3 Tips to Help You Survive Running in the Snow
Many of us have been through a rough winter in recent years.
A few years ago, when Maryland was hit hard by snow, I was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun on some tips and trick for running in such disastrous conditions and I thought it would be good to share some of this information with you, our loyal audience.
This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of tricks, but hopefully it will help some people when the snow does not appear to be letting up.
Run against traffic.
It’s better to see what’s coming at you, assess what the driver is doing, what they’re looking at, and if they are going to stop rather than keep your fingers crossed and hope they see you.
If worst comes to worst, you can dive into a snow bank!
Remember, the snow is high and people can’t always see as well as they normally can. Take extra caution when crossing intersections and while taking turns.
Don’t try and get a fast workout in.
If you’re training for anything important, it is crucial that a snow day remains a small inconvenience, not a month long injury from slipping and sliding.
It is much better to bag a workout and push it to a different day than end up tweaking a muscle you never knew you had; trust me.
If you have any doubts or questions, consult your coach.
Here’s a little secret:
Colleges and university roads are the places that get clear the fastest after the snow falls.
Colleges and Universities have their own maintenance departments and are not dependent on the city. Plus, their paths are usually more for walking and there is less automobile traffic.
Next fastest to clear up are usually maintenance roads, where plows and salt trucks have to go back and forth; they are great if you can find them.
Getting wet in the cold makes running miserable.
If a company ever invents a truly breathable and waterproof piece of clothing, expect them to dominate the running and cycling industry because as of this writing, it’s a dream.
However, wearing tight clothes helps keep some of the warmth in when you get cold. It acts as a trap for natural body heat.
Like all winter running clothing tips, layers are key.
Your hands are the most likely body part to get wet and get cold.
Here is a neat little trick:
Find some latex gloves, if you have them (check your first aid kit) and put them on under your gloves. Latex is completely waterproof and you won’t have to worry about sweating too much in them, it’s just your hands.
If it is really brutal, put Vaseline on exposed parts of your skin and your hands. Not only does it help protect against the wind, it’s water resistant.
Wanna Get Serious?
Make yourself some screw shoes!
Don’t know what I am talking about? Here’s how:
Get an old pair of shoes that are a little worn down but still have some mileage left in them. Buy some hex head screws or sheet metal screws (because the head on them is raised that really grips well on ice). Screw the screws into the shoe, pointy end first so the hex head is the part sticking out.
Remember, it is the head of the screw that provides the traction—not the point! 3/8″ screws are the best bet in my mind.
If you have a very thin shoe, or you are just paranoid about how thin the front of your shoe looks, then you can use 1/4″ long screws.
Be sure to buy a lot of them however because they come out rather easily. Tighten the screw until the head is flush with the shoe and viola, you’ve got yourself the perfect screw shoe!
I recommend using a drill rather than a screw driver, it’s much easier; you’ll have to press really hard with a screw driver. Put the screws wherever you want. As long as you don’t have air or an ipod in your shoe, anywhere works. You’ll hear a click clack when you’re on pavement, but don’t worry, your foot will remain safe.
If you are not interested in drilling holes in the bottom of your shoe, there are many other products that can help your foot keep its grip on ice and snow. Yaktrax have always worked well.
Best of luck to all those putting in the miles in cold and snow conditions. Make sure you read our other posts about winter running:
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