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.”