Snow bunny

I just did my first run in my new Redwing snow shoes, down around the Bronxville pond. What we’re experiencing is not technically a blizzard, apparently. But the wind was around 20 mph. Not that I noticed the wind today.

Good God, running in snow is hard! Notice I said in rather than on. In the untrodden sections, I sank down a good 4-6 inches with every step. I ran just under two miles, much of it in a foot of fresh, powdery snow. Running in that stuff was laughingly slow. Once I got onto some packed snow, the going was much better and I could achieve something resembling a natural running form. Average pace: 12:55. Average HR%: 74.

I was supposed to do a four mile recovery run this evening, but the only way to stay below 70% was to walk. So I figure two miles at 74% is roughly equal to four at 65% (Uh…). But why do my calves, quads and ass hurt so much? Oh, I’m gonna pay for this folly, I know it.

For fun (and, as it turns out, demoralization) I tried two all-out sprints of .05 miles, one on the packed stuff and one on powder. The first one yielded a blazing pace of 8:32. The second one was paced a minute slower. My attempt to dash up a hill was equally unimpressive.

How do you people race in this stuff?

8 Responses

  1. I just couldn’t imagine running in those conditions at all!!!


    I think half the battle is staying up in snowshoes. I know people who swear by it (there are a LOT of snowshoe races in my area), but I’ve tried…and think I made it about half a mile before just walking. Hell, I think it functions as strength training…which probably explains the soreness.

  3. Hmm. I suppose good economy comes with practice. What sort of surface are races held on? Packed? If it’s powder, being one of the leaders would presumably suck.

    • In the photos I see, it often looks packed — but I’ve seen a few where people are clearly slogging through powder. Yes, I thought the same thing yesterday — depending on conditions, one might want to start a few rows back and let the leaders clear a path.

      Not ready to race in the stuff quite yet…

  4. It’s amazing how much the snow can slow you down. We were in a park that had been somewhat plowed, but still doing close to 9:00s felt like 7:00s. Demorilizing is a good word. But it was gorgeous out there.

    Was this good snowshoeing weather? Or is it supposed to be lighter/older/something snow?

    • I know nothing about snowshoeing, but if I look to what people say about XC skiing (better if the trails are “groomed”) I’m think that this wasn’t ideal snowshoeiing conditions. If they were, then I suck as a snowshoer.

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