When the cold and snowy weather arrives here in New England, there comes a time when athletes have two choices. They can let their fitness slowly decline until March, where they are forced to “get back into the routine” and face an agony of weeks until some semblance of fitness comes back around…. or they can train different muscle groups at a high intensity, and come out swinging when the couch surfers are just getting started again.
Here in New Hampshire, there are so many options! Winter hiking, nordic skiing, fat biking, and one of our favorites: SNOWSHOE RUNNING!
Few activities will get your heart rate up as quickly as snowshoe running, and the low-impact nature of running on forgiving snow makes it the perfect cross-training activity for just about anyone! A solid snowshoe running winter will have you cycling stronger, running hills(up and down) faster, and your overall leg strength will be higher than ever before!
“So, What Do I Need?”
We’ll start with the snowshoes!
We carry the most prominent name in running snowshoes: Dion. Why?
-They are made right next door in Vermont!
-They have easily interchangeable bindings and cleats for any surface!
There’s a term called Functional Surface Area (FSA), and the less FSA a shoe has, the lighter the shoe will be, and the easier it is to run in them! In snowshoe racing, the minimum FSA is 120″.
At the bottom end of the FSA spectrum, and high end of the market, is the Model 121. It is the fastest and most narrow shoe in the market, which allows you to run without adjusting your gait as much as you might with a wider shoe.
The training shoe in the Dion brand is the Model 132. They are slightly wider, and therefore a little heavier (only 5 ozs), but still designed with running in mind! Note that the 132″ of FSA may also give you a little more float in the deeper snow, so if you aren’t racing, and have a tendency to do a little more trail blazing while running, this slightly less expensive model may be the one for you!
Obviously, it is winter, and the temperature is going to be worth bundling up for. That’s the easy part. What we tend to see more often than not are people new to the sport coming out overdressed for the occasion. Leave the heavy snowpants and big bulky boots at home. While everyone is different, we recommend starting with this:
-Tight-fitting baselayer for upper and lower body
-Running shoes with cycling booties for additional warmth (recommended by Dion Snowshoe’s website)
-A microfleece midlayer and windproof vest
– A lightweight shell jacket for additional wind resistance and warmth
-Short set of gaitors to keep the snow from going down your ankles
-warm wool socks and a light windpant
“How Can I Try Them?”
As soon as there is enough snow to run on, our Saturday 7am Roving Trail Runs will transition directly to Snowshoe runs at the local parks and trail systems in the Lakes Region! We have demos for you to try out there! Stay in tune with our Facebook Page for info as to where we’ll be running!
Pretty confident that you’re going to catch the bug? The US Snowshoe Association has just presented their Winter 2014-2015 Calendar! CLICK HERE to see where there are races near you!
Questions, comments, and concerns? You know where to find us!