There are risks and rewards to running in the snow. Knowing how to do so safely can be enjoyable and beneficial. Snow running provides resistance making it a challenging workout. Because of the increased resistance and uneven surfaces, injury can occur if steps are not taken to accommodate for it.
To safely run in the snow, slow down pace, shorten stride and decrease planned distance. Consider decreasing the distance by 1/2 to 1/3 of planned mileage depending upon the depth of the snow. For example, a training plan that calls for 10 miles, should drop down to 5-7 miles in snowy conditions.
It is helpful to wear trail shoes or traction cleats such as yaktrax to improve stability with landing and power with push off on the snow.
Expect your calves and hamstrings to be a bit more sore than usual. Running should never be painful. Pain = STOP.
If snow is so deep that it requires high knees to clear the feet, consider snowshoeing or cross country skiing instead and skip the run! The hip flexors will be much happier.
Be attuned to the weather conditions. Did we have a thaw and then a refreeze? This can cause snow to become icy on top or underneath. Running on ice is a no-no. The injury risk is too high for the reward. Consider running on an indoor track or cross training instead.
Happy snow running!