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Our recommendations for running in the snow

2016 Blizzard prediction

If you ran on Sunday during the first 2016 Frozen Foot Races, you got a taste of winter weather with snow flurries during the race. That’s a far cry from the predictions for this weekend, though. The winter’s first snow storm is bearing down on us, with predictions of 6 inches to as much as 2 feet forecast for Central Pennsylvania. For those of us hardcore runners — and we know you’re out there — you need to take extra precautions if you plan to test Mother Nature and run outside in the next 48 hours.

For starters, meteorologists say the snow will arrive this evening and will continue all day Saturday. The height of the storm will be during the day, bringing blizzard conditions with heavy snow and wind. We hate to miss our workouts as much as the next runner, especially if we’re training for a goal race such as a spring marathon. With that in mind, we strongly urge runners to be safe and skip their outdoor workout on Saturday.

Keep in mind that you aren’t going to lose fitness just because you skipped one workout. You can also take advantage of the built-in cross training of shoveling snow.

If you can’t bear the thought, make sure you do the following to ensure you are as safe as possible:

  • Be visible. Wear bright colors so that the few motorists who are out and about can see you (and probably say, “Look at that crazy person running in the blizzard!).
  • Pay attention. Give wide berth to drivers that are out. Vehicles can be unpredictable in the best of conditions, let alone on slick roads.
  • It might be easier to run in the road or street if people haven’t cleared their sidewalks. Either location could be slick, and you’ll need to remember to shorten your stride so you’re in more control and can recover if you slip.
  • You can prevent slipping by wearing cleats. Some runners swear by Yaktrax that you can attach to your shoes. Others take a do-it-yourself approach and screw in their own studs.

And remember, you don’t want to be this runner (key moment is at 1:21):