Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Moderators: melkor

Running in cold weather=ear pain?

Quote  |  Reply

Hi all,

I have an annoying problem. When I am out in cold weather, particularly if it's a windy day, my ears always hurt like crazy. The pain feels similar to having an ear infection, however after I go inside, it resolves after about 30mins or so. Although it is reasonably short lived, it is pretty agonising while it lasts.

Yesterday, I went for a short run, in a circle through my neighbouring streets. I've just started doing regular exercise over the last 6 months, however this was the first time I'd gone running in over a year. I ran for about 1km, at a pretty good pace. On one hand, I really wanted to keep going. Although 1km may not sound far, I was really excited because I could remember running the same route last year and not being able to make it without stopping, whereas this time I still had energy left. However, the other part of me was just so desperate to get back inside, because my ears were absolutely throbbing with pain. 

Does anyone else have this problem? Or, more importantly, have a solution?! I tried googling it, and found an explanation for it (tensor tympani muscle tightens up in reaction to the cold), but am not so sure what to do about it. I thought about trying something like wearing earplugs, but am a little worried about not being able to hear (and I'm not sure they'd stay in place while running anyway). Everything I think of either seems like it would not stay in place (e.g. earmuffs!), or not be thick enough to really cut out the cold air. 

I can't afford gym membership/equipment, so an indoor treadmill is out. And the sensible solution of picker warmer times to go running can only last so long, as it's coming into winter time now (in Australia). 

4 Replies (last)

This exact same thing happens to me! I always end up trying to cup my hands over my ears (which is a little bit dangerous when cycling). The only thing I can think of that might help is one of those ear gear ear-scarf type things. It's like a hat but it doesn't cover the top of your head, its more like a band that goes round your ears. I think they're meant to be for climbing and stuff but I don't see why they couldn't be used for running. topper_Ear_Gear_101569.html


In Chicago, I see men wearing black things that slip over each ear like galoshes.

Congrats on your running progress


I would also suggest that you try ear warmers.  Good luck.


Happens to me every time it is cold and especially when it is windy.  I second the suggestion to wear earwarmers.  I actually wear a bandana and just tie it so it covers my ears.  It stays in place really well but isn't as bulky as earmuffs.  When it is really cold I wear a hat with the long sides that cover my ears!  I look goofy, but I don't care as long as my ears don't hurt!  They do make bands that are just made to cover your ears as well. 

4 Replies