Winter Running: Unorthodox Advice

8. The Buff — Gear Junkie readers know that the Original Buff, a polyester headwear piece, is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. A Buff really comes into its own in the winter for running. I bring at least two with on each run, including one on my head and one in a pocket as backup. A common technique I employ is to start with the Buff worn as a balaclava and with a small beanie or skull cap over the top. As I heat up on the run, I take off the hat and stow it away. At the same time, I pull the Buff up onto the top of my head, moving it from the balaclava configuration to a floppy hat. I use this technique over and over again. It works!

The Original Buff

9. No ‘Cool Down’ Finish — Don’t slow down for the last mile. Keep running strong until you’re back near your home or the start of a run. You will freeze if it’s cold and your sweat is soaking through your base layer on top.

10. Sweat it Out — At home, standing outside my front door at the end of a run, I often remove my hat, gloves and jacket and just “chill out” for a minute or two. Even if it’s 10 degrees F outside, I’ll pause and let my body take a stab at regulating my heat. I finish almost every run — no matter the temp — sweaty and hot. If I step straight indoors after a winter run, the heated air inside is overwhelmingly too hot, and my body sags and sweats as I work to pull off layers and sweat drips on the floor. My advice: Cool down outside. Let the sweat stop. Then head indoors to change clothes, relax, or shower off. After a hard winter run, you deserve it.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of A version of this post ran originally on Gear Junkie’s blog on