How to run in the snow

One of the reasons why I became a teacher was for days like Monday - Snow Days!  Not really, but they are an added perk.

Having Monday off was perfect.  It gave me an extra day to be with the kids and hold them closer, because I wasn't quite ready to send them off to their destinations yet after the devastating events at Sandy Hook.

It also gave me another time to run with the husband, in the snow.  I really do love running in the snow.  Especially a fresh new snow.  You know the kind of snow I'm talking about.  It's still white and fluffy.  But there are a few challenges that come with running in the snow.

What do I wear on my feet?  
Shoes of course!  But not any old shoes.  I suggest wearing a pair of shoes with some traction.  My Mizuno Wave Rider 15s were fabulous last winter.  Currently, the only shoe I have with some decent traction are my Saucony Kinvara 3's.  They don't have tons but it was better than nothing.

What if it's slippery?  
Running in the snow is going to be slippery.  If you don't have the greatest shoes for running in the snow, then I suggest looking for some snow gear for your feet - like Yaktrax.  I am a huge fan of the Yaktrax.  I have the kind with the straps that go across the top of my feet and keep them on my shoes.

What about socks?  
Definitely not the little thin summer ones.  Be prepared for getting wet.  Cars throwing snow on you, possible puddles.  You just don't know.  I suggest wearing some warmer socks like WrightSocks.  But on Monday I chose to wear my thick SmartWool socks.  My toes were toasty warm.

What about form? 
I don't know about you, but my form does change in the snow.  My stride definitely shortened and I'm more focused on more precise steps.  I know my glutes gets one heck of a workout after running in the snow.

How do I protect my eyes? 
I suggest wearing sunglasses.  If it's actually snowing when you head out for your run, the snowflakes can definitely feel like ice pellets hitting your eyes.  I've had far too many runs in the windy, cold snow when I've come back with more tears in my eyes from the ice pellet beating, that I've finally smartened up and started wearing sunglasses.  If sunglasses don't work for you, a brimmed hat does work.  You might still have to look down at the ground if it gets too windy.

What else to wear?  
Layers.  While it's cold out there, you really don't know what it's going to be like until you get out there.  I check out the temperatures and then dress based on that, but I'm always ready to shed something like gloves, hat, or my jacket if need be.  It's not that hard to take off a layer or to put it back on if you get cold.

What to watch out for?  
Cars, snow plows, edge of the road.  Monday's snow was super slippery.  Even with the Yaktraks.  I'm also a edge of the road kind of person.  Believe me, the edge of the road and snow are not very kind to runners.  I wasn't paying very close attention to how close I was to the edge and then all of a sudden I went flying hands first (of course I had just taken my mittens off because I was getting quite warm) down onto the road.  I landed quite hard but surprisingly I didn't have any gushing blood or torn clothing.  Ward picked me up, asked if I was okay, and we were on our way again.   If I was hurt enough, I would have definitely walked home and Ward.

And what do you do when you get home from a snowy hard run?  
Aside from taking a picture so you can brag about your kick butt run, take a nice hot shower and put on some compression socks and shorts (trust me, your glutes will love you for this) as well as some comfy clothes.  This is where I will recommend ProCompression socks/sleeves or Tommie Copper sleeves and Tommie Copper Compression shorts.

How about you?  Do you run in the snow?  What are your suggestions?


  1. Great post with great suggestions to help out while running in the nastier weather, like we have been getting lately :-)

  2. Where was this post when I raced that santa shuffle and LOST to my husband ;) ....oh well, at least now I have these tips and Colin doesn't muwhahahahaha!

    I think this is a great post! PINNING ;) and what a nice perk to the job for sure. you and wade are so dang cute. That's it! We're coming to Maine!

  3. Around here, we tend to get a lot of ICE with our snow (warms up just enough in the day to create a layer of ice under snow). So I usually go indoors if we've had much slush, snow, or ice. I also haven't bought Yaktrax yet though I took note of your strap. Love that. Glad you got a little extra family (and couple) time. Awesome!

  4. I'm not much of a runner but thinking about it now. I can just imagine the amazing glute workout that would be.

    Great tips!

  5. Great tips! I ran in the snow ONCE! Definitely watching my stride and being careful not to slip!

  6. Excellent post! I love running in the snow... I miss the East Coast!!

  7. Great Tips! This is the first year I think I may actually run in the snow, other then just be wimpy and run on the treadmill :)

  8. Layers and mittens are key to cold weather running. I will run in the snow but not when the streets are icy. I remember one particularly cold run when my water bottles froze. Brrrrr!

    Cute post-run pic!

  9. I wish we had some snow to run in! There's nothing that gets me into the holiday spirit than some powdery snow. Looks like your family is having a lot of fun. Happy holidays to you!

  10. These are some great tips! I live in PA and while we haven't had any major snow yet, I know it's only a matter of time! Plus, I have a half marathon coming up at the end of February so I'm just going to have to suck it up and get out there!

  11. Love the pic of you and your pup running down the road :)

  12. I think that running in the spring and fall when the snow is just coming or going is the worst. My worst spill (which landed me in the ER for x-rays and heavy duty pain meds) was one balmy day in early April. When choosing your path through the snow/ice, it is usually best to go with the stuff that makes the most noise when you step on it.

    SmartWool socks rock, I totally agree with you on that one. It also might help going up 1/2 a size for your winter shoe to make sure there's enough room. :) Oh, and if it is below 15F, I always wore a face mask. Two if it was below -20F.

  13. I have never run in the snow, we get a lot of ice down here when it does snow, so it's kind of dangerous and I am afraid of slipping and sliding everywhere!
    But I have seen those Yak Traks before and I am guessing that it the safest way to go about it!

  14. Great tips! I love running in fluffy fresh snow. I don't love when the snow plows come out and start salting and sanding. Super messy and sloppy! I still go and enjoy every minute of it. My form definitely changes. Smaller strides for sure.

  15. Great ideas, Jen. I am going to share this with my friends in Canada who have snow.

  16. Great post! We run in the snow, I definitely agree with everything you said and I LOVE my smartwool socks. I even wore them today, although there wasn't any snow!

    I can't wait to try out my Yaktrax this year.

  17. I have never ran in the snow but it looks like you have it down with all of the great tips! Looks like tons of fun though!

  18. I always found trail shoes to have better grip in snow too! I actually miss running in the snow from when I lived in Cleveland and Ann Arbor.

  19. Great tips!! I never heard of those Yaktrax but what a neat way to make sure you don't slip in the snow!! unfortunately where I live its more slush and ice to be afraid of.


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