Friday, January 08, 2010

Run in the Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds Suffolk - January 8th 2010


This lunch time between snow showers and with a little blue sky I fitted in a five mile run. This is day 5 of my 11 week Runners World SMART Coach Schedule which called for an easy 5 mile run at a 9.20 pace per mile.

Most of my training last year apart from the interval track sessions was run at the one pace that being dependent on how I felt and what I could run which varied between 8 and 9 minute miles.

There was a lot of lying snow on the ground which has been regularly added to with snowy showers. A thaw isn't due until the middle of next week according to the Met Office weather forecast so it is a case of getting used to it and running the best you can in the snow.

I can certainly feel new muscles on my inner thighs that I didn't know I had as a result of running in the snow. I find you have to work a bit harder in snowy conditions to look where you are putting your feet and when the snow is shoe depth you can tend to slow. As a workout running in snow must be equivalant to running on sand providing resistance training.

Keeping warm hasn't been a problem as long as you layer up well with clothes. The one area that inevitably tends to get damp is the feet and this could be a problem over a longer run. Perhaps double up on the socks anyone else have any ideas on avoiding damp feet in the snow?

Choosing a route to run in the snow is difficult. On the one hand choosing to run in a built up area near traffic and people is safer than running a trail in the country. I largely prefer to do the later but realise that it is all to easy to have a trip or turn an ankle and this isn't something to do in below freezing conditions. The trouble with running near roads is the potential for drivers to lose control and spin off the road , you can also get a lovely wash of slush so I tend to run as far as I can on the inside of pavements.

A good compromise is to find a park or field to run around. Here you obviously avoid the traffic and there will be people around to watch your embarrasment if you take a tumble.

I got most of my run in the Abbey Gardens and avoided one or two snowballs. My speed was slow. The snow actualy helped in this respect as I ran the 5 miles at a 9.20 pace as required. My mile laptimes showed splits of 8.52, 9.23,9.30,9.39,9.14 making for a 46.38 time overall.

One other great preparation for running in the snow is to fuel the body with porridge oats! I did this morning . 
The right breakfast can keep your energy levels high for the rest of the day, says nutritionist Natalie Savona.

The author of the Kitchen Shrink says 'My favourite winter breakfast is a bowl of porridge. It's warm, satisfying, comforting and is a great source of B vitamins, which help convert food to energy in the body, and play a role in making serotonin, the feel-good chemical, in the brain.'

Breakfast may even keep you healthy. Scientists at Cardiff University have shown that breakfast eaters are less prone to winter ills than those that grab a coffee and run. I must admit I generally do the later due to lack of time!!


  1. Great Post. I am going through the same ordeal here. Snow. The first time, just .8 miles, the day after, I was like.....What the heck? Muscles in my legs I didnt know I had were very sore. lol. As far as keeping my feet dry and warm?......I try and choose the right path. Easier said than done though. Run in rubber boots? lol. I go to a park with a .4 mile loop so no cars can assault me with sludge. Day 5 huh? Keep it up man. Good going. My last post is sort of motivating for snow goers. lol. have a good one.

  2. Thanks Kenley always good to hear from you. It certainly helps to motivate me with my running when I get comments like yours.


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