Winter is upon us! Coming from Colorado, I’ve been running in the cold and snow all my life. But when I was in college running for Utah State University, I remember welcoming a new girl to the team from Arizona. As team captain I often led group runs and decided what route to take. On the first snowy day that year, most of us were excited to go out, but the girl from Arizona was apprehensive. She’d never run in snow before so I made our path go in and out of campus buildings so we only had to run on slick surfaces half the time. After a few slip-and-falls around corners she learned to slow down and started getting the hang of snow running!
Similarly, I do snow runs with my triathlon team athletes and have found many of them are new to snow running too. This surprised me at first, as I’ve always been a year-round outdoor runner, but cold temperatures and snowy conditions means indoor running on a treadmill to many. However, if you’re training to race outdoors, solely running on a treadmill can be problematic as your form differs from outdoor running. So this winter, take your run outside!
Why You Should Run In Snow
Running in the snow is a great workout, especially deep snow. You really have to drive your knees up to get over the snow! This also increases your heart rate and makes you sore in places you don’t normally get sore. Snow running develops ankle strength and makes you a more durable athlete.
Gear for Snowy Runs
I rarely use shoe spikes or other things for traction, but find trail shoes with short gaiters provide the traction I need and are more waterproof so my feet stay drier. If you find you’re slipping too much, add a running model of ICEtrekkers or Kahtoola Nanospikes with your running shoes to improve your grip.
Other gear to consider while running outdoors in winter is a headband that covers your ears and running gloves or mittens. I usually wear running tights and a double layer on top and occasionally a light jacket if it’s extremely cold. Dress in layers so if you get too hot or cold, you can adjust, and remember to dress 10 degrees cooler since you expel heat as you exercise.
Running is a great sport to enjoy all year. Take the corners slow and you should remain upright! Happy Running!