As if busy schedules and the couch calling your name weren’t already obstacles to getting your run in, winter has to show up with all its snowy glory. We’re all about giving you the motivation and information you need to keep at your workout routines, so we asked the Runkeeper community for their advice on pounding the snowy pavement. If you’re not looking to go indoors for a treadmill session or cross-training routine, follow these tips to make your run in the snow as safe and successful as possible
1. Shorter strides and slow down
Shorter, more frequent strides are what you should be striving for anyways, so here’s an awesome opportunity to practice them. Focus on landing your feet almost right below your body instead of way in front of it. Oh, and slow down a bit, will you? No one likes holding back on speed, but icy sidewalks are no place to be practicing your sprints. What’s worse, a slower run or being sidelined by an injury from slipping and falling? [tweet this].
2. Traction for your feet
Getting the right shoes is half the battle for any workout, but it’s especially the case for a run in the snow. No, you don’t have to go and buy a whole new pair of running shoes for the snow, but we’ve heard great endorsements for Yaktrax and Wintertrax, which go on over your shoes to add the right amount of traction to take on the snow and ice. If you’re the trail running type and don’t want to give that up in the colder months, Hillsound Trail Crampons come highly recommended for taking on the tougher terrain.
3. Run in the street…against traffic
We know, we know, you’d never pick a street over a sidewalk in any other circumstance. But as many of our community members pointed out, the roads are often de-iced much faster than the sidewalks are. Of course, take this advice with a grain of salt. If your route takes you down a main road, maybe stick to the sidewalk and keep things extra slow. And be sure you’re wearing bright, reflective gear (or even a headlamp), and are running against traffic for extra visibility. Better yet, find a route that takes you down some less traffic-y streets. We’ve got a handy tool for mapping out a route near you.
You should always keep people in the loop when you’re headed out for a run, but this is even more of a necessity when there’s the threat of elements. Be sure to let your roommate, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or mom know what you’re up to and when to expect you back (whether you tell them in person or via a text). Not for creeping purposes, just so they know to be on the lookout in case you miss that expected return time by a long shot! And carry your ID with you as an extra layer of precaution. We know you’ll have your phone on you so you can track it all with Runkeeper, but be sure your battery is fully charged. If you’re a Runkeeper Go member, this is the perfect scenario for using live tracking.
5. Layer up
Moisture wicking fabric helps keep blisters at bay in those runs where you’re pouring sweat, but a different season calls for different materials. A nice, quality pair of wool socks will keep those toes toasty, which will make the run feel much more pleasant. The community recommends ski goggles to keep the still-falling elements out, or even some Buff headwear to keep all those extremities covered. Yes, you may look a little silly, but it’s all in the name of being warm while you get your run on—in the snow! That makes you a rock star!
We hope these help! Let us know in the comments if there are any good tips we forgot to mention.
Featured image via Eljay