Dashing Through The Snow: Snowshoe Racing 101

It’s a lot like running, but it’s nothing like it at all. Give it a try!

Snowshoe racing can be a good way to test conditioning and race fitness during the winter. There are more than 100 snowshoe races scheduled in the U.S. and Canada this winter, most being either 5K or 10K in length.

While snowshoe racing can be a cold-weather thrill for endorphin junkies seeking a mid-winter fix, it’s not easy. Similar to racing on undulating dirt trails , snowshoe racers typically experience high heart rate spikes at slower speeds, which means a higher cardiovascular benefit with less muscular fatigue and breakdown. Even if you avoid starting out too fast, you’ll still find yourself teetering toward the red line.

“It’s a great workout,” says Jared Scott, runner-up in the 2012 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships 10K in Frisco, Colo. “But racing on best snowshoes for running is a lot harder than racing on trails or the roads.”

Top 5 Best Hydration Packs for Runners

Comfort, fit, and hydration capacity are some of the most important considerations when shopping for a hydration pack for running. Whether your goal is to stay hydrated for a marathon or a shorter distance event, it’s crucial to invest in a hydration pack that best suits your needs. For example, many vests come with mesh panels to allow the skin to breathe in warmer weather. In addition, some hydration packs have lots of straps for a more customized fit. A few are also specifically designed to fit women. Those who require less hydration may opt for a smaller capacity, such as 2 liters. However, if you typically need a lot of fluids during a workout, a larger capacity pack could be a better choice. Keep in mind that larger capacity packs generally weigh more and aren’t quite as streamlined.

Some packs hold water in a bladder while others use bottles. The advantage of a bladder is that it can typically hold more liquid at a time than a bottle. However, bottles are ideal for quick access and are easy to refill on the go. If you opt for a hydration pack with bottles, keep the bottle placement in mind. Some runners find that certain pocket placements work better than others, both in terms of ease of access and whether or not the bottles impede arm movement.

If you don’t see the best ultra running vest on this list, browse a wider selection of hydration packs for runners on Amazon. You can also check out the Top 10 Best Hydration Belts for Runners and the Top 10 Best Handheld Water Bottles for Running for more hydration options.

The lazy person’s guide to training for an ultramarathon

As I write this, my first best ultra marathons for beginners – the Vibram Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand – is 194 days away. It might seem like a long time but, considering I can barely get a decent 5k on road these days without limping home feeling sorry for myself, I’d say I’ve got a pretty nasty road (well, trail) ahead if I’m going to run the 60k to that finish line next March.

You see, I’m not exactly the healthiest person you’ll ever meet. I had a whole garlic baguette after my dinner this evening (what? Garlic is great for you!) and I’m typing this with a bag of chocolate chips for baking open next to me, because it was the only chocolate I could find in the house, and midnight is a bit late to venture out in search of snacks. I’m hardly the girl you’d go to for healthy living advice. I’m pretty stubborn, so I’ve got that going for me, but I’m worried that alone won’t get my body through thé entire 60k course.

But, ever the practical one, I do have some tricks up my running shirt sleeve. If, like me, you’re in the run for the laziest runner award – but still want to try to legitimately call yourself an ultramarathoner, then I’ve got some suggestions for you.