Tis the season for snowy runs! Make sure you stay safe and warm by following our best tips for when you bravely venture outside to continue your training in the winter conditions.
1. Be safe, not sorry.
This tip should be considered the golden rule of running in the snow. Take extra caution as you navigate snowy piles and icy patches and don’t be afraid to slow down! Don’t expect a run in the snow to be the same pace as your last summer run. Take the weather into consideration and run at a pace that allows you to comfortably maneuver the winter conditions. The last thing you want is a fall or an injury that interrupts your training. You may even need to walk at some points. In particular, take extra care as you round corners and stride downhill. In addition, avoid using headphones so you can be extra aware of your surroundings, especially the cars that are on the roads with you.
On the bright side, one major benefit of running in the snow is that although you may not be running at your usual pace, you will improve your agility and core strength as you hop over snow piles and keep yourself upright.
2. Layer up!
If there is snow on the ground, chances are is it cold outside. Make sure you have a supply of warm base layers, outer jackets and tights to mix and match throughout the season. For chilly days, you will love a thermal, close fitting top that retains your heat, a running jacket that shields you from the snow and rain and tights or pants that keep your leg muscles warm. Depending on how cold or hot you typically get on the run, you will need more or less layers on any given day. Plus, don't forget your gloves or mittens and ear warmers or a hat. For more advice on running on the cold, click here.
3. Meet your new best friend: high socks.
Speaking of layering, do not underestimate the power of socks! You will appreciate being able to pull a higher length sock over your tights or under your pants to bridge the exposed gap between the end of your bottoms and the tops of your shoes. When there is snow on the ground, you want to minimize the chance that the cold white slush will find its way into your shoe. You may also want to invest in wool socks if your feet usually feel cold on winter runs. If your feet are dry and warm, you are bound to make a more comfortable and enjoyable run in the snow.
4. Avoid the ice, ice baby.
Be on the lookout for ice as you run, especially black ice and ice covered by snow. Try to find spots to run that have already been plowed. Sidewalks and trails may not be realistic options while it is snowing. Ice is another reason to slow down, take extra caution and keep your eyes on the path ahead of you as you run. When in doubt, walk it out! Slow down or walk around icy patches to avoid taking a tumble.
5. Have fun!
Enjoy the winter wonderland outside while you run! Bring a family member or friend with you. You can promise them that it will be slower run than usual and you’ll have company to make the run feel a little warmer. Since you know will be tough to get in a run or workout at your normal pace, focus on enjoying the experience and be proud of yourself for getting out there to train in less than ideal conditions. Snow angels and hot chocolate are encouraged post-run activities.
Make sure to pay attention to your local weather reports to determine if it is safe to run outside. If the cold or snowy conditions make you feel comfortable training outdoors, stick to the treadmill or take advantage of the day to cross-train and work on strengthening exercises at home. Or maybe this snow day calls for a much needed rest day! Whatever you decide, stay safe and have fun!
About The Author: Lizzy Peper
Lizzy is the Marketing Coordinator for Charm City Run and is currently training for spring half marathons. Previously she worked as a part time Sales Associate for two years in the Timonium store. Lizzy ran competitively as a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Towson High School and Marist College. She co-captained the Division I Marist women's cross country team in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. Check out her personal blog at pepinurstep.com and follow her on Instagram at @peppysteps.