A Yak that Runs Track

New England weather is highly unpredictable.  Last week, for example, my husband and I were snowed in with our kids for two full days.  This week?  It is 65 balmy degrees.

Because of the volatility, I never let the weather change my running plans.  Instead, I adapt.  I ran last week in my ski mask and snow pants and returned home with icicles embedded in my hat.  The ice against my face was like free microdermabrasion and at least three people screamed out their windows that I “must be crazy.” My feet were buried, but they never slipped.  Mostly because I was sporting these:


I have been a runner for more than five years and have never had such fun running on ice.  Even in Maine, where the road practically needs a Zamboni rather than a street sweeper, I was able to keep my traction on this week’s six-miler.

Some of the less favorable reviews I have read online suggest that the trax snap easily and are not comfortable, but this has not been my experience.  In fact, I feel like I have discovered a secret weapon.

They are relatively comfortable, although do tend to increase the shock on the legs on long runs that alternate between ice/snow and pavement.  Still, that is a small price to pay for the traction they afford.  Last month I ran five treacherous miles the day after an ice storm without them.  I slipped all over the road and came dangerously close to falling at least 12 times.  The next day, I bought my trax, strapped them on and went for a run.  The difference was unreal.  It could have been a sunny day in July.  I suddenly had full traction beneath my Asics.

In previous years I have been lucky to get one outdoor run a week while slogging out the rest of my weekly mileage on the gym’s treadmill–a good workout, but a sorry substitute for the exhilaration of street running.

So, if you are like me and you live in the tundra, invest in a pair of these.  They are a lot less cumbersome than snow shoes and a lot easier to wear while running errands.

Photo via.

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December 2008

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