How to be a better winter runner

  • Article by: BOB TIMMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 2, 2014 - 2:05 PM

For a certain breed of Minnesotan, running outdoors is as much a part of winter as shoveling snow or pulling on a wool cap.


Angela Gustafson braved the -13 degree temperatures recently for a sunrise run around Lake Harriet.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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For a certain breed of Minnesotan, running outdoors is as much a part of winter as shoveling snow or pulling on a wool cap.

The raw wind, biting cold, the ice and snow make the conditions challenging. But if winter running carries risks, it also offers unique rewards: the transcendent, still beauty of newly fallen snow; a sense of triumph for fighting the elements — and winning. These simple gifts are enough to get many of us outdoors in polar vortex country.

“As a Minnesotan, a physician and a runner, I know winter running is an underappreciated joy,” said Dr. Rick Bosacker of Lino Lakes.

We asked local runners to offer advice on how to be a better winter runner. Whether you’re a fair-weather runner or an old hand at running outdoors year-round, their wide-ranging, free-wheeling tips will help make this “underappreciated joy” better and safer.

Prepare your body

Eat and drink a lot of water before you run. This is super important for temperature regulation.

– Evan Kearney, Minneapolis


Cover any exposed skin. Eucerin, Aquaphor, Vaseline, even Crisco works wonders.

– Dr. Rick Bosacker, Lino Lakes


Wear anti-perspirant on your feet and avoid wool socks. Your feet sweating too much is a sign of heat escaping your body. You want to prevent that.

– Wakako “KoKo” Nishimura, Plymouth


Cold air needs to be moistened and warmed. So breathe through nose and mouth simultaneously. Hold the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth to allow air to flow all around.

– Dr. Rick Bosacker, Lino Lakes


Prepare your mind

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