Become One with the Cold
Trail running just gets good with the plummeting temps and slippery slush
Photo by Michael DeYoung
When the mercury shrinks and snow piles up, you don't have to exchange your beloved trail shoes for clunky skis or snowshoes. Look at winter as an opportunity to experience our sport in a completely fresh way. And be comfortable and have fun doing it.
If you live in snow country, winter may shut down your favorite backcountry trails to running, but opens a reason to rethink your definition of a quality "trail." Those closer-to-town, heavily trafficked summer trails, for example, take on an altogether new personality, when fair-weather trail users flock to the coffee shops. Look for hiker-packed trails, which can offer a dreamy, cushioned running surface, one that may even seem easier to run than in the summer as the rocks and rough spots get filled in.
"I find running in winter a great time to rediscover why we do what we do—it's all about play," says Barry Lewis, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a long-time East Coast trail runner and racer. "The trails might be icy, muddy or covered in snow—sometimes it's all of the above in a single run—and thoughts of speed and mileage give way to the joy of exploring whatever's ahead."