Running in the Snow
By Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com
Winter is upon us and coming from Colorado I have been used to running in the cold and snow all my life. When I was in college running for Utah State University I remember welcoming a new girl to the team from Arizona. I was the team captain and often lead group runs deciding what route to take. I remember one particular run we did; it was the first day that it snowed. We were all excited to run in it, but this particular girl was a bit nervous. Coming from Arizona she had never run in snow before so I decided to have our run go in and out of the campus buildings so we only had to run on slick surfaces half the time. After a few slip-and-falls around corners; she was getting the hang of this snow running. She realized she couldn’t take corners way fast (she was a fast middle distance runner specializing in the 800 meters so SLOW was a new concept). Similarly I often do snow runs for my triathlon team athletes and found many of them were new to snow running too. This was a surprised to me at first, as I have always been an outdoor runner all year. Cold temperatures and snowy conditions to some means indoor running on a treadmill. Being an exploring/adventurous nature-type person I find it difficult to run indoors so I opt for running outdoors in any weather. Because I primarily train for racing I justify outdoor running because I like to train like I race and what races are run indoor? Right?! Running form is also different on a treadmill.
I have found that running in the snow is a great workout, especially if it’s deep snow. You really have to drive your knees up to get over the snow! This also drives up your heart rate and is an amazing workout. You become sore in places you don’t normally get sore. It is also great to develop ankle strength and makes you a more durable athlete. 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 water proof and keep my feet drier. Other things you might consider while running outdoors in colder temperatures is a headband that covers your ears and gloves or mittens. Generally I wear running tights and a double layer on the top and on occasion I will wear a light jacket. It’s usually best to dress in layers so if you get too hot or cold, you can adjust. Remember to dress 10 degrees cooler since you put off heat as you exercise. Running is a great sport to enjoy all year. Remember to take the corners slow and you should remain upright. If you want to learn more about trail and snow running come join me for a class. Learn More Happy Running!
Coach Lora Erickson
About the Author:
Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner has been a competitive runner for over 30 years, she is also a top level triathlete. She is a USATF running coach, USA Triathlon Coach & US Masters Certified Swim Coach. She has been coaching for over 19 years and loves to work with all level of athletes, especially beginners. To learn more about her classes or programs visit BlondeRunner.com