Friday, February 10, 2012

Running in Snow

Last Sunday snows fell and it was a glorious day of outdoor play. Whole families were out. Kids looked for any slope to slide down whilst the parents built snowmen, with the pretence that it was really for their children. It was a communal and friendly day with many more random 'Hellos" and brief conversations than normal.
Days like this, on a non-work day, somehow change peoples attitudes: make then more open to play. Good.
For my running however it is rubbish. Although I saw two people gamely out training I was not tempted. When the snow is fresh it is not too slippy underfoot but when it is deep each footstep is harder work and the snow will seep through the mesh to soak your feet - and I hate cold, wet feet. On subsequent days when the snow becomes packed-down, churned and rutted, and then freezes, it is treacherous. If you fall you risk damage that will be far worse than a few lost days of fitness.
I can live with being a wimp and, as my target is a marathon in October, I can afford the time.
However my soft attitude contrasts rather starkly with a Chinese father who has been in the news for forcing his 4 year old son to run in the snow dressed only in pants and shoes. Taking inspiration from the book 'The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother he styles himself an 'Eagle Dad'. The thing is Amy Chua is an intelligent woman and her book has a certain amount of ironical distance in the description of her behaviour. She might have harsh words for an indulgent western model of child rearing but she knows she also went too far on some occasions.  The trouble is her blueprint is really scary if taken too far and running unclothed in the snowy cold seems way, way too far to me.

1 comment:

Manchesterwelsh said...

I quite agree, snow makes training much more difficult that it needs to be. I'm training for a half in May so I didn't have the luxury of being able to skip a run - the snow wasn't nearly as deep as yours though.

I was surprised to see several people out running, laughable when running past people togged up for a full-on mountain hike!! Its Manchester, there is no need for three season boots when there's a sprinkling of the white stuff!

The snow proved most dangerous when it turned to ice on the tracks I run on, Bambi on ice is not massively conducive to training. Here's hoping the mild winter continues!