Running in the snow
It's winter, the snow has turned the mountains white and yet you don't want to put away your trail running shoes? Are you looking to stay fit or simply keep on enjoying the pleasure of running? No problem! Here's our advice to go running in the snow. Why not? Preparing for a white trail?
What technique should you use for running uphill in the snow?
When running uphill, you must carefully analyze the terrain and find the best footing in the snow. Once again, you will look to land on your forefoot.
On the smooth, even snow of ski slopes, tap your toe into the snow. You will create a little step under your toes and will have a better grip to propel you forward. If you place your foot flat, you won't have any traction and will slip.
In snow that has already been carved up, aim for the holes and steps already created.
You'll see, you can also climb during winter trail running!
How do you tackle a snowy descent?
When going downhill over powder, use your weight and don't try to slow down too much.
Remember to open your arms for balance. Embrace the slope and don't tense up, even if the ground is slippery.
Sliding is part of the technique and specific features of snow trail running. Accept it!
Accept that you will slide and don't see it as a constraint. With practice, you will be able to run fast downhill without getting tired.
Do other sports for trail running in winter
If there is too much snow, take advantage of the opportunity to do other sports. Ski touring or cross-country are good complements to trail running. You will stay in good physical condition with these endurance sports.
Working your body differently can help you recover from a trail running season. Alternating sports is also good for shaking up your routine and motivating yourself when the weather conditions are difficult.
Winter trail running equipment
Winter trail running requires you to adapt your equipment to the conditions. For example, always bring a headlamp and a safety blanket because it is easier to be surprised by nightfall.
How do you dress for running in the snow?
Even in cold weather, you don't need warm clothing as you do high in the mountains. Merino wool underwear will generally provide enough heat to those who feel the chill and regulate perspiration well.
Adopt the three-layer principle:
- Base layer or breathable second skin
- Second layer to regulate heat supply (a fleece, for example)
- Possibly a third layer to protect you from the wind and snow (windproof, softshell)
- In very cold weather, place a down jacket at the bottom of your bag for emergencies to prevent hypothermia if you have to stop
Not forgetting good footwear, fine gloves and a hat to protect your extremities from the cold.
What shoes should you wear for winter trail running?
Choose a good pair of trail running shoes with deep lugs. You should prioritize waterproof running shoes with a membrane. There are models specially for snow and ice.
Mini-gaiters or fully integrated gaiters will be a plus in preventing snow from getting in.
Running in the snow is therefore entirely possible in winter. Remember to carefully analyze the terrain to find a secure footing. Accept that you will slide and use it to go downhill. Last but not least, it's an excellent way to switch up your habits and go have fun outside!