Winter is here, and with it comes snow and ice. Today I’m going to share with you five tips for running in the snow both on the roads and on trails. You’ll enjoy your winter run most if you prepare properly.
Plan your run for the middle of the day, if possible. You’ll have the highest temperatures, and most daylight to see the conditions underfoot.
Pick a route you are already familiar with. Keep in mind that sidewalks may not be clear or roads may be more narrow due to snowbanks, so routes with less traffic are better. DRESS PROPERLY
Layer your clothing. Wicking fabrics will keep you warm and dry. A running jacket will help stop the wind and will protect you from precipitation. If you don’t already have one, I strongly recommend bright colors. The contrast against the snow will keep you visible to drivers who may not be able to see well in snowy conditions and are less likely to expect runners or walkers in inclement weather. Don’t forget gloves, hats or headbands and neck warmers. I like to wear a baseball cap on days when it’s snowing or raining. If your running on trails, you may also want to consider gaiters, to keep snow out of your shoes. SHOES Trail sneakers will give you extra traction on the trails or if you’re running on unplowed roads. You can also use yaktraks, screwshoes or any cleats that strap on to your sneakers that will give you more traction. If you’re running on deeper snow on trails, consider investing in Running show shoes. This pair, from Dion snowshoes, is super lightweight and can be worn with regular sneakers. They will help distribute your weight and prevent you from sinking too deeply into the snow.
CONDITIONS Run on fresh snow if possible to avoid icy patches. Keep your eyes up, planning for the terrain as you approach.
FORM Whether on trails or on the roads, you should shorten your stride. Keeping your legs underneath your center of gravity will keep you more balanced and less likely to fall. Slow your pace as well – this is not the time for speed work! You’ll still be getting a great workout and will utilize additional muscles to stabilize your body.
POST RUN After your run, change into dry clothes as soon as you can to avoid getting too cold. If you’ve driven to a trail, bring an extra jacket in your car to put on until you get home. Don’t forget to hydrate! Despite the cold, you’re body has still been sweating and working hard. Replenish as you usually would after any run. ENJOY!
Most importantly, have fun! It’s a beautiful time of year to be outside.
If you have any additional tips, please share them below in the comments!
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