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Trail Tips

The Cold Comforts of Winter Running

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Anton Krupicka and Jenn Shelton get out in the cold.

Running in the winter is a convenient break from skiing. Snow makes surfaces soft and forgiving, muffles sound in the forest and heightens the mountains’ beauty—everything looks better with a fresh layer of snow on it.

It’s challenging at times, but the rewards of crisp days on quiet trails make it easy to get out the door.

Cold winter running with Anton Krupicka
Anton Krupicka in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado

3 Top Tips

1.Use running in winter as a chance to slow down. It’s the off-season; lower your intensity and don’t be afraid to hike on uphills with soft footing.

Winter running with Jenn Shelton and Anton Krupicka
Jenn Shelton, taking it all in.

2.Use poles! Poles are like four-wheel drive in deep snow, especially on uphill grades.

winter running with Jenn and Anton
Jenn takes a digger. Keep your poles handy!

3.If you’re running heavily trafficked trails that get packed out and/or are icy, pull-on traction devices are indispensable. Unlike screws, you can carry them with you on the pavement for a comfortable run to the trailhead, and then put them on when the footing requires it. They’re surprisingly durable—don’t be afraid to keep them on for short stretches of dirt/rock.