Marathon Training 2019 Day 27: Benefits of Running in the Snow

January 27 2019 long run medium version“Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran

Today’s run was a long run of 8+ miles. Most of my run was on packed snow, which made for a more difficult run. I certainly was tired after this run! In the Tip of the Day, I will talk more about the benefits of running in snow. After my run I did the following exercises:

  • Leg swings forward and back with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg stands (~45 seconds)
  • Pushups (10 repetitions)
  • Monster walks side-to-side and forward-and-back (12 steps in each direction)
  • Y, T, I, and W (10 repetitions for each position)
  • Clamshells (20 repetitions on each side)
  • Prone planks (~40 seconds)
  • Side planks (~30 seconds)
  • Supine planks (~20 seconds)
  • Glute bridge hip lifts (10 repetitions)
  • Quadrupeds (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Toe yoga (10 cycles)
  • Fire hydrants (10 repetitions on each side)
  • Knee circles forward (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Knee circles backward (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg balances (~30 seconds)

After these exercises I performed foam rolling for ~15 minutes.

Recommendation: Recently I made a fitness training program available by opting in (subscribing) on my Welcome page. It includes the recommended distance for today’s running depending on your running experience and time away from running.

Tip of the Day: There are benefits to running in the snow. First, there is the beauty of the snow itself! Also, running in the snow is typically harder and depending on the amount of snow may require more knee lift, which is a good thing. Your leg and glute muscles have to work harder when you are running in the snow and since the surface is not as stable, your balance and stability will be more challenged when you are pushing off. Thus, you can improve your strength and stability. If the surface is very slippery and/or you are running on hills with snow, I recommend Yak Trax or spikes (my friend Sam recently got some motorcycle spikes inserted into one of his pairs of running shoes, because he knew he would be running hills with snow and ice, and it worked well). Also, it is helpful to have done stability, mobility, and strengthening exercises for several weeks before doing runs on the snow. Obviously, your chances of slipping and getting seriously injured significantly increase when running on snow, so use caution, take shorter steps and reduce your pace. If conditions are too risky, you might consider running on a treadmill or areas without snow, if possible.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Enjoy the snow!

Your friend and coach,


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