Safety Tips for Running In The Snow.

Safety Tips for Running In The Snow.

1. Don't go for a PR today! 
It's slippery, there isn't as much room on the sidewalks and streets so take it easy, enjoy the run.  Running in the snow is like running in sand on the beach. With every step, as your foot presses down, it actually pushes the snow (and sand) aside and only a small portion of the energy is used to move the body forward. So you you end up with a shorter step and need to take more steps to cover the same distance. It will work out you, but don't expect to go as fast as usual.

2. Protect Your Hands, Feet and Head.
I sound like my father "wear a hat!!" As much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your head, hands and feet. Wear running gloves that wick moisture away.  Try adding a wicking sock liner under a warm polar fleece or wool sock, but make sure you have enough room in your running shoes to accommodate these thicker socks.  Stay away from cotton hats, they look cute, but will get wet and make you colder as you move along.

3. When in doubt, walk through an icy stretch.
It beats getting hurt slipping on ice.  You can also slow down and use a gliding skating step as well.

4. Layers
Stay away from cotton!  Start with a thin layer of synthetic material that wicks sweat from your body. An outer, breathable layer of nylon or Gore-Tex will help protect you against wind and precipitation, while still letting out heat and moisture to prevent overheating and chilling. As you move you will be creating your own wind chill, so make sure to be layered, but not over dressed, you can over heat.

We have been testing the new Nike Hyperwarm compression gear, if you're looking to stay warm, dry and comfortable, this is a great option.

5. Hydrate- 
It's cold and wet, there is plenty of moisture in the air, but you still need moisture in your body. Snow makes you work harder than you normally would, so don't forget to hydrate, it's easy to dehydrate in weather like this.

6. If you have them try snow shoes.
They are an amazing workout and a great way to hit the forest preserves and trails.  You can also check these out STABILicers, if the snow is really deep, it may be too late for today, but it will snow again.

7. Wear Reflective Gear.
It's snowy, dark and slippery outside. Reflective gear, light colored clothes, even reflective wrist bands are always a good idea.

8. Have fun.


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  • And if you find yourself dehydrated in the middle of your winter run, don't eat the yellow snow!

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    If you are running on trails (not recommended for streets or sidewalks) I find YakTrax are very helpful, as they can dig into the hard packed show and ice to provide traction, especially if you are running on hills, like in Palos or Waterfall Glen.

  • All of these are excellent suggestions! (and I totally agree with Wayne: I love my YakTrax!) I'd like to add one more: moisturizer.(yeah, probably more of a girl thing ;-) ) But a really good moisturizer on my cheeks and nose on a cold, windy, snowy day prevent me from getting that sun-burned look.

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