Tuesdays on the Run: Running in Snowy Conditions


Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Open so I chose – Running in Snowy Conditions

Of course, I live in the Northeast.  This is the story of most of my winters (except for 2012 – the one when I was injured.)

There are several things you can do as a runner when it snows:

  • Do Not Run

This is probably not an option for more than two days — especially if you are training for a race.

I did this my first 2 years of running. I stopped running in Nov and started again in April.  I was not a serious runner, obviously.

  • Run Indoors

This is probably the most logical one.

If you belong to a gym where there is a track, you can run there.  I think a track is boring but it is better for me than a treadmill and you can do some creative speed drills.

You can also run on a treadmill.  I personally hate them but I have used them when it is impossible to run outside.

I kinda run like this.

  • Wear Yak Trax.

You should have a pair if you live where it snows a lot.  They really work. You can run in the snow and not slip and slide.

  • Find a clear road.

Sidewalks are unreliable.  Sometimes they’re shoveled and sometimes they’re not.  The bike paths are the same way.  You never know.  On main roads, there is too much traffic to run in the road.  So you have to look for a road that is plowed and doesn’t have a lot of traffic or a trail that is shoveled.

Perform the following workout on a clean, plowed, well-lit, low-traffic, half-mile-ish stretch of road in your neighborhood, a large parking lot, or on a path.

Begin the intervals on one end of the road. This will be your starting point for every rep and the finishing point for every recovery period.

Repeat this ladder interval set 1-2 times. (Each set includes 8 minutes of hard running.) 

  • From the starting point, run 30 seconds at a hard effort. (That means a pace where you aren’t able to speak, but can still control your form. It’s somewhere between comfortably hard and an all-out sprint effort.) Recover by turning around and walking or jogging back to the starting point. You can walk until you catch your breath and then jog back to the start. The key is to allow your breathing to come back down to an aerobic level where you can talk easily before your start your next interval.
  • From the starting point, run 1 minute at a hard effort, and then walk/jog recover back to the starting point.
  • Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 2 minutes at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 1 minute at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 30 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.

and of course, if you are lucky and able, find a destination race where there is NO SNOW!!

Me on January 17!!

Happy Running!  Any other suggestions for running in snowy weather?

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4 thoughts on “Tuesdays on the Run: Running in Snowy Conditions

  1. We have some great trail races in the winter here in Calgary. A pair of micro spikes work really well and then you can run on snow/ice off road with no problems! Sadly I haven’t made it out to the trails this winter yet though!

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  2. I managed to run in the snow quite a bit last winter, but it wasn’t easy! I really don’t like the treadmill, and don’t have access to an indoor track, and I was training for a marathon so really wanted to get my runs in! I may end up buying a pair of Yak trax if we have another bad winter this year! Great suggestions, and i like that speed workout!

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