16 Jan

The Wrong Sort Of Snow?

Snow runnerWorking on the basis that many of today's grannies no longer actually know how to suck eggs, we have some timely advice from British Athletics coach and runABC South correspondent, Alan Newman. The apparently unexpected arrival of winter in the South last week resulted in the usual meltdown in transportation, school closures and general sense of panic. So should runners heed the advice to avoid all but essential journeys?  
Obviously, some who are fortunate enough to have access to the necessary facilities could head for the gym or home treadmill to maintain fitness but a light dusting of snow need not deter the well prepared athlete.
Last week we learned that Britain has the wrong type of snow! It seems we frequently have snowfall that leaves between 3-5cms on roads and pavements. This is too much for gritting to be fully effective but not enough for snow ploughs to be deployed. When this occurs in sub-zero temperatures, we are left with a skating rink.
Outdoor running can take place in these conditions but it would be advisable to head for the park, where the crunch of freshly fallen snow and the much improved vista can add an exciting new dimension to our daily run without the added hazards of traffic or icy pavements. 
Alan Newman's hot tips on a cold day are to dress for the second mile; consider route choice carefully; try to start against the wind and return with the wind; optimal choice of footwear is essential; carry a phone in case of any incident and follow similar advice to driving in adverse conditions (reduce speed, brake smoothly, no sudden changes of direction, prepare for the journey). 
Of course, there will be times when discretion is the better part of valour and on those rare occasions why not use the extra time gained to cross train to improve strength and flexibility or even take a rest day to catch up with all the latest running news in your runABC magazine?