If you follow the blog you know I love snowshoeing and running so I wrote an article on the up-and-coming trend and it’s now live. See below for a copy of it:
We’re not talking about your grandparents’ snowshoes anymore. Snowshoe training and racing is gaining popularity across the country for its aerobic benefits and its edge.
Anyone who has snowshoed knows it’s a great workout. It’s very hard to stay in Zone 1 when you strap on snowshoes and start moving in fresh snow. Snowshoe racing is a great complement to anyone’s winter running schedule.
“Snowshoeing forms a great base of power and strength for running, without any of the overuse injuries,” says Dave McMahon, former Canadian biathlon champion and snowshoe enthusiast. “Snowshoeing on trails beats running on the side of the road in winter any day.”
Snowshoeing is not just for elite athletes though. Beginners can head out for a stroll with minimal impact and investment. But running on snowshoes takes your training to the next level and it can improve your year-round running.”
You run on snowshoes just as you would run on a track,” says McMahon, “With good form, kicking your heels up, standing tall, leading with your hips, high knees and good tempo (180 strides per minute) while using your arms.”
It’s been said that it’s hard to have bad form while snowshoeing since the apparatus takes care of a great deal of the technique. It’s very hard to heel strike while snowshoeing.
A wave of snowshoeing started in Eastern Canada a few years back with two active series in the Ottawa and Kingston areas. It will culminate with the World Snowshoe Championships taking place in Quebec City in January 2015.
Mike Caldwell started the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series in 2003 after purchasing 164 acres of land near Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. He had competed in a snowshoe marathon in Leadville, Colo. where he lived and was instantly hooked. His series has hosted world-class athletes including pro triathletes, cyclists and biathletes, but caters more to weekend warriors with an outdoor addiction.
“Despite the calibre of some of our racers, the atmosphere is far from competitive,” says Caldwell, also the race director and sometime participant. “Racers come more for a celebration of life than a race.”
Out west, the Yeti snowshoe series has been put on the shelf this year but there are other independent races, The Blitz Run at Lake Louise, and the Tri-It X Race in Calgary, will both run in March.
So go ahead, be daring and Canadian and head out like our grandparents might have done a few decades ago. But take it to the next level and run a bit. Or a lot.
Click here to see the article on their site and to check out more of Impact Magazine!