Running in the Snow

Two days ago we were hit by a snowstorm that dumped several inches of fine powder on the area. We have been spared the devastating storms that much of the country has recently experienced, but now we have our first accumulation of the year.

I have been coming back from a nasty hamstring injury that has messed up my training for the last month and a half. I am not accustomed to injuries that keep me from running, so this has been a frustrating ordeal. Things have finally started to improve this week. So when the snow came down, there was no way I was going to let that keep me from sticking to my recovery schedule.

We don’t get much snow, and as long as it is not hazardous, I love running in it. Not only is it a diversion from the regular routine, the soft surface is a nice change of pace from the hard asphalt.

On Thursday, I wore a pair of Brooks GTS shoes which have served me well, but as you can see from center shoe in the photo, the tread is all but gone. Still they did better than expected. I didn’t slip during my run despite selecting a hilly course. Admittedly, I am not yet up to full speed or stride.

The pair on the right is for comparison. I could have worn them, but they are new and white and I was planning on switching over in the spring. The new pair cost $120. I am way to cheap to spend that much on running shoes, but I received a $50 gift certificate from a running store called Fit Right for winning the masters division in a Vancouver race, the Lacamas Lake 5k run, and another $50 gift certificate for a 2nd place overall finish in the same event.


Yesterday, my recovery plan called for a mile swim, and no run, but the pool was closed due to the weather. It was a good excuse to run in the snow again. The snow was now a little deeper on the sidewalks, and a little more slippery on the roadways, where I prefer to run when no cars are coming.

I decided to try a little experiment. Thinking of the studded snow tires that are now on our little  HHR, I was reminded of a pair of spiked running shoes that I pulled from the garbage after my son finished his senior year of  high school cross county. I have only used these shoes a couple times while running races around a gravel trail that encircles a lake in the town where I live.

I couldn’t wear heavier socks because the shoes were already a bit on the small side, but I felt like I had plenty of traction on the semi-packed snow covering the roadway. However, when I had to jump up to the the curb because of an oncoming car, the shoes didn’t seem to offer any additional Running Shoestraction in the deep powdery snow. If anything, they seemed a bit less stable because the heal moved around due to the narrow design of the shoe.

Overall I think the spikes did the job well. I am curious to see what they would do on ice. I have never tried running on a surface that slick.

I would be curious to hear from others who run in snow, and find out how they deal with it.

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7 Responses to Running in the Snow

  1. Congrats on this new endeavor; at most I do “power” walking.


  2. I have all I can do just to walk in it, but it’s pretty deep here. I use Yak Trax a lot, but I don’t know what running in them would be like.


  3. mariekeates says:

    The Yak Trax are brilliant for walking on snow and ice. I can’t see why they wouldn’t work for running and if you do a fair bit of walking they’d be good just for that. So far this year I haven’t even had to get mine out though.


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