Fit­ness How to stay up­right in treach­er­ous weather

Win­ter weather presents haz­ards un­der­foot. Here’s how to stay safe

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

STRIDE

‘On un­sta­ble ter­rain such as mud or snow, shorten your stride and in­crease your ca­dence so if you slip or slide, your next foot place­ment fol­lows quickly to help you re­gain balance,’ says trail run­ner Tracy Dean, win­ner of the 2016 Scafell Pike Trail Marathon. ‘Keep your feet lower to the ground if it’s snowy or icy – for bet­ter sta­bil­ity,’ adds run­ning coach Jenny Had­field.

SHOES

The right shoe will help you cope with win­ter ter­rain. ‘For mud, you want deep, pointy mul­ti­di­rec­tional lugs on the out­sole that max­imise grip and don’t clog,’ says elite fell run­ner Ben Moun­sey. A trac­tion de­vice such as Yak Trax (from £15, blacks.co.uk) can help you stay up­right on snow and ice.

SUR­FACE

Wo­ken up to a win­ter won­der­land? ‘Fresh snow is bet­ter for trac­tion than packed snow,’ says Had­field. If it’s muddy, run early in the day, when trails will be firmer. ‘Don’t be afraid to run through pud­dles,’ adds Dean. ‘Avoid­ing them can cause you to change di­rec­tion sud­denly, which may re­sult in a face plant. If the pud­dle sur­face is frozen, place your foot on cracked rather than glassy ar­eas, for grip.’ As­sume wet, dark ar­eas on pave­ments are slip­pery. Dew or wa­ter vapour can freeze on cold sur­faces form­ing a thin, near-in­vis­i­ble layer of ice. Take care on bridges or walk­ways, where cold air above and be­low the sur­face mean ice is more likely to form.

GROUND CON­TROL Tough con­di­tions are no ex­cuse to put your feet up

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