Running on snow and ice: training features, equipment, technique

Winter should not interrupt running training and deprive you of the pleasure of going out for a run. We tell you how to run correctly, safely and with pleasure on snow and ice.

Workout Features

You can run on snow and ice. True, such training has a lot of hint recommendations – how to choose shoes, how to adjust the pace and technique, increase attention and concentration during training.

Running for Mortals coach Jenny Hadfield points out in an interview that “the key to running safely on snow and ice is understanding that you will have to slow down and try a lot harder, and also think about the advance to the choice of running technique.

Running on snow and ice is less for speed, more for strength and endurance

The characteristics of running on ice and snow require increased concentration, great effort, technical adjustments and the choice of different footwear. But running in the winter is a good time for volume training at a slow pace, which will be successful if you follow these recommendations.

See also: How to choose running shoes for winter

Running technique and pace

Since when running on snow or ice you need to avoid falling and slipping in the first place, you need to reduce flight time during the running stage, think about foot placement, and stabilize the foot more strongly. body.

A long stride, in which the foot lands far in front of the body, makes it difficult to maintain balance and makes it easier to glide. Try to take shorter and more frequent steps, i.e. increase the pace to the 180 steps per minute considered ideal.

Try to put your foot below the center of gravity, ie below the hips. Thanks to this, the flight will be shorter, and the landing will take place earlier.

Slow down your pace and speed when running on ice and snow. Do not be afraid to modify your plan according to the rhythm of your race, do not hesitate to intensify the particularly difficult passages.

Try to put your foot on the whole plane, not on the toe or the heel – the larger the contact area, the greater the grip and stability.

Read more: Fundamentals of Preparing for Winter Races and Marathons

Running on snow and ice: training features, equipment, technique
With such a foot adjustment, the chances of slipping and falling or pulling a muscle are already less Photo: Getty Images Source:

How to prevent injuries

Since training on snow and ice is an increased level of difficulty, a little more attention should be paid to safety, stabilizing muscle training and recovery.


Watch where you are stepping. And be prepared for the fact that a hole, rut, root or ice is hiding under the snow. Try to keep your knees and ankles in a state of “relaxed readiness” – soft, relaxed, but ready to react and stabilize the leg in time when you slide or turn.

Stabilization exercises

To prepare the legs to react as described in the paragraph above, pay attention to training the stabilizing muscles, training the feet, strengthening the calves and lower legs.

Do jumping jacks, toe lifts, train on a balance platform, do exercises to strengthen core muscles.

Read more: GPT for runners: 30 bodyweight exercises


Despite the fact that the workouts will take place at a slow pace, the muscles will have to work harder, they will begin to clog more, more serious strength is possible than usual. So pay attention to stretching, massage, recovery.

If possible, sometimes go to workouts in the gym on a treadmill.

What to run

Most likely, training in summer sneakers during snow and ice will not work. Shoes with good tread and at least minimal water repellent properties will help.

Running shoes for snow and ice

  • Choose sneakers with an aggressive tread; with rubber sole; with a Gore-Tex membrane that will protect well from melting snow. Trail running shoes are ideal.
  • The upper of the shoe is anything but mesh. It is puffed up, wet and, therefore, not suitable for protection against the cold.
  • Check out adidas’ range of winter running shoes like the adidas Terrex Skychaser LT or Nike Trail running shoes like the Nike Pegasus Trail.
  • Take a closer look at spiked sneaker models. These are not spikes that are used in stadiums, but trail running shoes with built-in spikes. They can run on snow and ice. Minus – relatively large weight. Sample model – ASICS Gel-FujiSetsu 2 GTX.

Studded shoes for running on snow and ice

Non-trail sneakers or spikeless sneakers can be “pumped up” using spiked soles – these are also ice accesses, they are shoe ties, they are also “cats”.

Spikes suitable for running are suspended spikes that are secured with soft rubber bands at the toe and heel of the shoe – they are not aggressive climbing “cats”. You can buy these tips in the hiking section of sporting goods stores.

It can be both the tips themselves, and the spring-loaded nozzles. It is better to choose ice accesses with studs on the front and back of the sole – they are stronger and more stable.

Running into buzzards will take some getting used to. After using the nozzle, wipe and dry. It is better not to run on the asphalt – the nozzles will deteriorate.

Running on snow and ice: training features, equipment, technique
You can run in the snow in ordinary winter sneakers, it is better to go out on the ice already on spikes

Is it possible to do speed training on ice

“Intervals” and high-speed winter training on the street is better not to do. They probably won’t work, because instead of a forceful push and acceleration, you’ll start to slide, and instead of braking after acceleration, you’ll roll forward to the first snowdrift or the first drop. .

Speed ​​and interval training in the winter is best transferred to the treadmill in the gym. A stadium is also suitable for this, if the tracks are well cleaned, rubber coating.

Approach winter training as if it’s time to build an aerobic base – the snow and ice itself dictates the need to run slowly, at a measured pace, with a high cadence.

Read more: Treadmill workouts: exercises, pros and cons

tips for everyday life

Here are some additional tips for running outside in the cold season:

  • Choose the right snow. Your best bet is fresh or packaged. So-called “powder”, soft or wet snow (ideal for building snowmen) is ideal for running training. It slips less and offers excellent grip.
  • Ride familiar routes and stay on the roads – unfamiliar tracks and forest paths may meet you with holes and roots.
  • Wear high socks or so-called gaiters – outer gaiters that are worn over trousers and over boots – they will protect against snow getting inside the shoes and hypothermia.


Stop exercising in winter. Better to choose the right equipment, slow down, change your running technique. In running technique, the first thing to do is to change the cadence – to speed up the step and shorten its length. Slow down the pace, walk over particularly difficult sections, do not do high-speed work on ice and snow.

Do not forget about stretching and massage, pay even more attention to strength exercises and exercises to strengthen stabilizers, foot muscles and calf muscles.

Use trail running shoes or buy studded shoe covers. And when winter is over, you’ll be in great shape to run without having to start all over again.