Winter Running Tips - from Clare Buck


Today, I'm sharing my writing space with my good friend and coworker, Clare Buck. When I was thinking about writing this requested post, I originally had planned to write it myself, but then I realized that Clare would be able to share more experience than I could -- this is my first real winter (remember, I'm from TX). Clare not only is a native northeasterner, she is also a crazy good runner. Like... she got first place in the Wall Street Heart Run that we did as a company. Anyways, I think she's really great, and so I figured you guys would love her too!

I asked Clare an annoying number of questions (that I had myself, as I'm preparing for this winter), and had some really helpful tips!

First, tell us a little bit about yourself. And about your running history.


grew up in Hopewell, New Jersey. A part of NJ in which there are miles of trails and several parks within a short driving distance. I graduated from Columbia in 2013 and still live on the Upper West Side, right next to Riverside park!

I was part of a state championship track team all four years of high school and was the individual champion my junior and senior year in indoor track (3200 and 1600, respectively). I then went on to compete for Columbia where I finished in the top 10 at the Ivy Cross Country championships in a snowstorm my junior year. Last May I ran the Brooklyn Half in 1:24 and am currently beginning to train for the NYC half in March!

What do you typically wear when you run in the cold?

When it’s cold, I wear Under Armour running tights & a loose long sleeve. Always Asics sneakers… they are the comfiest!

I have a great Nike running headband that I do not leave without. Gloves are also a must. I personally do not like constricting tops, so I opt for a looser sweat-wicking long sleeve and a thin fleece for an added layer. 

I wear the same running sneakers that I wear in warmer months, but double up on socks for warmth (one pair of regular athletic socks then higher socks over my spandex pants to cover my ankles)!

How do you keep from slipping on ice/snow?

Look down, be conscientious of your footing and definitely slow down/ walk if you think there is black ice! I have been victim to some slips before when not being careful... not a good time. I would much rather run outside then on the treadmill, but if it is super icy out use your judgment and stay in! 

How do you prepare for a winter run?

It is important to do active stretching before going outside in the cold since you don’t want to pull a muscle. Just simple stuff: do some lunges, leg swings, knee pulls to the chest, etc. 

Have you found that you run faster or slower when it's cold?

When starting out for a run in the cold, I always go a little slower than if it was warm out just because my legs are tighter. But.. once I get moving and warmed up I always find myself picking up the pace since the briskness air gives me energy! Take advantage of the cold weather to feel an extra spring in your legs that isn't there when it’s hot and humid out.

Do you alter your breathing at all?

It is a lot harder to breathe in the winter! I try to breathe as normally as possible though. 

What about stretching? Do you stretch afterwards?

Yes! You want to stretch immediately post run before you get cold and your muscles tighten. Once again, active stretching is important after runs as well. 

Any other cold weather running tips?

Be careful of your clothing choices on especially windy days! Make sure you have a snug hat and extra layers. Also, the winter is a great time to find a running buddy, someone to keep you accountable for getting up in the dark or running after work when you just want to stay in. 

Thanks so much, Clare, for your time and for your expertise. We'd love to have you back on SSE again sometime!

I have some more ideas for topics that Clare could shed some light on, but if you have any requests, let me know in the comment section below!