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Make the Most of A Snow Day (for Runners!) (Coaches Corner)

How do you adjust your training and what activities help to make the most of an unexpected snow day? Find out and join Running Coaches Corner!

I’ll be honest, growing up in Atlanta, we didn’t have many legitimate snow days. We’d get 1-2 a winter, and sometimes, we’d even get one based on the threat of a big storm! To be fair, there had been some bad situation in the past, so I respect their decisions, but still, now that I live in Chicago, snow days for those conditions are laughable. #polarvortex

There are a number of ways that you can approach the “vacation” to make the most of a snow day!

Make the Most of a Snow Day (for Runners)

How do you adjust your training and what activities help to make the most of an unexpected snow day? Find out and join Running Coaches Corner! @suzlyfe http://suzlyfe.com/snow-day-runners-coaches-corner-54

1) Blaze New Trails!

Not everyone is equipped with snow equipment, but if you’ve got them, grab snow shoes, cross country skis, or just your hiking boots and walking sticks and go for a hike (even to the grocery store). Bonus points if you are first out and get to see the unblemished powder πŸ˜€ These types of activities are an amazing option for your cross training! I would say to make that day into a more steady state workout unless you are familiar with the equipment–if you know the equipment and the terrain, go for some hills or try out some intervals!

Running outside? Dress properly and make sure that you have plenty of traction!

2) Uncover Old Trails

Another great activity for your cardio and strength? Shoveling snow. MAJOR CAVEAT. Practice proper form by supporting your back and using your glutes to give you a nice base of strength and power. Engage your core (you know it is my catch phrase!) to help protect that back as well. This is where you will find out how effective those unilateral exercises are! Switch sides, stand up fully on a regular bases, and make a game out of what many would see as a chore.

3) Focus on the Details

If you are behind on your PT exercises (for shame), now is the time to get to work. You literally have no excuse. Take an hour and get your yoga, injury prevention, and core work on! Work on your alignment during lunges, get after your wallsits, and flipflop everything with push ups. Or bundle up and take your yoga outside for some snow-ga!

4) Un Dread the Mill

Yes, you can do your run on the treadmill, but if you just can’t stomach the thought of slogging out your miles, time to change it up. Did you catch my tip on Instagram yesterday? That is a great way to make your time go faster as well as prevent injury! Just don’t go too fast too soon! 

5) Embrace the Day as What it Is: A Day “Off”

You might need to talk to your coach, but flip flopping a few days in your training schedule should be ok (again, talk to your coach–we often have the days done in a particular way for a reason!). If you live somewhere that doesn’t see much snow, seize the moment! Stay inside and work on meal prep, or get outside, make snowmen and have a snowball fight with your kids or your neighbors! Take the dog out and emulate her excitement to jump around in the snow. 

Be a kid again. Then come inside and have a hot bowl of soup (can I suggest one of these?) and some kale hummus.

A #snowday doesn't have to whiteout your #running plans! #runchat #coachescorner #run Click To Tweet

Remember when snow used to be fun? Take care of any business that you need to (like making sure that you can get outside and that pipes don’t freeze), and then bundle up and get after it. Running will wait, remember?

Who got snow yesterday? How did you spend the day?

And now it is time for the best link up of the week! Running Coaches Corner!

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I am linking up with myself, Rachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday, and Ilka and Angela for Food and Fitness Sunday. 

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66 Comments

  • Reply Heather @Lunging Through Life

    Lol undread the mill. HA! I love the treadmill, and was just on it this morning!! I read blogs or watch something on the iPad and it flies by. I mean, I love the outside but I’m a wimp in the cold and snow.
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Currently…MarchMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 5:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ugh, me too. I’m too comfy inside.

      March 17, 2017 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    Alternatively, take your dog for a stupid-long, slippery walk with the bitter wind biting your nose while she lifts her little face up to catch as much of the chill as possible because she was built for Siberia, apparently. Or not, but that was what I did yesterday πŸ˜‰ Why must they be so cute?
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…My 6 Favorite Podcasts + When I Listen to ThemMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That sounds quite enjoyable. NOT

      March 17, 2017 at 9:00 am
  • Reply jennifer

    Errr, uhhhh, no snow here . . . I sat in a field of bluebonnets. But I still didn’t run, didn’t feel like it . .. heading out right now. Sending warm thoughts your way.
    jennifer recently posted…Post Workout Snacking #OnAQuest + $25 Visa GiveawayMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I want some bluebonnets…

      March 17, 2017 at 9:00 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I actually love shoveling but didn’t get a chance to do it this year! Happy snow day
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Making Time For Yoga At HomeMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m sure that if you volunteered that you could find some takers!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:57 am
  • Reply Christina @ montessoriishmom.com

    Living in Texas, we don’t get a lot of snow days, but I have had some really FUN snowy runs in Wisconsin, where my husband is from. I ran on a trail in the snow there once and got totally lost because the trail was so covered in snow, I couldn’t tell where it was and ended up in some random neighborhood. Phone gps to the rescue!!
    Christina @ montessoriishmom.com recently posted…I Saw the Sign…Baby Sign LanguageMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Omg! What would we do without our phones!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    Last year (or was in two years ago?), we got a huge blast of snow on a Saturday night. The next morning, we had a good 8 inches of the fluffy stuff…and most of the church services were cancelled. So, myself and a couple of friends layered up and hit the roads. It was fun…we had the entire town to ourselves because most of the plows hadn’t done much yet.
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Leprechaun Chase – 2017 EditionMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:54 am
  • Reply Kimberly G

    The T-Rex makes me laugh every time!

    I’m not huge on running in a snowstorm because I just know I would be the person to slip and fall, but I would run if it was lightly snowing because it’s so pretty! I also don’t mind the treadmill so it’s always my friend during bad weather.
    Kimberly G recently posted…All About Awesome Apps!My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can never not laugh at the T Rex. Whoever started it is a genius. I don’t mind the mill ever–I just read!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:54 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    We got a few inches of snow yesterday so I did a bike/strength training workout. Its easy to move around workouts when your not training for anything, but we planned ahead for Rob and had him do his tempo run on Monday. Now as long as he can get in a long run this weekend the week won’t be totally shot- but the ice is gonna be a real issue for us for a few days because its just so cold out. I really like making snow days into a real day off but I get antsy pretty quickly!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Ginger and Beet Anti-Inflammatory SmoothieMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 6:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Good job planning around that–long runs on the mill are tough so best to avoid!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:54 am
  • Reply Ellie

    We got a ton of snow here in New York! I went to work, but then we closed early, so I finished school work for the week and did laundry. Today is another snow day so hopefully I don’t get too stir crazy! Usually by like 4PM I’m so bored/unmotivated to do anything hahaha
    Ellie recently posted…Your Life Does NOT Need a DisclaimerMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 7:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      OMG I know, right? Couch inertia…

      March 17, 2017 at 8:53 am
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    What great tips! Sometimes it’s just not safe to run! The treadmill isn’t THAT bad! I’ve got to try that backwards thing.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Signed Up for My First RaceMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 7:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It is a great way to break things up and change it around (literally)

      March 17, 2017 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    Back when I lived in Northwest Indiana, I would do kettlebell workouts or HIIT workouts when it was so snowy that I couldn’t drive to the gym. A little creativity goes a long way on a snow day. Great tips, especially to just take the day off and enjoy it!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Half Marathon Training and Racing GuideMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 7:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You literally can’t go wrong! Just commit to what you are doing!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    Running on the mill yesterday sent me into a tailspin. It was hard. It was boring. It sucked. It made my hips hurt.

    Yep, first world problems! I think I’m just ready for spring.

    March 15, 2017 at 7:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aren’t we all! I’m always ready for spring.

      March 17, 2017 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs

    Not something that I will ever have to deal with but they all sound like great ideas. I could actually use most of them as tips in the summer. Sometimes we wake up and it’s already 100 degrees outside!
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…Half Marathon Training: 3 Key Workouts to Run Your Best RaceMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 7:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I honestly can’t even imagine! talk about a desert day

      March 17, 2017 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Gretchen

    I would love to get cross country skis! How fun would that be to ski to the grocery store? I have to say that Yak Trax have really saved me during winter training, as well as having the proper clothes on so I don’t freeze!
    Gretchen recently posted…Gettysburg Marathon Training : Injury WeekMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 8:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahaha when we had a crazy snowstorm in Charlottesville, there were people XC skiing down the street!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Patricia @Sweet and Strong

    We more so had an ice day yesterday as everything was just super icy. I did a strength training workout, showered, and then spent the rest of the day in my PJ’s. It was wonderful! But now I’m ready for it to get warm!!!
    Patricia @Sweet and Strong recently posted…Mint Chocolate Protein ShakeMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 8:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      PJ’s for the WIN. Stay careful in that ice!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Annmarie

    Given the 3 feet of snow we have here, I stuck to my treadmill yesterday πŸ˜›
    Annmarie recently posted…Strength Exercises to Increase Running StrideMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 8:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Probably a good idea, lol

      March 17, 2017 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com

    Un dread the mill is great! I have such a love-hate relationship with it!! I did catch your IG tip yesterday and I am going to try it πŸ™‚

    March 15, 2017 at 8:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Do it! It is so good for you, and a nice way to change it up

      March 17, 2017 at 8:49 am
  • Reply Suzy

    There’s a video going around of a lady making her cat pick up the toilet paper mess he made. It’s hilarious! I’ll see if I can find it for you.
    Suzy recently posted…Pregnant and Running: Weeks 1-14My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    Living in Calgary we don’t get many snow days either – doesn’t mean we don’t get snow, we’re just expected to “deal with it” how silly πŸ˜‰
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Save the Date for GoodLife City ChaseMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 10:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha do you guys have the skyways or is that another city?

      March 17, 2017 at 8:49 am
  • Reply Michelle

    There’s no undreading the mill for me, sadly, LOL!!! Working in a hospital there are no “snow” days, and I can tell you I would love to have that option! White knuckle driving to work isn’t fun.
    Michelle recently posted…Spicy broccoli puree’My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 10:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ugh I hear you there. No rest for the hospital

      March 17, 2017 at 8:48 am
  • Reply lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    We do not get snow often here in Virginia Beach but when we do it is nice to just take a rest day. I don’t feel as guilty not doing anything when it does snow.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Race Day DecisionsMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 10:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I might go out and play in it, but then I come back in and snuggle up

      March 17, 2017 at 8:47 am
  • Reply Hannah

    I love running in snow…I will change my schedule TO run on a snow day. But no snow here because apparently it’s “spring”. I hate spring, plz trade weather with me.
    Hannah recently posted…Favorite books of 2016My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 11:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha I love that–and will gladly trade πŸ˜€

      March 17, 2017 at 8:46 am
  • Reply Laura

    We are on our second snow day in a row this week! The roads and sidewalks are pretty bad and there is a lot of ice… not exactly safe for running. I’m thankful for a treadmill on weeks like this! But I love your tips- so many ways to mix it up or embrace it as a full day off.
    Laura recently posted…How does the taper affect you?My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 11:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The ice is so terrifying. I am a serious fall-phobe

      March 17, 2017 at 8:45 am
  • Reply Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    There are just SO many snow days in San Diego… hahaha! Stay warm!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Egg Muffins with Turkey Sausage & AsparagusMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    Love this! I love going for a run in fresh snow… so relaxing!

    March 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    There’s really nothing more fun than running during a heavy snow. Not a snowstorm… but heavy snow. πŸ™‚ It’s so beautiful and peaceful. I was hoping to get a few runs in this week during Stella but it was just too cold even for me!
    Rachel recently posted…6 Reasons Running With A Friend is AmazingMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Unless you are in the city, and then it is a mixed bag. But yes, it can be gorgeous!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:43 am
  • Reply Jess

    This is great! We’ve not had much snow here in NC this year. In the past I’ve used snow days as my PT and yoga days πŸ˜‰
    Jess recently posted…#MarathonMonday Miles and Workous TOP SECRET Keys to Speeding UpΒ My Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 8:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aka eating smores on the couch, lol

      March 17, 2017 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Marcia

    I honestly don’t bat an eye when it snows. I just keep going. The only thing is, the roadsides are even more dangerous for runners when they’re obscured with snow and driving is treacherous. I’d advise a route that stays off of roads for sure.
    Marcia recently posted…How to Get Your Health Goals Back on TrackMy Profile

    March 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Really good point!

      March 17, 2017 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Great tips! I like the idea of doing some of those workouts I tend to neglect. I live near a gorgeous trail but it’s pretty treacherous in this weather. I’m gonna have to deal with the treadmill today for my safety, not nearly as fun as a cat treadmill! πŸ˜›
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…UV Reflective Half BUFF Product ReviewMy Profile

    March 16, 2017 at 10:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If only we all had a cat treadmill. If only.

      March 17, 2017 at 8:27 am
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    Sooo here you are talking about SNOW days and I’m wimping out because of rain.

    Officially the wimpiest person in the world, hahaha.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Red Sky Warnings, Persistent Pushers and Shopping Up a StormMy Profile

    March 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      To be fair… I hate going out in rain. We are both wimps

      March 19, 2017 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness

    No snow for us yesterday. When it does snow though our trails look so beautiful and peaceful!

    March 21, 2017 at 10:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Don’t they?! I agree–they look beautiful!

      March 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm
  • Reply MCM Mama Runs

    I shovel and then go for a walk. If it’s not icy, I have yaktrax or trail shoes so I can still get a run in.
    MCM Mama Runs recently posted…DC Races, You’re All My Favorites!My Profile

    March 21, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I bet you guys got hammered!

      March 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Ilka

    When living in NYC I went to the gym to get my runs done on the treadmill when it was snowing hard, or blizzard like conditions. I loved running through Central Park after it has snowed though:)
    Ilka recently posted…Running Log Week March 13thMy Profile

    March 23, 2017 at 11:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh yes. I love running through Central Park, Period!

      March 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm

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