Dear Penguin,

I have noticed that I’m sorer after running in the snow or in really cold weather. My pace is slower but I feel like I have worked harder, than when running a normal run. Does your body work harder, do you burn more calories, in snowy conditions?

Thanks RaNell


I live in the Chicago area, so this time of year some part of my running is outside and in the snow. Even when there’s no snow on the ground I often run in some very cold temperatures.

If you’re actually running on – or through – snow as I do when I run the trails, it’s almost like running in sand. It’s much more difficult and yes, you will burn more calories. If, on the other hand, you’re running on a paved path that has been cleared of snow then no, you’re probably not.

By the way, make sure you’re using something like YakTrax on your shoes. You don’t want to slip and fall.

If you really want to get a work out get yourself some snow shoes. I’ve got a pair of “sport” show shoes and try to get out right after a snow fall when I can. I can tell you that a 3 mile “snow shoe” hike is one heck of an effort.

Winter running is a lot of fun as long as you dress for it.

All the best,

Waddle on,

John “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start, No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.

“The miracle isn’t that I finished.
The miracle is that I had the courage to start”

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