I enjoyed a long run along the Union Canal in the snow on Saturday. There is no better feeling than hearing the ice and snow crack beneath your feet as you motor along.
I posted some pictures up about my run and how great it felt to be out on such a crisp, frosty morning. In response I recieved a lot of comments along the lines of “Your mental!” “Its to dangerous to run!” “Ill slip everywhere in that”
While I understand peoples genuine concern for safety I can only tell people from my own experience of running in snow that I have yet to slip (tempting fate i know).
So I thought I could share some tips on running in the snow, its benefits and things to look out for to keep you safe. Please feel free to add anything that you want :-)
Happy running and dont let the winter weather stop you in your tracks!
1. Freshly fallen snow will act as a shock absorber, get out on the trail with some snow and your joints will be delighted.
2. Try and stick to the snow that is less packed together, this can be more dangerous than loose snow.
3. Snow can hide roots and poor surfaces, wearing a pair of sunglasses with yellow lenses will help you to see better.
4. If you are planning a 10 mile run and only end up doing 7, don’t get to upset about it, in the snow you will be working harder than usual.
5. Running on snow will give other stabilizing muscles that don’t normally get such a workout to be put through their paces so don’t be surprised if you have unusual aches the next day.
6. Snow is great for resistance training, try finding some deep snow on a level surface and sprinting through it.
7. Make sure you take a phone with you, if you do slip and injure yourself you want to be able to contact someone for help.
8. Ensure that you wear appropriate shoes, try a good pair of trail shoes with added traction.
9. Dress in layers, start with a sweat wicking base layer, DO NOT wear Cotton as this will soak up moisture and keep you wet=cold! Then on top of the base layer go for a Gore-Tex material jacket or windbreaker. If really cold get a fleece type middle layer on.
10. Get some lip balm on, I made the mistake of not doing this and my lips were cracked and painful for days after.
11. Buy a pair of YakTrax, they are great for running and walking in snow and ice. A step down from crampons and a lot more practical! Be sure to take them off when you go indoors as they can be dangerous on tiled surfaces (i.e. Supermarket floors)
12. Finally, you cant beat that feeling of being out there when everyone else is curled up in front of the TV, that’s one of the best things about running through Winter, the feeling that your doing something not many people would like to. Running in such harsh weather can surely only serve to harden you for future endeavours.
Hope this has been helpful :-) and remember, dont eat yellow snow!