I hate the treadmill with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. And before I was informed about running outside in the winter safely, I would slog along on the dreadmill for countless boring miles each winter.
Then I learned some stuff — mainly that running on the ice and snow often require traction devices. That little fact changed my life. I’ve been running outside year round since.
Today, though, while wearing my DueNorth traction aids, I fell for the first time.
And holy cow — ow! My knee hit the ice so hard I thought for sure I had to have chipped a bone. (Turns out it was just a huge, painful, swollen bruise.)
To my longtime readers, it’s no secret that I like to learn things the hard way. So let’s turn my boo-boo into a lesson.
Here’s what I learned:
1. The DueNorth traction aids slip on and cling to the bottom of my shoe. Without a strap over my foot, they can pop off (that’s what happened today, which caused me to lose my footing and catapult myself forward into the ground).
2. There’s a difference between Yaktrax and DueNorth. DueNorth utilize little metal spikes, which are OK for icy conditions only. They don’t do well in a lot of snow, because they collect snow in the rubber shoe fitting and become pretty slippery anyway. Yaktrax make use of coils (and they have products that strap over your foot to keep them in place) so they do better in deeper snow and slush.
3. There’s nothing I can say or do to keep myself from getting hurt. Fortunately, this is just a little painful and shouldn’t keep me from doing the F^3 Lake Half Marathon next weekend. (Sure, I could’ve done my 8-mile run tomorrow, when it’s supposed to be warmer… but we’ve had such a mild winter I wanted practice running in the snow and ice. Hmpf.)
And in case you’re curious, I’ve never had such a hard run. It was extra slippery and unpleasant today. And I ran all the time last winter, which was pretty intense. I actually had to get off the lakefront path and run home along the street.
How do you prefer to stay upright when running in the snow and ice? I’m curious to hear what others do to avoid slipping.