Winter Running: Where to Jog When It Snows

December 2013

It’s going to be cold outside tonight. And snowy, and windy, and dark. All of which amounts to less than ideal running conditions. But that doesn’t mean you have to hang up your running kicks until spring. Whether you are training for a marathon or maintaining your fitness level, your workouts don’t have to be moved inside to the dreaded treadmill. We asked Patrick Colleran, owner of Denver Run House, to dish on where to run around Denver this season. 

Park It: City, Washington, and Sloan’s Lake park trails and roads are well lit and plowed regularly by the city throughout the winter. They also have a large amount of direct sunlight now that the trees are bare, which melts snow quickly.

On the Road: Side roads are safer to run on, as sidewalks are often uneven and snow removal is up to individual owners. (Too many people say, “It’ll melt” by tomorrow.) Stick to roads you know well and wear reflective gear. Be cautious at stop signs and lights, and give vehicles the right of way because you can’t win that battle.

Linked In: Even with a fresh blanket of snow, a golf course is smooth and well maintained, which creates a more even surface to crunch through if plowed areas won't do.

Cut a Trail: North Table Mesa, Green Mountain, and White Ranch trails dry out quickly due to their low elevation and south-facing paths. Trails can be muddy, though, so wear appropriate gear.

Buddy up: There is truth to the idea of safety in numbers. Numerous bars and running shops around town host weekly running meetups. Workouts range from three to seven miles, with pace groups for all abilities.

Warming Trend: Inevitably, there will be days when running outside isn’t possible. While it is easy to set a treadmill to a steady pace, Colleran suggests tempo runs and varied inclines to mimic roads and trails for a better workout.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock