Today marks the first snowfall in Missoula in the fall of 2018. We still ran this morning, as we do every Tuesday morning, in the skiff of snow on the ground, but with the distinct sense that trail running days are limited. We still love to trail run all year though! So how do we do it?
One of our top recommendations for when snow is covering your beloved trail route is to don a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes. Although heavier than some other traction devices, these chains for your feet turn a slippery run into a 4x4 adventure. We have used them in light snow, deep drifts, glacier travel, and shoveling the sidewalk. The durability completely makes up for the weight.
Another option for deeper snow days is running snowshoes. The first thing about running in snowshoes is to throw your pace goals out the window. Count on running at least two minutes per mile slower with a much higher heart rate than anticipated. Snowshoe running is an incredible way to keep your trail running technique sharp throughout the winter, while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.
You can also ski! Classic, skate, and skimo are all incredible ways to keep your cardio fitness at a high level without the impact forces on your legs that can accrue through a winter of running. Plus it's fun! Skiing can be a great way to mentally refresh for your first spring block of summer trail running. Although not technically running, we view skiing as a perfect supplement to our other winter running plan.
Don't let the snow stop you from running your local trails!