Running in the snow / ice

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Running in the snow / ice

Postby james79 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:08 pm

Where I am the ground has been covered in snow / ice for the last 5 days. This morning it was -11oC. I have never known weather like this here ever in my life.

All the pavements near me are like ice rinks which makes running on them impossible. Before and after work it is dark and running off road is very awkward and its difficult to do any sort of quality. Also injury risk is high (for me and my dodgy foot anyway!) so I've decided to wait until the bad weather clears. It times like this when it would be nice to be a member of a gym I think!

What do you do in this sort of weather?
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Postby fredrikw » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:11 pm

this is what runners in this country is using during the winter
http://www.icebug.se/

not all of them are synthetic though, but apparently they work great on ice.

another alternative which is quite common is to use strap on studs, some work fine when running and are even sold in running stores here in Sweden.
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Postby Konstantin » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:13 pm

Very little.

This week has been less active for indirectly related reasons. I had a hard race on Sunday, returning to work, and extra work gritting roads, taking kids to school and disrupted travel.

My roads are unusable - they were Ok when the snow fell, and I ran on it on Tuesday - no slip problems. But now the ice makes it impractical. I've done some B/w strength work, and may head off to the gym to use the treadmill. I was thinking of doing some lower impact b/w stuff on my legs to make it more running related, but not sure if that's a great help. But if I have more rest for a while I can live with that. If these conditions go on too long I will find it difficult.
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Postby ninearms » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:15 pm

http://badbenkc.blogspot.com/2010/01/screwin-shoes.html

The best screws to use are the ones that are normally screwed into tires for ice racing, Kold Kutters, but you'll probably have trouble finding them over here.
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Postby Gelert » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:33 pm

See:

http://www.garyrolfe.com/pdf/Article%20SUMMIT_40.pdf

for some info on someone who runs in the Arctic during winter.

Oh, and beware penile frostbite. Male runners are quite prone to it in very cold weather, especially if their trousers have a zip of some description.
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Postby skoptic » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:43 pm

[quote="Gelert"]Oh, and beware penile frostbite.


Now there's something that I hadn't been worried about (until now)...

So it's treacherous round here too, I've been training on my bike turbo trainer since Tuesday, but I need to get a 20 mile run in tomorrow, so I'll be going off road through fields and stuff - I hope that will be less dangerous! I've got a 45 mile ultra run next saturday from Wendover to London and I really, really hope this snow has cleared before then!!!
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Postby Konstantin » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:43 pm

[quote="Gelert"]Oh, and beware penile frostbite. Male runners are quite prone to it in very cold weather, especially if their trousers have a zip of some description.


Without too much detail, and DO NOT post a picture, how much of a threat of damage is there? What sort of temperatures do we reach to cause that?

:(
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Postby skoptic » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:23 pm




Wow - that's a good read, puts slightly snowy Hertfordshire into perspective!
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Postby runrevolt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:30 pm

James, I hear ya. However, running in snow (fluffy, powdery snow) is awesome, but ice just DOES NOT WORK. We got dumped on with 5 - 6 inches yesterday and I had a hill workout to do...in normal shoes I would have quit before I started, but I was waering my solomon speedcross shoes with super aggressive tread. THey worked AMAZINGLY.

So basically, you either get some super grippy shoes made for snow, or yak traks (snow chains for your shoes), or get on the treadmill somewhere. Short of skipping a run, those are about your only options I think.

Good luck!

Also, I don't buy the penile frostbite bit.
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Postby Gelert » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:13 pm

[quote="runrevolt"]Also, I don't buy the penile frostbite bit.


I'd refer you to Hershkowitz (1977). Penile frostbite, an unforseen hazard of jogging. New England Journal of Medicine 296:(3)178

I seem to recall it was written by the patient himself, a doctor. The gist of it is, from memory, he went for a run out in the cold, got home, and felt a certain slight discomfort as he started thawing.


[quote]Without too much detail, and DO NOT post a picture, how much of a threat of damage is there? What sort of temperatures do we reach to cause that


Air temperature is but one part of the equation. How fast you're running, and whether you're running into the wind also increases cooling. The amount of moisture in that region is also likely to be a factor. Poorly transmitted sweat will increase the chilling rate (as would wetting yourself, after the initial warming effect). It's an extremity with a low blood perfusion rate in it's non-errect state so it is more prone than the surrounding tissues. Regarding zips, contact with cold metal can cause your tissue to freeze to it or at least chill very rapidly, which is why one wears contact gloves and has toggles on clothing zips for cold weather kit. The literature says that this is an issue at -20*C although in personal experience it definitely happens at -40*C.

This is a rough guide here for exposed flesh, which obviously have less insulation but less moisture equally.

Image

The last three shades indicate freezing times of 30-15-5 minutes approximately for exposed flesh, although it's very common for arctic neophytes to get on a skidoo with less than a cm of exposed flesh between balaclava and goggle and end up getting frostbite in the time it takes to go 500 m in temperatures of -20*C. They end up looking like they've been punched in both eyes, but it's fairly trivial.

I mentioned this fairly frivolously for the UK context even currently, but to be more serious a slip or a trip that leaves one stuck out on a route could prove fatal. A colleague of mine died on New Year's day, seemingly after a late night walk which left him stuck on a golf course, for whatever reason. We don't know what happened exactly, but hypothermia is very likely to have played a part.

*I think I may have a photo at home of what penile frostbite looks like in a competitor in a polar adventure race who didn't take either point too seriously, if there are any doubting (john) thomases still out there :D
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Postby runrevolt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:39 pm

Gelert, that's funny because before you even directed that to me, I found that article while doing some research on cold weather running's effect on the lungs.

I guess I didn't mean that I don't believe the private bits can't get, well, bitten, but rather that if you are stupid enough to run in such cold temperatures without taking the proper precautions, then maybe we are all better off if you lose an extension of yourself.
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Postby Gelert » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:48 pm

[quote="runrevolt"]I guess I didn't mean that I don't believe the private bits can't get, well, bitten, but rather that if you are stupid enough to run in such cold temperatures without taking the proper precautions, then maybe we are all better off if you lose an extension of yourself.


Were the Darwin awards in existence then? :lol:
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Postby E-P » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:55 pm

Greetings to everybody from Sunny and Warm east coast of Mexico,

The weather is ideal for running here now in the winter time. Day time temperatures are between 22-26 celsius degrees. One day I was slightly cold though when I went running. It is nice now when I can run during the day. In the summer it is sooo bloody hot that it gets a bit crazy if you go running between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. At least for me as I have not gotten used to do sports in +35-40 celsius degrees temperatures.

Enjoy the breezes from North. Didn't mean to make you feel jealous by any means :lol:

Keep on running!

-E-P-


Edit: My English has gone rubbish!
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Postby IronGirl » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:58 pm

We have about 6 inches of snow here. The fields and woodlands are powdery snow. The roads are ice. I've been running off road all week and loving it. Feels awesome. I'm using walsh pbs and they are working really well. You just need to be sensible and avoid the roads and be prepared to walk icy patches.
If you live in town and its all pavements, why not go and find a local park or football pitch and run around that. Enjoy and take care!
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Postby fredrikw » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:41 pm

[quote="runrevolt"]Gelert, that's funny because before you even directed that to me, I found that article while doing some research on cold weather running's effect on the lungs.

I don't know how much you found, but if you're still hesitating you could have a look at XC skiers, they do a lot of training and competitions in very cold weather. There are some solutions for heat exchangers, the ones I know of are Lungplus and Airtrim, but there might be others. Many people with cold induced asthma use these, as well as when training in really cold weathers. I train all through the winters and have so far managed without, but when I came off a nasty pneumonia a couple of years ago it helped me take walks without coughing just after I was well again.
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