Select Page

Running in snowy conditions separates runners into distinct groups: those who insist you can’t and those who persevere, making subtle adjustments to their routes and training schedules. If you find yourself in the first category, hesitant to embrace the challenges of running in the snow, consider a gradual transition with these helpful tips.

Should I be Running in the Snow?

Running in the snow is not only acceptable but can also be a magical experience, provided you’re willing to adapt. Opt for off-road locations, as trails and grass are less likely to be icy beneath the snow. Consider running loops, even if it seems repetitive, as it allows you to become familiar with the conditions underfoot. For your long run, doing multiple laps of a park can be beneficial, and you’ll be closer to home if you need to cut it short. Explore golf courses, which offer ample grass, a possible hill or two, and the added advantage of no golfers in sight. To enhance your snow running experience, ensure you’re well-prepared with appropriate winter running gear. Embrace the challenges, adjust your routes, and make the most of the snow-covered landscapes, turning your run into a resilient and enjoyable adventure.

But Doesn’t It Slow Me Down?

Before assuming your usual running pace, consider a few key adjustments for a safe and enjoyable experience in fresh snow. Although fresh snow is generally safe for running, start gradually, especially in the initial minutes. This approach allows you to assess underfoot conditions and build confidence. Take smaller steps, and be vigilant for hidden patches of ice beneath the snow. Don’t be concerned if your pace is slightly slower than usual; take it easy and appreciate your surroundings. This might be an opportune time to ditch your watch, giving yourself a break from analyzing pace, cadence, stride length, and heart rate stats that you might typically scrutinize after a run. Embrace the simplicity of the moment and enjoy the unique charm of running in the serene, snow-covered landscape.

Build Strength by Running in Snow

If you encounter the need to adjust your training routine due to snow or icy conditions, there’s no need to panic—your fitness won’t vanish. The soft nature of snow provides increased resistance, contributing to strength building even if you perceive a decrease in your running speed. The depth of snow can create a sensation akin to running on soft sand or mud, presenting a unique workout challenge. Be mindful that stiffness or soreness may manifest in different muscle groups than usual. Embrace these variations, recognizing that the altered terrain is contributing to your overall strength and resilience. So, instead of fretting about the changes, view them as opportunities to enhance your fitness and adaptability in the face of diverse running conditions.

Running in the snow offers a range of advantages:

  1. Builds Strength: The soft, resistant nature of snow enhances your workout, contributing to increased strength.
  2. Adds Variety to Your Training: Running in the snow introduces diversity to your routine, challenging your muscles in unique ways.
  3. Enjoy the Winter Landscape: Revel in the opportunity to appreciate the picturesque transformation of your surroundings under a blanket of snow.
  4. Escape from Stats: Take a break from obsessing over pace, cadence, and other stats, relishing the simplicity of the run.
  5. Pure Enjoyment: Above all, it’s just plain fun! Embrace the joy of running in a winter wonderland, making your workout a delightful experience.

virtual running storeHere’s What You Should Wear

Ensure you’re properly dressed for a snowy run. Keep in mind that you might move at a slower pace, so consider adding an extra layer to maintain your body temperature. Choose clothing that provides both insulation and moisture-wicking properties to keep you warm and dry. Opt for a waterproof or water-resistant outer layer to shield against snowflakes or light precipitation. Don’t forget accessories like gloves and a hat to protect exposed extremities. By dressing appropriately, you’ll stay comfortable and make the most of your snowy running experience.


  1. Gloves, Hat, and Buff: If it’s cold enough to snow, these accessories are crucial for preserving warmth. Gloves protect your hands, a hat covers your head, and a buff adds an extra layer for your neck or face.
  2. Wicking Running Socks: Opt for socks made from moisture-wicking fabric. This helps keep your feet dry, preventing them from getting excessively cold. Dry feet contribute to overall comfort during your run.

By incorporating these essential items into your cold-weather running attire, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges posed by snow and low temperatures. Stay warm, stay dry, and enjoy your winter run!


Technical Aspects of Running Clothing

When selecting running clothing, it’s crucial to consider the technical features that enhance your performance and comfort. Opting for full-length leggings and a thermal top is a wise choice. Specialized running thermals play a key role in regulating body temperature by trapping heat, ensuring runners stay warm in cold weather. Additionally, these thermals efficiently wick away moisture from your skin, preventing you from feeling the chill by keeping you dry.

For added confidence and protection, consider wearing a waterproof jacket. Beyond shielding you from external wetness, these jackets are breathable, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable from the inside. The GoreTex lining further contributes to insulation, providing extra warmth during your run. By prioritizing technical aspects in your running clothing, you’ll maximize your comfort and performance in various weather conditions.

Choosing the Right Shoes for Running in the Snow

When it comes to running in the snow, selecting the appropriate shoes is crucial. For deeper snow and optimal traction, fell running shoes are your best bet. These shoes typically feature a stickier rubber outsole compared to road or trail shoes, providing excellent grip on slippery surfaces, especially in icy conditions.

If you prefer a bit more versatility and cushioning, trail shoes are a solid choice. While not as specialized for deep snow as fell running shoes, trail shoes offer a good balance, making them suitable for various snowy terrains.

Ultimately, your choice between fell running shoes and trail shoes depends on the specific conditions you anticipate and your preferences for traction and cushioning. Ensure your selected shoes provide the necessary grip and support to make your snowy runs both safe and enjoyable.

Staying Flexible with Your Training in Snowy Conditions

In the face of changing weather, it’s crucial to be adaptable. If you find yourself needing to alter your training routine for a week or so due to snow, don’t fret—your fitness won’t vanish. While your usual speed workouts might be challenging in the snow, creativity can still keep your training on track, even if it means exploring indoor alternatives. Consider options like spin classes, swimming, or using the treadmill or elliptical trainer at the gym. The softness of snow provides extra resistance, contributing to strength-building, even if your run feels less intense. By staying flexible and embracing different training methods, you’ll maintain progress and fitness levels during snowy conditions.

I Can Run on Snow but What About Ice?

Running on snow can be enjoyable. But when it transforms into ice, the fun can quickly turn into a safety concern. If you encounter icy patches during a snowy run, it’s wise to slow down and walk across them. Ideally, running around icy spots can help you maintain stability. However, if your entire running route appears icy or if there’s the presence of black ice, it’s crucial to assess the risk before heading out. Consider alternative routes, such as walking to a nearby park or grassy area, especially if pavements are slippery. Prioritizing safety and making informed decisions in icy conditions will ensure an enjoyable and injury-free running experience.

Embracing the Joy of Winter Running

One of the delights of outdoor running is immersing yourself in nature and facing whatever elements come your way. Running allows you to witness the changing seasons firsthand. Take a moment to look around and appreciate the unique beauty of your surroundings. Even in the winter, there’s a certain charm to the snow-covered landscape. If your run encounters challenges, consider it an opportunity to adapt and find joy in the experience. And if all else fails, why not go sledding? Jogging back up the hill will still provide a bit of a workout, ensuring you make the most of the winter wonderland. Enjoy the elements, embrace the changes, and let the joy of running in nature be your guide.