Winter is here again (in the northern hemisphere) and although we didn't get a white Christmas here in the Netherlands, January has provided colder weather and even some snow!
But these lovely white landscapes aren't all fun, snow and ice can seriously impact the roads and paths we run on. While a thick, fresh pack is relatively safe, the in between conditions can be worrisome. When thaw and frost do a dance, it's a deadly dance: icy patches cna be very slippery. Here are some tips to keep you running safely.
Grab your trail shoes
Trail shoes are made for rugged terrain – that includes snow and ice! The extra grip on these shoes make winter runs more comfortable and more importantly a lot safer. My personal favourites are currently the Saucony Endorphin Edge, but you know what's best for you.
Choose your route wisely
This might not be very helpful in the countryside, but when you're running in an urban environment chances are high your municipality takes care of the most traveled roads and use gritters. After heat, salt is snow's worst enemy so make sure you stick to sprinkled roads for a care-free run.
This might limit your options, forcing you to stick to familiar areas and prohibiting you from exploring. But a tedious run is still better than an unsafe one or none at all.
Skip a run...
Yes, I realise this complete goes against what I just said and this tip is a bit of a cop-out, but skipping a run isn't the end of the world. It's a valid option to give your legs some rest, enjoy the cozy inside and wait for warmer, weather.
As a last resort, head to the gym or your own treadmill and log some indoor kilometers or miles. Personally I loathe treadmills, which is why I wasn't keen to include this tip. But some runners love them and it's a great way to stay in shape when running outdoors isn't an option.
So whether you keep running or not: have a safe winter and enjoy the snow. Remember that while these conditions might not be optimal, it won't be long until we're all complaining about the heat.