During the winter, particularly when there is snow on the ground, a runner may be tempted to exercise indoors, rather than venture into the cold weather and go for a run. Waking up to two feet of snow on the ground and contemplating, "Do I want to go running today?" can feel like a ridiculous question. However, avid runners learn that even a run on the snow, on a cold morning, is better than no run at all.
Five Benefits of Running In Snow
- Freedom! Snow and ice give many fair weather runners pause, and even more dedicated runners may head back inside. This means that those who do choose to run have the freedom to go where they please, and run into very few other runners. A favorite bike trail during the summer could turn into a delightful venue for running in solitude during the winter. There are fewer others to pass, and it is calmer, quieter, and more peaceful than on a warm weather day.
- Exercise! Running is always a healthy, exhilarating way to improve one's fitness and while running on snow does require a little extra preparation, more clothes, an indoor warm-up, and watching one's footing on the ice is a great work out. Running on snow is similar to running on the beach, in that the snow, like sand, absorbs energy. It takes more energy to run longer on snow than it does on a clean sidewalk, which means it is fantastic exercise. Just remember to take it slow, and not expect to able to run as far as usual.
Training! When training for a long distance race like a half or full marathon, it is impossible to wait and run only in 60 degree sunny weather. Running in the snow is a wonderful way to get the most out of each training run, because it is a hard work out. If a person can run 10 miles in the snow comfortably, they can probably run a great deal longer in good weather.
- Challenge! Because it is easy to want to get back into bed when one wakes up to a snowy day, it is a greater accomplishment to get up and run on those hard days than it is when it is beautiful, perfect running weather outside. Challenging oneself to run in the snow several times a week is a great goal to reach and will help avoid the winter time blues.
- Beauty! Enjoy the peaceful calm freshly fallen snow puts on the world. Running in the snow can feel less harried and more meditative than running on bare roads. Cold winter weather can be frustrating and tiring, and running in the snow is a way to take some time and enjoy it.
Running is a fantastic way to exercise and maintain one's fitness level. Snow outside should not stop the keen runner from lacing up their running shoes, throwing on a fleece, and taking to the trails!