How to run in the snow: tips for winter running
Winter is a great time to run.
The cool, crisp air, the blanket of fresh snow, being out in nature (and not being on a treadmill) can make for a great running experience.
That said, it's important to be properly prepared (remember to strrrrretch!), and exercise caution when hitting the sidewalks, trails or roads in snowy conditions.
Here are five points we keep in mind when running in the snow:
Once things get cold enough to snow, it's all about the layers. A good start includes a wicking base layer, topped with a polyester shirt and then a wind-breaking, well-fitted jacket. A vest over that might be in order as well, depending on how low it goes. Running gloves, a neck warmer, a toque are all obvious additions, and can easily come on or off as required. May we suggest browsing our line of All-Season apparel?
Fresh, not frozen
If running on snow-covered roads and sidewalks, you may face slippery conditions as the snow gets packed down and freezes, and can be especially tricky if there's a dusting of snow on top. If it's an option, go off-roading where the snow is fresh -- hit the trails, or a park -- even a golf course is a great option, if it's open for public running (and provided that there's no winter golfers out swinging!).
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Rays for days
The UV rays don't stop because it's cold. On snowy, sunny days, it's important to remember the sunscreen, and sunglasses. The reflective quality of the snow can make things pretty intense.
A trail shoe might be the way to go, or you could consider nanospikes or slip-over crampons. If you've got a pair of shoes that won't last until spring, you could also consider converting them to makeshift cleats by drilling screws into the bottom. Here's a quick DIY video. Also, consider your socks - waterproof, layered, wool?
Steady as we go
Accept that your training will need to slow a bit, or make a new category for your personal best: a snow edition. Unless you're actually racing in the snow, relax your time, and take the opportunity to focus on your footwork. And enjoy the view!
We recently posted about snow running on our All-Season Instagram page, asking our community for their favourite winter running tips.
Here are just a few of the great suggestions we received:
@run.smart_run.strong_run.happy: "Spikes & goggles."
@26.2orbust: "Shorter steps."
@pethia_runs: "Always wear bright clothes and some lights if you’re running in the dark - gets darker quicker."
@funkasaurusflex "I like nanospikes for hard/icy conditions and microspikes for the deeper/softer stuff. I also agree with previous comments that a trail shoe with a more aggressive tread pattern is a good place to start! Yay winter!"
@cannonsunl: "When it's icy hit the trails and crushed rock. You'll (need) more traction. Trail shoes with deep lugs for wet snow, if really serious when things are really cold sheet metal screws in the lugs!"
@mdsinger2: "Don't slip... It hurts."
@runner_kat_ak: "A trail shoe will help give better stability, I put sheet metal screws in my shoes but some prefer slip over the shoes ice spikes, shorter stride and a slower pace-trying to push off too hard will make you more likely to slip and also sink down further if you’re in softer snow or slush."
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