Training through the winter in a city like Minneapolis is definitely not for the faint of heart. Our winters are cold, dark, and icy. Running outside can be dangerous; I know firsthand the perils of running outside in Minneapolis in the winter. In 2008, I slipped on the ice during a solo morning run. I hobbled back to my house and took a cab to the emergency room only to find out I had broken my tibia and fibula. I was unable to run for about 10 weeks. It was rough.
After that scary experience, I am much more cautious about running on the ice. One tool that has helped me quite a bit is a pair of YakTrax Run.
Have you heard of Yaktrax? Yaktrax are a winter traction device that fit over your shoe and allow you to run on snow and ice. The combination of removable spikes and steel coils provide 360 degrees of traction and allow you to keep training in the treacherous winter months with the same stability you’re accustomed to the rest of the year.
YakTrax are available in four different styles engineered around different types of movement, but I am (obvi) the biggest fan of the YakTrax Run.
Details of the YakTrax Run:
1.4mm steel coils
Carbide steel spikes
Reflective heel tab and performance strap offers safety
Anatomic right/left design
Come in sizes small through extra large
In my opinion, Yaktrax Run work best on packed snow over ice. They even give a satisfying crunch when they dig into the snow; they really help me feel more confident when running on the ice.
The Yaktrax Run can be worn in temperatures as low as ‑41° Fahrenheit <– it gets cold here in Minneapolis, but not THAT cold! I don’t plan to test that feature out any time soon, ha!
In the past I’ve used YakTrax Pro, which are the standard YakTrax with the metal coils underfoot. I sometimes had bad luck with these, as the rubber bands inside the coils are prone to breaking. My YakTrax Run have lasted much longer. I think I have had my current pair for four winters of running! They are showing signs of wear, but have held up quite nicely.
Old pair on the left, new pair on the right!
The biggest enhancement on the YakTrax Run is that on the run version the coils under the forefoot are replaced by two studded rubber and plastic plates. The studs are made of carbide steel and the plates are removable. The studs are short enough that they don’t feel uncomfortable when you hit a patch of bare asphalt. This rubber on the forefoot is much more durable.
**I’ve read that if you do come upon a stretch of bare asphalt, you should focus on a forefoot landing to avoid direct contact on the coils. This will help your YakTrax Run last longer!
Disclosure: YakTrax sent me a free pair of YakTrax Run to review (even though my current pair its still doing okay!)
GREAT NEWS- they have also offered another pair of free YakTrax Run for one of you!
In order to enter the YakTrax Run giveaway, just comment here with an “extreme weather” running story. It doesn’t have to be snow or ice; it can be heat or rain or whatever conditions you experienced that were “extreme!”
If you also share a picture if you have one of those conditions on instagram or twitter, using the hashtag #trfyaktrax (trf= The Right Fits!), I’ll enter your name into the giveaway a second time. Increase your chances by 50%!
Here’s a picture of extreme weather in Singapore- temperatures would frequently reach 90 degrees and it was incredibly humid there. Very tough running conditions-definitely extreme for me!
Dustin is really tough when it comes to winter running in Minneapolis. He rarely, if ever, moves to the treadmill. Here’s a picture from last winter after a run in zero degrees, complete with a frozen beard (and a foggy camera lens too, ha!)
I’m excited to hear about or see pictures of your “extreme” runs. I’ll keep the giveaway open until next Friday and then I’ll randomly draw a winner.
A pair of YakTrax Run are a $40 value and we’ll be sure you get the right size (YakTrax are available from size small to size extra large.)
When I was training for my first marathon it was during the summer in Utah and it was HOT! At one point I was on this open road with no shade in sight and I thought “I’m just gonna die out here, the vultures will swarm and no one will even know”
Ahh! That sounds terrible!!! I can’t handle that kind of heat. Way to go Jill!
It doesn’t snow often here in Atlanta, but when it does, it literally shits the city down. We actually usually get ice storms more than snow! A couple years ago, I got stuck in my car for 7 hours in an ice storm trying to make it home from work…then I was stuck in the house for 4 days because the roads were so bad. I was going stir crazy! Even though I wouldn’t use them often, would love to have a pair of these in the closet for next time!
Wow! That sounds intense! 7 hours…eew!
Thanks for sharing Jess!
Running in MN in the winter can be pretty extreme. I’ve run in snowstorms where I’ve slogged through several inches snow on unplowed trails (that’s hard work!) and subzero temps where my eyelashes have partially frozen shut. The few years that I ran the Polar Dash were my most extreme runs. January 1 always seems to be particularly frigid around here! Not regrettably, both years I registered for the long (2 out-and-backs) Polar Dash race, I elected to stop running after the first lap as my toes and fingers were too cold to continue. Brrrr…
Frozen eyelashes are definitely extreme. You are a tough runner who could use some YakTrax! I love the picture you tweeted too.
Well… I’ll be the first to admit that unless it’s race day, I’m a fair weather runner. It doesn’t take much for me to stay in and use the treadmill–that’s why we bought the thing after all! I’ll have to see if I can find the photo, but in about 2006 I ran a January 5K that was about 20 degrees, which isn’t that cold, but with a 30 mph wind, it was FRIGID! On an out and back 5K course, my split was about 10 minutes slower on the return trip. Yikes!
The wind can make all the difference even if the temperature isn’t so bad! Way to go Katie!
Last winter definitely taught me how tough I am (or maybe just how much I hate the treadmill). I think my record was -10*F windchill. My favorite part about that run was that there were at least 8 other people as crazy as me!
You are a very tough runner Laura! And yes, Minnesota is full of others as crazy as you 🙂
The Polar Dash is my extreme story too! (Thanks Katie M!). A few years ago it was -5 degrees at the start! I finished, but was nearly blind by the end! Frozen eyelashes are definitely a safety hazard!
Man, this Polar Dash provides a lot of extreme stories! Way to tough it out- that sounds very intense. Nice way to ring in the new year! 🙂
Living in Chicago I’ve had many many cold weather runs and many deep snow runs. But the one that still chills me to the bone is in January of 2014. Negative 40 degree wind chill. Everyone said I was crazy to go out. But to keep a running streak alive I decided to brave it. It was lonely along the lakefront but at least I knew I wouldn’t get mugged. I didn’t last very long and I ran as fast as I’ve ever run. But the streak lived on for a few more weeks. It was worth the frozen eyelashes… Read more »
You are so committed to the running streaks, I love it! I loved your picture on instagram too- incredible. That lakefront path can be so windy too. I’m very impressed Heather!
Ran a half marathon on the Chicago lakefront with my sister and a friend in January 2014, polar vortex time. Minus ten wind chill. Had a neoprene mask and hand warmers taped to our shoes. Multiple sock and clothing layers. About three hours to finish running on solid ice. Although we were frozen by the end, we did feel like superheroes that we actually finished without dying. We ran the next year and the race director had a round of applause pre race for anyone who actually showed up again after the year prior!
Ha, I love this story! That is hilarious that the race director recognized you for coming back after such a terrible first experience. Solid ice? You need some YakTrax!
This past January I ran the first run for my 40th Year of Life Fitness Goal (run a race once a month every month). I just completed my goal!!!! The run I did in January was through the snow on a gold course for the Desert Vets if Wisconsin Winter Warrior 5k. Lots of snow and fun!!! My husband and son did it too along with my doggy running buddy Izabella!!!
Yay for doggy running buddies! She probably LOVED the snow! It sounds like you need some YakTrak Run thought for these snowy runs 🙂
What a fun goal- a race every month. Very cool.
December 31, 2014 – I need 9 more miles to meet my mileage goal for the month. We are vacationing in Tofte, on the north shore of Lake Superior. Temp is something like 5 below. I bundle up and head north on the trail along the lake shore. 5 miles out, no problem, feeling great! I turn around, and the 12 mph wind that was pushing me along is now right in my face, blowing straight off the lake with ice cold daggers! The wind was cutting right through my layers. Oh, that was a long, painful 5 miles back…… Read more »
WOW! Tofte is BEAUTIFUL I’m sure, but the north shore of Lake Superior in winter is not easy running conditions. I’m surprised you didn’t get frostbite!
Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I live in southern Minnesota now, but I went to college for 8 years down in Kansas, which is considered “tornado alley!” My freshman year in college, a friend and I headed to an outdoor track to run. We had only run a few laps when the sky quickly became yellow-green, scary clouds began rolling in, and the wind started picking up. We of course called our workout quits and high-tailed it back home. Less than two hours later, a tornado hit the town/college campus, causing HUGE amounts of damage that left the town reeling… Read more »
Natalie- this is such a wonderful comment to receive 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and I hope I do get to meet you in Phoenix!
AND- whoah- what an extreme weather story- that is so scary. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for hosting the giveaway! This past summer I was out for about a five mile easy run that follows a large square loop around this big lake, and no great way to shorten the course. So about halfway through the run (conveniently at least two miles away from any real shelter), I notice some really nasty looking dark clouds in the distance. There had not been any rain on the forecast, so I assumed the clouds must have been a few cities over and therefore I’d have time to make it back before they blew my way. Well, that… Read more »
Oh, scary- thunderstorms like that move so quickly. Glad you made it home safely!
Wow, I don’t think I even have an extreme weather story…I guess I tend to head to a class if bad weather! Maybe I need to get myself a pair of the run versions to motivate myself to go out!
Well, you’re lucky to live in a great city with so many class options for bad weather days 🙂
In Early January 2014, I ran a half marathon in Chicago on the Lakeshore path. It was below zero with a lot of wind. I’ve never been colder. The wind kept blowing drifts of snow over ice on the path. It took me just under (2:59) 3 hours to finish the half when I’m usually one to finish right around 2hrs. It was brutal.
That sounds horrendous! What to tough it out. You definitely need some YakTrax Run!
I would love to win these! I hate always having to wait a couple days after it snows hard to be able to run again and the black ice is a KILLER even once the snow melts enough for me to venture out. I love running. I run between 9-15 miles a day 5 to 6 days a week depending on my schedule and how much time I have. I am currently out with an injury (horrible anterior tibialis tendinitis) but in another couple weeks, I hope to be back out there. I have already been sidelines for 4 weeks.
That black ice is very dangerous- that’s how I broke my leg! I hope your injury heals quickly…we runners get crabby when we can’t run!!!
This past summer it was extremely hot and humid on a long run — the exact temps I don’t recall. But, I do remember our coach made us cut the run short, which was smart. It ended up being one of my favorite runs because we came across some sprinklers and ran through them like kids 🙂
Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
Fun! Gotta love a sprinkler on a hot run.
Thanks for entering Rachel!
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