During the winter sometimes we are subjected to a covering of snow. Whilst this can make kids giddy with excitement as they are unable to get to school, and can turn a dreary landscape into a stunning winter wonderland, for runners it can be a disruption and impact upon our training.
If the snow doesn’t put you off venturing out for your training run, here are a few tips to help you with running in the snow.
Wear studded fell or trail shoes. The more aggressive the sole the better; you need to get plenty of purchase to be able to push off when trying to run through snow and a studded fell shoe will help with this. Trail shoes are good, but the tread can easilyi get chocked up with snow.
Wear running crampons. These are a great addition to your running wardrobe and will help you keep upright on the snowy trail especially if the temperature drops and get icy. I really like the Khatoola Nano Spikes, which fit very easily onto my trail shoes. Orienteering trainers are great if they have a dub spike on treads of the shoe.
Wear two pairs of socks. There is nothing worse than numb toes and wearing two thin pairs of running socks can help keep your feet warm. Make sure it doesn’t make your shoes too tight as this will affect the circulation in your feet and still give you numb toes. Trail gaiters are a great addition to your shoes as they stop the snow getting into the top of your shoes and freezing your ankle.
Layer up your clothing. It’s not always easy to run at your normal training pace when running through snow, and you might find yourself walking if the snow gets too deep. A windshirt is a great addition to wear over the top of your running kit to keep the wind off and help insulate you.
Wear your shades. If the sun is also out, looking at the bright white snow can become tiring on the eyes, wearing sunglasses can help with the glare off the snow.
Carry a mobile phone. If you are heading off on the snow covered trail it’s good to have the means to contact someone should something go wrong on the run or if you end up being out longer than you planned. It also means you can take photos of your adventure running through the snowy trails and then brag about it to your friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook, whilst they are sat at home!
Stay hydrated. Its very easy to not feel thirsty when running in the snow, you might not be feeling overly hot but you will be sweating and working your muscles which need to be kept hydrated. If I am are going out for a long trail run on a really cold day I add hot water to my water bottle to keep my drink a little bit warmer for part of the run and making it easier to drink.
Be prepared for a harder run. Running in snow requires your legs to work harder, as they have to push off from the soft snow and they have to work harder to stabilize your hips and core to stop you slipping about. Your hamstrings and quads will get a great work out running in the snow, but make sure you don’t over do it and injure yourself.
Have a rest day. There is nothing wrong with having a rest day, if the conditions underfoot are too hazardous. There is no point getting injured if the conditions are dangerous. Either do a strength and condition work out or just enjoy a nice cuppa whilst filling in your training diary in front of the fire.