winter running tips nyc

How to Run Through a New York City Winter

We all know an NYC winter can get quite chilly, but that does not mean you have to hang up those running shoes for winter boots, or run exclusively on the treadmill all winter long only to pop back out to the streets when the groundhog says spring is on the way! Here are four popular winter running routes in NYC and tips on the appropriate running gear to enjoy that winter jog.

First on deck is Central Park. There are several miles of paved paths, making it a great place to run during the winter. The park’s loop road is closed to cars, making it even more enjoyable for runners. When it snows, rest assured CP will be salted and cleared FIRST.

Next is the Hudson River Greenway. This 11-mile path stretches from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge and offers great views of the Hudson River. It’s also well-plowed and maintained during the winter. Hot tip, if it’s super windy though, you might want to head inland.

Are you thinking about exploring Brooklyn? Brooklyn Greenway is a great choice. This 14-mile path runs along the Brooklyn waterfront and offers great views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s another well-maintained and plowed route during the winter.

In continuing our Brooklyn tour, if you are feeling woodland and scenic, we have Prospect Park, which offers 3 miles of paved paths, as well as a lake, meadows, and wooded areas. Also, the dog sightings are top notch! There are corgis, and labradoodles, and word on the street is there are dog meet ups. But you are going to have to investigate those! (I’ve got to peak your interest somehow!)

As a bonus, grab a friend and map a route. According to Strava 2022 stats, “In January, cyclists and runners with grouped activities recorded 87% and 78% more active time, respectively, thank their solo counterparts.”

So we have a place to go, now let’s get dressed for the party…

I took a running coach poll and here are some suggestions for you. When running in the winter, it’s important to dress in layers to keep warm and dry. Some recommended gear includes:

  • Base layer: a moisture-wicking base layer will help keep sweat off your skin and regulate your body temperature. Look for materials like polyester or merino wool.
  • Insulating layer: a mid-layer of fleece or insulated jacket will help keep you warm. Make sure it’s not too bulky so you can move freely.
  • Outer layer: a windproof and waterproof jacket will protect you from the elements. Look for features like a hood, zippered vents, and adjustable cuffs.
  • Headwear: a beanie or ear warmers will help keep your head and ears warm.
  • Handwear: a pair of gloves or mittens will keep your hands warm. Look for gloves with a waterproof or water-resistant outer layer and a warm insulation. On super cold days, throw a hand warmer in there!
  • Footwear: a pair of insulated, waterproof running shoes will keep your feet warm and dry. Look for shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls on icy surfaces.
  • Socks: Look for moisture-wicking, insulated socks to keep your feet warm and dry

It’s also important to note that you may want to consider more visibility gear like a reflective vest, headlamp, or light up armband, since the days are shorter in the winter. Also, check the weather forecast and trail conditions before heading out for a run. Alright, now have a great time out there!

Samantha Vargas PT, DPT

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