Adventure Running For Winter 

Winter starts early here in The Tetons with skiers charging the backcountry by mid November.  Dry trails are replaced with 2,000 vertical boot pack accents demanding you earn the fresh powder that the early morning offers up.  Skiing out of bounds, carving first tracks, and making your own way down through the trees and the unknown, all for the chance of something epic, that one day that you will always remember.  The chance to experience terrain differently, floating on snow, over rock bands and down couloir that only the snow will allow.



As winter is approaching for you, this is a great time to look to change things up with your running and build in some diverse creativity and adventure.  I love to run in the winter, especially on very cold, crisp blue sky days were all you can hear is the crunch of the frozen snow.  My same summer running trails are now transformed into a winter multisport spectacle and I use this time of year to get creative with my running and with cross training adventures.  I pull out the snow bike and hit the groomed snow machine trails that allow my 4-inch wide tires to float on top of the snow.  I can ride for hours this way or use it to commute to Snow King, the local ski mountain in town.  I strap my skis on my back, ride into town and skin up the mountain for a very fast 1,500-foot descent before hopping back on the bike for home.




The trails provide endless snowshoe running opportunities, whether it is a long climb ascent near home or an epic run in Grand Teton National Park followed up with a Nordic ski on groomed trails with the family.   Snowshoeing offers a great way to build strength for your running and provide a simple way to add adventure to your winter months.



Yes, Jackson Hole is a special place that offers true, wild west adventure, but I also believe that adventure is a mindset that can be created anywhere.   Here are a few ways to spice things up during the winter to keep things fresh and to help build strength improvements for your running:


  • Snowshoeing – There are a lot of great races offered, look to enter one for fun.  Or, the next time it dumps snow, take the snowshoes out for a run in the city or use them to run someplace new and different.
  • Bike/Run Bricks - Bike to and from your next group run.  Take a spin class at your local gym and run to and from the class.
  • Nasty Weather Adventure – On the next nasty weather day, dress for the elements and go run to the local gym and do a treadmill interval workout and then run home.  Use the bad weather as a great motivator for an adventure and challenge.
  • Time Change - Plan to run late at night on the weekend.  Set the alarm for 1am and put your headlamp on and go for an easy run around the neighborhood and then back to bed.  Experience the familiar in a new way.
  • Race Adventure – Instead of planning another long run at the usual spot, get a group together and run to a local 5K race, run the race for fun, and then run to breakfast as a group before running home.

Who has the craziest and most creative adventure to share?

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Comment by Eric Orton on December 4, 2013 at 8:46pm

Jason - you need to get a FAT bike, so fun for your winter.

Comment by Jason Penticoff on December 4, 2013 at 8:09pm
I've started bike commuting to work. living in Wisconsin, I've had some great experiences in the snow. I'm planning on running two winter races this year the Tuscobia 35 miler and John Dick 50k. I love trails in snow.
Comment by Sanja Burns on December 2, 2012 at 2:50am

Who has the craziest and most creative adventure to share? NOT me since I have not left my germ infested bedroom. However, your pictures just gave me an idea. Maybe I should strap on a pair of snow shoes here in the tropics and see if I trigger yet another gear trend.

Comment by Andrew Wiese on November 23, 2012 at 12:41am

Ah, it's a glove or something over the top left... I thought it was some weird effect on the sky at first. Sorry!  As I said though, great post; you've got me looking seriously at snowshoes as the temperatures drop here in Germany.

Comment by Eric Orton on November 22, 2012 at 6:07pm
No Photoshop
The real deal.
Comment by Andrew Wiese on November 22, 2012 at 2:48pm

Great post, thanks.  It looks like some horrible photoshop monster attacked the snow-bike picture, though!

Comment by Amy Schenck on November 21, 2012 at 9:08pm

Snowing on Teton Pass like crazy tonight ... that bootpack up Glory can't be bad cross training ... although skinning up Oliver is my personal favorite stash! Good reminder to get creative even when the snow flies ... and that pulling out the headlamp can be fun, not dread inducing.

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