Tips for Running On Snow or Ice

The season can change even overnight. One day, you are running with the sunshine over your head, and the next day the temperature drops, and the route is dusted with snow and ice. With the short supply of daylight, and frigid temperatures, some can easily let their routine slide and choose to enjoy the cozy and warm comforts of their homes. However, there is something magical about running in the snow, and winter runs can be safe and fun when you do it properly. So instead of giving up, try to use the following tips that will definitely help you with your winter runs.

Know the danger of running in the snow or ice

Before you go on your run, make sure that you check the weather and the dangers of freezing temperatures and winter winds. Ensure yourself that it is not too cold, firstly because the path may be too icy and you can get injured, and secondly to avoid frostbites.

Pre-run Warm-up

Doing some light exercises in the house is enough to get the blood flowing without getting tired. You can use a jump rope or run up and down on your stairs, or you can simply stretch. That is important because the cold does not feel so cold when you are warmed up.

Wear the proper shoes

runing shoes in winter

The shoes you wear during your summer runs will not work for you in icy and snowy conditions. You will need something with a chunkier stole in your winter runs that will provide you traction and keep your toes from freezing. So, you will need to change sneakers with snowshoes, you will surely avoid slipping with them, and plus there are many benefits from running with snowshoes, and your quads will burn like with no other workout, so why not take advantage of that when you have a chance?

Wear the appropriate gear

Many people do not know what to wear when running in the cold and usually get overdressed, resulting in too much sweat and getting a chill at the end of the run. The golden rule of running in the cold is to dress like it is 10 to 20 degrees warmer. Although you still need to wear something cozy. Such as some of the running gloves and technical fabrics that wick sweat and have zippers at the underarms and neck that allow the air to vent as your body starts to warm up.

High Knees in Deeper snow

Your normal running style may not work perfectly in the snow, so you need to think of a different running style, such as high knees. Your speed will decrease, but you will be working way more muscles than you would with your normal style on a dry road.

Try to avoid ice

It can be hard to avoid running on ice in the winter. However, try to choose trails instead of sidewalks or roads. Because once the snow melts, the water refreezes, and it becomes basically a skating rink. But the trails get packed down, and you can still run with fewer chances of getting injured.

Be prepared for sore muscles

Running on ice or in the snow requires more stability and balance. So, you will have many sore muscles that normally are not sore after your typical summer run. Your legs need to work twice as hard as they normally work just to keep you upright. So, if you are a new runner. You will definitely need to focus more on your full-body flexibility exercises and wear knee braces for running before you head out to the snow.

Outsmart the wind

Always start your runs into the wind and finish them with it at your back. So, the cold and the breeze do not blast directly at you once you are sweaty. Or, if you want to avoid a long slog, you can break it up. You can run into the wind for 10 minutes and then run 5 minutes on the opposite side.

Change your post-run technique

Your core body temperature will drop as soon as you are done with your run. So, to avoid getting a cold, change your clothes as soon as you can. Put on some warm clothes, drink a hot beverage, or eat a steamy soup.

Change your goals

If the traction is not there, do not try too hard to hit your daily goal. In the winter, it may be better to aim for time rather than mileage. Also, when you have any doubt, simply walk because nothing is worth an injury, so if you see a path that looks dangerous, take it slow. There are even days that are simply too cold, so it is okay to skip a day. You can always do your exercises at home.


If you simply do not embrace running in the snow or ice, it will be a tough winter. So, learn to love it and enjoy the magic around you. And of course, always try to stay safe, as we already know that the days in the winter are shorter, so if you do not have the time during the day and your run extends past sunset, make sure that you are wearing bright clothes or carry a light with you because do to the snow blowing around it can be hard for drivers to see you. Basically, stay as easy to spot as possible.

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AthletePath Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts and professional athletes thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to become a better athlete.

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