Sounds crazy right? Running on ice. In Minnesota we can encounter trails like above for 8-9 months a year. December through February we can nearly guarantee these conditions. What do we do?
If you remember my article about “Screw in my shoes” you will see that we have options for running on the ice and snow. The easiest is actually packed snow and regular trail shoes. You will get enough footing to run quickly. The biggest problem is ice without snow. Think of an ice skating rink, this is what some roads or at least parts of the roads can end up like. For these conditions you need something to bite into the ice and give you grip. Your normal trail shoe will not give you this traction. In fact, those shoes will be just like a pair of flats. No extra traction because there is none to get!
The third type of snow is similar to mashed potatoes. You have a soft top (Like sand) and a slippery base. Your YakTrax may work on this but really nothing works except short, quick steps.
The short quick steps brings me to the point of my post. I found this great video from the 1990’s (Or 80’s) along with some very exciting music. If you want to run efficiently on ice, just copy the horses!
This means quick leg turn over, short fast steps, and always remembering to keep your feet underneath you. With this program, you can be successful in running on the ice. I also find some significant new muscle groups that are sore after a week of running. Your glutes and inner thighs will take over more of the work. A good regime of squats and deadlifts can help out here.
Don’t just go to the treadmill if it cold outside. Run year round and the change in tempo, gait and general new muscle fitness will make you a stronger runner.