How Will I Survive The Snow?
So winter has finally arrived and once again it has caught our nation completely by surprise it seems. Funny really as we know winter is one of the 4 seasons we get every year and the rest of Europe is now giggling as we slip and slide our way through the week ahead.
From a running point of view its going to be a tough week and one where you are going to have to be flexible and maybe step out of the routine or training plan.
We ran for two hours this morning in 15 cm of snow in Trent Park in North London and it was magnificent. Almost like a scene from Narnia at times and certainly beautifully quiet. Just the two of us and the odd group of runners or hardened dog walkers. We all nodded to one another as if to acknowledge our madness but also the mountain spirit.
You see running on fresh overnight snow is pretty easy re grip and we were wearing our Saucony Peregrine trail shoes with plenty of technical layers. The snow made it hard work but we just cut the pace and had fun, even time for a mad five minute snow ball fight at half way…but we never stopped moving which is crucial as you don’t want to shut down and get too cold.
The fun begins tomorrow though when the snow has become packed ice and the pavements are lethal. Yes we will still run and we have some snow running crampons to strap to our trail shoes (I said we were bonkers) but even this is risky. Usually jog/walking safely to the park, field or local golf course (great to run in and certainly no golfers about) to find soft or untouched snow to run on is the best way.
Our week ahead will also include a few trips to the gym but we will go either very early, mid morning/afternoon or much later all to avoid the queue for the treadmills and stressed runners trying to complete long runs and refusing to step off despite the ten minute rule. We will certainly cross train, remember in our previous X training articles we mentioned that the heart doesn’t know the difference between running and this form of aerobic activity, so this is great for maintaining fitness.
What are we really telling you here?
Well to be honest and rather blunt we are saying ‘don’t find excuses and hide away indoors’. This week won’t be quite what you planned but with a sense of adventure and plenty of planning you can beat the elements. Bill Connolly once said ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes’.
Before we know it guys it will be spring and those goal races will be upon us. Don’t lose a week in February and go into hibernation, see this as a fresh challenge!
A few top tips:
- Only run on fresh snow if on the road/pavement and never try to run on pack ice.
- If icy walk to the nearest park and then run on the snow with grass underneath.
- Use the treadmill but be prepared to be flexible with times…the whole world also want to use a treadmill when icy. Wear trail shoes if outdoors and just run easy or steadily rather than trying to vary pace or run fast.
- Ignore the GPS pace…your natural pace will be slower as the snow is a natural resistance. This is just ‘time on your feet’ and remember it will feel harder.
- Be warm when you train (see previous articles on winter clothing) but crucially get out of damp sweaty clothes immediately after finishing.
- Let people know where you are running and take your mobile phone.
Most of all, don’t take any silly risks and spring will soon be here!
Nick & Phoebe