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 winter running
phaedrus


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

winter running Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:00 pm 

I'm curious how most people deal with running during the winter, if you live some place that's snowy and icy. Do you go into hibernation until spring, or switch to running indoors on the treadmill? If you run outdoors, do you stick to plowed and cleared roads, or do you strap on your burly boots and go blasting through 10 inches of fresh powder every day?

lakerunr

Wisconsin
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:46 am 

I live in Wisconsin. WInter can be brutal, but the last two have been mild. The worst things are ice, and wind. One winter, everything except the main streets, and only the traffic "tracks" on them, were iced over for more than a month. That drove me to the treadmill and indoor track. Otherwise, if there is any relatively cleared and non-icy surfaces, I run outside and just tough out the temp and/or wind. Sometimes, when the wind is steady and over 25 mph (happens a lot in Feb/March), I just take my cell phone and run downwind as far as I want to go, then call my wife to pick me up.

Running through snow is fun, the first snowfall or two. It is really hard on your quads and hips, because you always slip some on foot plant and toe-off. A half hour of running in this stuff beats me up worse tha a two hour MP run in the summer.

I wear "winterized" (water-proof or -resistant) shoes when it's sloppy, but trail shoes are too stiff for pavement, sidewalks, frozen road shoulders, where I do most of my winter running.

Also, almost all of my mid-week running is in darkness. I use a Petzl headlight (a real Godsend), a reflective vest, a flashing "taillight" on an arm band, in addition to reflective areas on my shoes and clothes. I still have to constantly watch cars, when I'm on the streets/roads, because there are idiots that will run you over, anyway.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:50 am 

I'm in upstate New York, and I'd agree - the wind and the ice are the worst. Fresh snow is great, but too tiring to run in if there's more than two inches of it or so. I usually run on the plowed roads, since once there's any significant snow accumulation the snowmobilers take over the trails and bike paths. They pack down the snow just enough so that you break through the crust with every foot plant, making for miserable, exhausting running. As lakerunr just mentioned, the frustrating thing with running on ice and snow is that you always slip a fraction of an inch or so on foot plant and toe off, and eventually you adopt a totally different, much shorter stride with very little toe off over the course of the winter. Then you have to rebuild a more forceful stride all over again come spring. The other downside of the snow and ice on the roads is that the road shoulders gradually disappear over the course of the winter, as they get filled up with more and more snow. After a heavy snow, you're usually left risking your life running down the middle of the road and leaping onto a snow bank whenever a car comes by.

I generally wear waterproof shoes (Nike Storm Pegasus) all winter, and I don't find them uncomfortably stiff at all. Add some Gortex windpants and however many layers you need on top given the day's conditions, and you're good to go. I had to laugh when my Californian brother told me he didn't own any sweatpants. Left-coasters are too much! I'm lucky that I work from home on my own schedule, so I generally get to run in the daylight.

Treadmills are only for days when it's below 10 or 15 and the wind's howling.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:31 am 

Oh yeah, one other thing I forgot...water. All the drinking fountains are shut off by November 1, and don't get turned back on until at least mid-April. I hate carrying water because I have yet to find a way to keep it from bouncing around, and you can't stash the water unless you enjoy sucking on blocks of ice. I usually just go without for runs up to 12 miles, and will either run loops past my house or stop in a store and buy a bottle of gatorade for longer runs.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:50 am 

Have you ever tried those strap-on crampon things I've seen advertised in trail running magazines? They're supposed to give you good traction on ice and snow, so your feet won't slip backwards on toe-off.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:56 am 

No, but I might try them this winter. It's worth a shot. Anyone out there ever used those things?

lakerunr

Wisconsin
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

Re: winter running Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:11 pm 

I've tried Ice Joggers, they are OK on frozen snow, but they don't help that much on glare ice. Unless you run the whole way on packed snow/ice, they are not comfortable to run in on dry pavement. Usually we have a mix, of snow, ice, and open pavement or gravel. I don't like stopping to take them off, then put them on again.

Jim2

Pasadena, MD
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Re: winter running Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:56 pm 

I live in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay where snow and ice isn't as much of a problem as it is in Michigan or upstate New York. It's easy enough to simply go indoors to a treadmill or indoor track....or simply skip running....for the dozen or so average days/year that running outdoors is treacherous. However, cold is still something to be dealt with in Maryland. Frankly, I see cold as a benefit to runners. It simply requires dressing appropriately. I would much rather run outdoors on a day when the temp is in the teens or twenties than a hot and humid summer day. Summer days drive me indoors to the treadmill more than winter days do. And not just for comfort. The quality of a training run is more compromised on a hot day than on a cold one.

Now, to tell you the truth I have found an alternate "solution" to cold weather running for the last 6 years. Since I am retired, I snowbird to Florida and the Bahamas in the summer. :-) For the last 4 years, my wife and I have owned a sailboat that we live aboard during the winter months while cruising the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Running is a bit more pleasant down there in the winter........but I also do a lot less of it while sailing. ;-)

Jim2


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: winter running Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:56 am 

For me running in the cold isn't an issue. I've done long runs with the temperature in the teens and not had a problem. What is a problem is snow and ice as I am very concerned about falling and getting injured. I own a treadmill so doing my short runs is no problem. Long runs is another story. So far I've been able to run 9 miles on the treadmill. Since I'm training for a Spring marathon I hope that the ice and snow won't drive me to the treadmill as I will go crazy if I have to do a long run longer than 9 miles.

BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: winter running Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:42 pm 

There is nothing like floating down a hill in the woods in 8-10 inches of fresh powder. As long as you don't care about time running in snow is great, it's easier on the knees than pavement and the added resistance makes for a better workout. As for clothes tights, a light long sleeve top and mountain bike gloves are all I usually need. If it's cold enough to freeze the water in my camelback I throw a sweatshirt over everything. I also wear Adidas climacool shoes with light weight socks. I figure the water is coming in no matter what, it may as well go out as fast as possible.

boomerfss

Kamloops, B.C.
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Re: winter running Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:37 pm 

I agree with Bill. I love running in winter and in snow. Much easier on the knees and a harder workout. Most people think I'm crazy.

I run in what I refer to as "the badlands" so I don't run into very many people which works well as one of my dogs has a bad attitude. It's fairly rugged terrain and I like the peace.

I do have access to a treadmill at work, but it's better outside with the dogs.


Pithy Doug

Catskill Mountains of NY
Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 8

Re: winter running Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:46 am 

Rickshaw wrote:
Have you ever tried those strap-on crampon things I've seen advertised in trail running magazines? They're supposed to give you good traction on ice and snow, so your feet won't slip backwards on toe-off.


Those products to date do not have a long life span. For snow and and a little ice I put screws in my shoes. No, not a joke. I would suggest you take a look at http://www.skyrunner.com/screwshoe.htm I have an older pair fitted with screws and they work very well. Of course I would avoid solid ice since they behave much like a track spike and do not work well on dry ground. If the roads are dry yet the sides are snow covered they work well. You can also use them on trails with the usual cautionary, be careful.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: winter running Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:40 am 

I guess I'm too spoiled living where I do. The worst weather I have to contend with is 40 degrees and rain. Of course there's also the occasional mudslide or earthquake to keep me on my toes.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

screw shoe Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:18 pm 

Holy cow! I assumed you were talking about spikes or something, then I took a look at that website. Ouch!

Is that really more effective than just wearing a pair of trail shoes?


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