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  • Writer's pictureAnnaka Hogelin

The Secrets of Snow

One of my favorite things to do when I go for a run, and there's snow on the ground, is to analyze at my footprints. When running on fresh snow, it's kind of amazing what they can reveal. After running a block or so, I like to turn around and see what they look like.

  • Is there symmetry between my feet?

  • Are my feet both pointed forward? Do they bow out? Do they point in? Are they parallel to one another?

  • Does it look as though I am running down either side of a line? Or running on a line?

You can also turn around and run by your footprints in the opposite direction to see them a bit closer up. If you go for a longer distance, this can be a great way to check on your form over time.

Yesterday, while out for a run, I saw that my left foot wasn't quite pointed straight ahead (of course, that's the same leg that often has a little bit of a niggle). So as I continued running, I was able to check my improvement at regular intervals. I want to see my feet both pointed straight ahead, with a gap between my footsteps (avoiding the dreaded crossover gait!).

It was snowy and cold yesterday (about 15 degrees) and having the conditions give ME something, made it just a bit more worthwhile to be out for a run. And it's always fun to have such concrete feedback. The footprints tell the truth.

So, put on your running shoes, find some nice, fresh snow (about 1/2 inch deep, without any other footprints) on a paved (not icy surface), and see what you can observe about your running form by looking at your footprints.

I'd love to hear about your experience! Be safe! Sometimes ice hides under the snow, so know the conditions before going out and be prepared with the appropriate gear.

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