Warm Water in Your Bottle

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Combat the chill of winter by opting for warm water in your hydration bottle. Cold water can be an unwelcome shock to your system during a winter run, making it even more challenging to stay warm. By filling your bottle with warm water, you not only provide yourself with a comforting sip along the way but also help maintain your core body temperature. Consider adding a splash of tea or a sports drink mix to enhance the flavor of your hydration.

6. Don’t Use a Bladder with Hose in Winter

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When temperatures drop, using a bladder with a hose for hydration may not be the most practical choice. The hose can freeze, rendering your hydration system ineffective. Instead, opt for water bottles that are easier to manage in colder conditions. Insulated bottles can help keep liquids from freezing for a more reliable hydration solution.  

Winter trail running offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities for fun. Incorporating these tips and tricks will help you embrace the season, stay prepared, and turn your winter runs into joyful excursions. 

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