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Any Nighttime winter Trail runners out there
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Any Night time Winter Trailrunners out there on 11/17/2008 14:17:41 MST Print View

just curious what people use for clothing, lighting, shoes's, traction, snowshoes etc. Any what is your nightly mileage and what kind of terrain do you cover?

Edited by Jkrew81 on 11/17/2008 14:18:18 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Any Night time Winter Trailrunners out there on 11/17/2008 20:27:55 MST Print View

As a Southern Californian I almost feel silly answering this question on "winter" trail running.

Is there ever winter here?

I'm running ~35 miles a week and right now, 4-5 days a week. I'm fortunate, I've done only one run on pavement in the last 3 months.

I did 9 miles on trail (mostly in the dark) last Thursday night- could've taken my shirt off...
I ran 16 on some very hilly mountain singletrack early Sat. morning- chilly, I started with a light beanie, arm warmers, and lightweight gloves first hour and a half.

Don't know if this really helps your winter question, but here's what I currently like: lets say it's a long run, some in the dark, cool temps (40-50's).

Shoes: Adidas Supernova Riot, my favorite trailrunner so far.
Socks: Injinji; I'm hooked- no more toe rubbing blisters!!!!

Gaiters: Dirty Girl Gaiters; super minimal, breathable, don't even know they're there, great company, low price, fast shipping

I like short running shorts with sewn in briefs for just about all weather. I'll wear spandex leggings under if it's colder.
I like lightweight short sleeve tops and cycling arm warmers (I have some Pearl Izumi) if it's cool. I throw a light vest (non-insulated) over that if it's cold.
I find a lot of cycling apparel is good for running (wind vests, arm warmers, etc.)

Lighting: Petzl Tikka Plus (the one with 4 LED's). I've experimented with putting it on my waist (I think I heard this from Andrew Skurka)- definitely better at lighting the ground without killing your peripheral vision. Usually I just hold it to reduce bounce.

Have fun...I'm loving running these days!!!

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
New England winter ='s no trail running for me... on 11/17/2008 22:25:19 MST Print View

I worry too much about ice and some of the cliff areas that I run on (M&M trail) would not be good places to take a nasty fall. Maybe if I had microspikes... but even so, I don't love headlamp night vision combined with lots of slippery rocks and ice.

Now that it's dark before 5, until it snows I plan on saving trail running for the weekend/daylight hours only. Once it snows I stick to fast snowshoeing over hilly terrain (mix of gentle hills, flat areas and steep hills) and road running. Snowshoeing at night I generally stick to 5 miles or less just because it's usually a weeknight and I'm often not as fast as when I'm running so it takes longer. I don't really focus as much on pace/mileage as much as I do when running, I just do it because it's a great work out and it's really peaceful at night in the woods after a fresh snowfall. I only do higher elevation and longer miles snowshoeing during the day.

camelbak hydration pack with a gatorade thrown in it - not the best solution but gets the job done and leaves my hands free. If I was actually running I'd use a golite hydro clutch or belt.
tikka headlamp
arcteryx fugitive hoodie (I'd probably spring for the mammut ultimate hoodie too if I had more cash - it has pit zips which is nice) the arcteryx is overrated but I like the full zip for venting, it layers well and the hood keeps me warm.
long sleeve shirt: nike pro ultimate
pants: ems power stretch fleece tights - hands down my favorite article of clothing, have been working extraordinarily well in wet and cold conditions.
gloves: depending on temp, just liners or liners with wool mittens
snowshoes: I found myself using an msr pair most often
gaitors - I was really ghetto and just wore leg warmers over my tights when I snowshoed... I wouldn't recommend it but it worked!
shoes: asics gel trabuco 11 wp - good shoe, goretex
socks: smartwool midweight - two pairs when I snowshoe, one when I run... this system has worked ok for me but I probably will invest in some warmer and thicker pairs this winter.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Any Night time Winter Trailrunners out there on 11/17/2008 23:16:43 MST Print View

I do some night time trail running around here... but it's very pleasant sf bay weather: No need for traction devices. Have do a bit of trail running / fast packing in the sierras. When there is enough snow that I need snowshoes I slow down. When it's been cold with a bit of snow / ice I typical have been wearing: inov-8 flyroc + screws for additional traction, socks, pants made from dryskin, featherweight base, windshirt, and a dryskin hat. It would have liked pants slightly lighter, but they work better than anything else I own. Lighting has varied from nothing (moonlight was good enough), PrincetonTec EOS headlamp, and a Fenix L1D-CE flashlight.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Any Night time Winter Trailrunners out there on 11/18/2008 06:14:12 MST Print View

Thanks for the great responses guys. Always interesting to hear what others have to contend with. I have been a runner since high school all through college and since starting the 9-5 many years back it has become even more important in my life. It is almost addictive. Late fall threw winter weather/trail conditions here in New England are kinda nasty so I tend to focus more on time on the trail than mileage. Currently it is dark around 4:30 and the ground is covered with dead dry leaves masking all of the nasty roots and rocks. With these conditions my normal nightly runs of 3-5 miles increases by 10-15 minutes. When slippery winter weather rolls in time increases even more. Temps range from well below freezing up to the 50's. Once the snow and ice rolls in I use Microspikes, Northern Lites Elites for deeper snow or a pair of Northern Lites Elite Racers for hardpack. For footwear I alternate between Inov8 Flyroc's and Roclite 315s with Darn Tough socks and GTX socks along with a pair of Simblissity gaiters. For lighting I use 2 Fenix L1D's (one in my hand for increase depth perception and one on a Jakstrap as a headlamp). Most importantly as the conditions get worse and the risk of a fall becomes greater, I carry my cell phone in a Nathan 10K waist pack.

For temps from 35-45 I wear an Ibex wool t-shirt with a Mont Bell wind vest and a pair of Ibex Strider running shorts. Once temps dip below 35 I will swap out the t-shirt with an Ibex long sleeve woolies and add a pair of Patagonia Cold Track Light pants (now called Traverse pants). As it dips into the low to mid 20s with higher wind I will change out the wind vest for a Rab Quantum wind top and add wool liner gloves and an Ibex Meru beanie. Anything less than 20 degree's I just add another super thin base layer along with warmer wool gloves and a balaclava.

Currently I am trail running 3x/week along with a distance road run on the weekends of anywhere from 6-18 miles as the winter wears on and I get closer to spring hiking shape.

Does anyone here join races for fun? I try to do one every other month or so. It is a great time and a good way to keep steady with training habits when yucky weather makes going outside less than desirable

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
re: trail running races on 11/18/2008 07:40:24 MST Print View

No, no races... I actually only enjoy running in solitude. I was thinking about attempting a few, but really I was just trail running to condition for hiking. Although I did grow to love it. I was averaging 24-36 miles a week and was attempting to increase both distance and speed but have stopped due to injury. Am now rethinking my running and working on conditioning certain problem areas like my IT band. I previously was running only really repetitive, very steep hills/very slanted terrain/easy rock scrambles. I'm not too thrilled to be stuck doing a walk/run on flat terrain for the next month or so. But that's the breaks I guess.

Some New England races:

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: re: trail running races on 11/18/2008 09:10:47 MST Print View

I hear ya Angela, you are more of a purist runner. I agree, I am the same way most of the time. Just enjoy running for runnings sake and how it makes you feel. I would def not say that I "compete" in any races I do but I do enjoy doing the same ones every year and improving my times. This year I plan to do the Sidehiller Snowshoe race in Sandwich NH, Stu's 30K (not a trail race), the Mud Muck Moose 5 miler and the Mt Watchusett Road race among other 5 mile road races. Prepping for a Sept JMT thru with my wife in 09 so I figure keeping the calender filled with races will only help keep me going and not lose sight of the end goal.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Snowshoe Marathon on 11/18/2008 09:17:44 MST Print View

holy crap, a snowshoe marathon??? Now that sounds like a good time. Thanks for the link Angela

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
re:snowshoe marathon on 11/19/2008 07:36:33 MST Print View

Yeah, that was what got me seriously thinking about doing races! Seems fun. Maybe next year.

The JMT is definitely on my to do list. That's going to be amazing. You guys will have an amazing trip, I'm sure. And you're definitely on the right track with conditioning and using races as motivation.

Anyway, one last link because work is slow today...

(Why trail running in the winter freaks me out.)

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Winter running injuy on 11/19/2008 07:49:27 MST Print View

ahhh yes, I saw this article as well. Yea there is def that risk, but my side motivation to get out is to exercise my dog (primary reason for leaving the road and hitting the trails). I guess you could call my winter trail running more like speed hiking as I do power hike any sections where I am not 100% comfortable. Def good to stick with what your comfort level is though.