Top Tips for Running in the Snow
Who ever would have thought we would be writing about cold weather running tips in March? This cold weather blast could really put a spinner on your marathon training though, so we thought you could use some help. Here are our top tips from Run3Ds Clinical Lead and Physiotherapist, Andrea, on what to do when snow tries to disrupt your training schedule...
The key to keeping warm when running in colder temperatures is not how thick your layers are, but how many you have! Several thinner layers will keep those icy winds from reaching your skin better than a few chunky layers.
2.) Fresh snow is easier to run on
Remember that saying the early bird gets the worm? Well in this case, the early bird gets the nicer run. Fresh snow is much easier to run on as its hasn’t compacted into ice yet. This is especially true for when the snow is wetter. Therefore, the longer you wait to go out, the more people will have been there before you and the harder it will be! If there was ever a reason to wake up early…this is it.
3.) Be seen!
It always seems brighter out with a nice white layer dusting the ground. However, with the snow blowing in the air, and drivers concentrating on the slippery roads, means that you need to be even more visible than ever. Remember your reflective kit and keep your eyes peeled when running around busy roads in the snow.
4. )Watch for Ice
Ice is not always as obvious as you might think. Its sometimes hidden under thin layers of snow or looks like normal pavement. Running on grassy or trail is sometimes safer as it solidifies but isn’t as slippery.
5. ) The Snood
One of the most essential cold running pieces of kit out there. It is a life saver when cold snow and wind is trying to get to your neck, but also can double up as a hat. Too hot? Take it off and wrap it around your wrist. Genius.
6. ) Slower Running
Don’t expect to be bashing out any pb’s when you’re training in the snow. Because of the slippery surfaces, its hard to get purchase on the ground and therefore you end up running sideways as much as you do forward. Use these runs to work on your lower threshold paces, which is perfect for marathon training.
7. ) Cadence and stride length
The last thing you want to be doing on slippery surfaces is taking giant steps too far in front of your centre of mass as you’ll end up on your backside very quickly. You want to keep your steps short, and your cadence high – which happen to be two of the most important factors to reduce over-stride in running ( fancy that!). This is a perfect chance to practice.
It might be cold out there, but your body is still working hard to keep you moving. Don’t forget to stay on track with all your hydration and nutrition plans. As you don’t sweat as much in the cold, you may not need as much water as usual.
9.) Shower Fails
This is important and will save you a lot of pain. The first thing you want to do when you get back from a cold run is to jump in a hot shower. I highly recommend that you wait 5 minutes or so before attempting this. When freezing cold muscles and skin are immersed in hot water it can actually be quite painful, and frankly, very itchy. Waiting a few minutes for them to return to ( or at least closer to) body temperature will save you a lot of discomfort. Trust me.
Or perhaps more appropriately named, the dreadmill. Sometimes, its just got to happen. If it’s so icy or cold that you’re going to be miserable the entire time, or put yourself in any harm by being outside – It’s just not worth it. Treadmills, I hate to say this, are actually great for speed training and to maintain your pace, as you can monitor it. Hopefully you will never have to endure a long run on one though.
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