Winter’s coming, and with it, all sorts of weather. But, you’re a trail runner: When the going gets tough, you get out there and get going. Running in the rain, snow, sleet, wind, or just plain cold can be invigorating and make you feel like you can do anything…and these days, we could all use a little extra, adventure-inspired boost. Let’s not let a little weather keep us from those healing trees and that calming dirt.
Here are five tips for winter trail running that will help you get out doing your thing no matter the conditions.
Winter Trail Running Rules
1. Choose your trails wisely.
Trail conditions vary greatly in the winter months, with moisture, wind, and sun affecting the surface and environment. On intensely windy days (especially with sideways-blowing snow), choose trails surrounded by dense trees for protection. If you’re looking for a dry trail versus a snowy or icy trail and live at elevations that have both, depending on the day, seek out a south-facing trail versus a north-facing trail — the south-facing trail will dry out sooner while the north-facing trail will hold snow and ice. Likewise, if you’re looking for a dry trail over a wet trail, head to an exposed area — like trails through grasslands and meadows that receive lots of sun, instead of tree-covered routes.