Embrace the elements this winter and strap into a pair of snowshoes.
Snow-covered trails don’t need to hinder your training—they can actually enhance it with the right equipment: snowshoes.
“Snowshoeing is a killer workout,” says triathlete and top snowshoeing competitor Scott Gall. “It’s a huge strength builder: You use hip flexors and quads in a way that’s very transferable to the bike,” says Gall, who owns a running store in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
It also involves balance and core strength. He offers these tips:
• If you’re mainly going to be running, invest in running-specific snowshoes. They’ll give you more agility on the trails.
• Your snowshoe running pace will be naturally slower than your road running pace, but your heart rate will likely be just as high or higher. For example, if it normally takes you an hour to run 7 miles, then snowshoe for an hour—versus trying to run 7 miles.
• Just try it: There is virtually no learning curve.
Want to give it a shot? Try one of these upcoming races:
JAN. 28: Bigfoot Snowshoe Race, Traverse City, Mich. (5K and 10K)
This scenic, hilly off-trail run is a great course for all levels. In fact, a large percentage of people who do this race are first-timers and rent snowshoes. Runsnow.com
JAN. 29: Curly’s Record Run, Pittsfield, Mass. (4 mile)
This historical race utilizes part of the old ski trails of Berkshire County, and the area is a great spot for an impromptu winter vacation. Berkshiresports.org
FEB. 12: Highland Forest Snowshoe Run, Syracuse, N.Y. (5K and 10K)
The Highland Forest offers a beautiful setting for snowshoeing through the woods. Make a weekend of it at the new Skyline Lodge. Bikeloft.com
Find more events at Snowshoeracing.com.