Are you one of those hearty souls who trains day-in and day-out all winter, in the ice and snow? Our hats off to you! And we’ll surely see the results at your race in June. In the meantime, while we are still dealing with a lot of snow and cold temps in Utah, here are some winter running tips to keep you safe and moving.
Count miles as double. Running on snow/ice engages different muscles compared to running on dry ground. Don’t expect to be able to just jump into running the same mileage that you have been recently running on bare ground. To minimize the likelihood for injury, take time to get these muscles in shape just as you would if you had not run at all. Consider counting miles on snow/ice as double miles until you feel your body has fully adapted to the new surface. This generally takes 4-6 weeks.
Size traction devices down. When using traction devices (those groovy little grippers on your shoes) go down at least one size from what the manufacturer recommends. Manufacturers tend to size these on the larger side, and there’s nothing worse than slipping on a patch of ice only because your traction has shifted around to the side of your foot.
Choose socks wisely. Keeping feet warm when running in snow/cold is more about circulation than it is about insulation. Thicker socks can be helpful, but only if you have plenty of space in your shoes to accommodate them. More often than not, a thicker sock just cuts down your circulation and actually makes your feet colder. If you plan to use a thicker sock, consider a model of shoe with an extra wide toe box or using your favorite shoe a half- or full-size larger than your “summer size.”
Explore more trails. In many cases, there are actually as many or more trails available in the winter. Snowmobile routes, Nordic ski trails, and frozen lakes can all make for great winter trail running, so get creative.