Winter Trail Running

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  sevens 10 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #7056

    sevens
    Member

    I need to start increasing my mileage in advance of an early summer marathon.  I like to run the Bugline trail near Milwaukee in spring, summer and fall but have never run on trails in the snow.  Any special gear needed?  Is this even advisable?  I'm just not that crazy about winter road running and high mileage on the treadmill isn't my idea of fun.  Thanks- 

  • #24623

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I've never tried them but you could consider running snowshoes. They may help you keep from turning ankles and keep you on top of the snow as opposed to sinking in up to your knees.

    I happened to hit the Bugline for a short distance as it parallels Waukesha Ave in Sussex about 2 hours ago. I didn't want to run down the road as it's a narrow road with no decent shoulder and, with the icy conditions, I didn't feel safe out there. Just in that short distance on the Bugline, I found the going tough. Between the rutted trail (remember, it serves as a snowmobile trail in the winter) and occasionally sinking in about 6 inches deep, it wasn't easy to run on. Snowshoes may make it easier in this way. Also, remember on the Bugline that snowmobiles will take the right of way in the winter. If you're going to run out there, be careful. They can come up on you fast and some won't give you much space, expecting you to get well off the trail.

  • #24624

    Anne
    Member

    As Ryan mentioned snowshoes may be the way to go. Several local runners here have turned to snowshoeing this winter due to the heavy snowfall. You still get aerobic conditioning, the quads get more of a workout.
    I would worry about uneven surfaces, slipping & the resistance of running through snow. The latter contributed to a nasty case of bursitis in my hip a few years ago.
    Up here you can't run on the trails because they are groomed for x-county skiing, sounds like you have a snowmobile hazard down there. 

    It's been a tough winter for training that's for sure! 

  • #24625

    sevens
    Member

    I don't think I want to take up snowshoeing just yet – sounds like a good way to strain a knee, joint etc.  I would like to stay injury free through my next race.  I do appreciate the tips and advice though.  If we get some decent weather in the next week I still may try my luck out on the trail – otherwise it's back to the icy road and treadmill. 

  • #24626

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Do you mind if I ask where along the Bugline you run? I can suggest a couple of subdivisions in Sussex if you're in that area. I ran through one today and was actually able to spend quite a bit of time on solid ground for a change.

    Here's hoping the storm heading this way for Monday isn't as bad as they made it sound like it could be this morning on the news.

  • #24627

    ksrunner
    Participant

    When people find out that I run outside in the low temperatures here, they look at me as if I am crazy. I know that your conditions and temperatures are worse — though the into-the-wind portion of Sunday's run might have been competitive. Knowing that there are others running in worse conditions does help me to get out there and run sometimes.

    I remember a few years ago reading something from you Ryan where you had a temperature scale where one of the temperatures was the temperature at which you could hear your spit freeze before it hits the ground. Personally, I am glad not to have observed that one. You may have had some colder observations, but that is the one that stuck in my memory.

    Steve in Kansas

  • #24628

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ahh, yes. That crackling sound is a bit unnerving. Fortunately, I can't recall a single time since moving to SE Wisconsin hearing that sound. It's still a very vivid memory, one of those things you can't forget no matter how hard you try.

    Actually, as cold as this winter has been at times, the big problem I've had with this winter has been the snow and ice. You can dress for the cold. There's not much you can do to deal with the messy roads/trails and all the slipping and sliding can really take its toll on your legs.

  • #24629

    sevens
    Member

    That's just it.  I'm not having a lot of luck running on snow and ice packed shoulders.  Thus my question about the trails.  To answer your question Ryan, I usually just drive the 3 or 4 minutes to Lisbon park and hit the Bugline from there.  I guess I could run subdivision laps here in Sussex like you suggested – just not as fun.

  • #24630

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    No, not fun but it works. From work, I go up to the subdivision just north of the railroad tracks where the water tower is and do a loop around there, then head to the subdivision just west of there and zigzag north and south through that. Without doubling back on any section, I can get 4.5 miles out for a 9 mile out and back while only using those two subdivisions.

  • #24631

    sevens
    Member

    Just an update here in SE Wisconsin.  I've had mixed success the last week and a half running the local trails.  The bugline trail where I spend most of my time is still ice covered – but getting better.  I have had great success running on stretches of trail that are hardpack or ice covered using this:  http://www.skyrunner.com/screwshoe.htm

    Areas that are not hardpack from snowmobiling are difficult.  Another week of decent weather and we should really be in business.

  • #24632

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ahh, yes. The screw shoe. I've made it the basis of my running attire recently.

    Thanks for the update on the Bugline. I was just running past it about 2 hours ago and thinking hopefully I'll be able to get on there again soon. Maybe, with the screw shoe back out of the closet, I will give it a shot some time next week.

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