Winter isn’t over yet, and there’s probably more snow on the way. Good news or bad, the same way driving on slippery roads can be treacherous, running in snow can be dangerous, too. Anything more than an inch or two can put an unfortunate cramp in a training schedule with business closures, poor road conditions and unshoveled sidewalks. As we head towards March, many runners are deep into training routines for Spring races and a day or two off because of unsafe running environment is much less than ideal.
Here are 7 tips from Team FitNice that will help keep you safe, warm and injury free when you want to, or have to, go running in snow.
Slow down. You won’t want to run your usual pace in slippery conditions because it’s harder work. Much like running in sand, running in snow recruits muscles in your inner and outer thighs that don’t work very hard on solid ground. With them pulling overtime, you’ll feel fatigued sooner.
Use trail shoes, spikes or Ice Grippers. Making sure your shoe has ample traction is incredibly important when running in snow. Good treads, spikes or ice grippers add traction to each footfall and mean you’re less likely to slip, slide or take a spill.
Two pairs of socks. If you’re heading out in the snow, you’ve probably already faced the fact that your feet might get wet. Help keep them warm and dry with two pairs of sweat wicking socks. Make sure your shoes still fit with an extra pair, but don’t be afraid to loosen your laces.
Change your stride. A shorter stride will help you balance, lowering the risk of slipping and falling. You can also improve balance by making sure your foot lands directly under your hips. This increases the surface area of your foot that touches down and better stability.
Find fresh snow. At least snow that’s crunchy. Plowed, packed snow is much more difficult to navigate that fluffy stuff that helps you grip.
Think with your eyes. You want to be seen, so dressed in brightly colored clothing and wear a safety vest or reflectors. You also want to avoid potholes and icy patches, so be sure to constantly scan your surroundings.
Focus on effort. It’s hard to run adjust your stride and run in snow. Be sure to account for the extra work your muscles are doing when you choose how far or how long to run.
Keep your running shoes close and your shovel closer as you prepare for your Spring Race Season. Use these tips to stay injury free regardless of weather conditions and remember to always put safety first.
Did weather force you to change your schedule? Ask us to help you get back on track!