Snow Way!

My training week in review:

Monday – Stretch/Extended Foam Rolling
Tuesday – 6K (roads were not great)
Wednesday – 10.25K (good run)
Thursday – 6.4K treadmill (note to self always run before ART session)  also added TRX Training
Friday –  OFF
Saturday – 1hr. 10min. (snowshoe run/walk, beautiful day)
Sunday – 13K (-26ºC – cold but the sun was out)

Introducing snowshoe running into my training

I participated in a winter running clinic last winter and was given the opportunity to try snowshoe running.  I was blown away at the cardio workout it gave me.  I was very much a beginner and honestly was not able to run much without being completed winded.   The majority of the people at the clinic had Dion Snowshoes.  Some people had recently “upgraded” their snowshoes and brought their older ones for people to use.  I have no clue the brand that I was using but they were not Dion ones for sure.

The instructor personally used the Dion brand and highly recommended them for their size and durability.  She said once you owned them you would not want to go back to anything else.  I walked away enjoying the experience, but feeling like my cardio was really bad.

My running coach suggested that I consider including snowshoe running in my training program this winter.  He also highly recommended that I purchase Dion ones.  I started to compare prices and do online reviews and realized that I shouldn’t take a chance on something else. I decided to just invest in Dion snowshoes knowing that they come so highly recommended by people that I respect.

So I received my snowshoes for Christmas.
My first impression when the box came in was,  “How is it even possible that the snowshoes are in that box”, then “Do I have to put them all together?”.

IMG_4811BUT, once I opened the box, I was very surprised to see that in fact the snowshoes are that small!  Now, it’s important to note that these are not for hiking, but instead for running and racing (although hiking ones are available).

The cool thing about Dion snowshoes is that they have options.  There are three types of snowshoes, three cleats you can choose from, and two different types of bindings.  So you can create the perfect snowshoe for the conditions that you require them for.

I went for the 121’s (racing/running); the standard cleat and the quick fit bindings.

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The only thing I needed to do when I opened the box was change my binding straps as they came with the large already in place.  The bindings come in a pack from xs – large sizing so you can adjust the binding to fit you perfectly and not have extra straps in your way while running, this is brilliant!

Okay, so here’s where the fun started.  Usually we have way more snow by now in Ottawa, so my first time out didn’t happen until this weekend.  The weather was perfect at -1ºC and sun shining.IMG_5050

My girlfriend ordered a pair at the same time I did as we wanted to get out together for snowshoe running.  We strapped on the snowshoes fairly easily and I expected we would both be winded quickly (from my first experience mentioned above).  We figured we’d run 1min. and walk 1min.  I was surprised at how good it felt.  They are so light weight (2lb.4oz. for the pair).  It was quite easy to run in them.  Although I felt like we could have ran more, my girlfriend was coming off an injury so we took it easy and just had fun.

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I am so thankful that I trusted my gut and listened to the advice of my coach and ordered the Dion snowshoes.  They are better then I could have imagined and I’m only beginning my journey with incorporating them into my training.  I didn’t think I’d actually do snowshoe racing but now I really can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t!  It was a blast and a great workout with very little impact, as your running on snow with a wider base than just a shoe.

If you are considering snowshoes, then I recommend these completely.  I ordered mine from Spafford Health and Adventure and had emailed Derek (the owner) back and forth prior to my purchase.  He is a Canadian distributor for Dion Snowshoes.  He’s very knowledgeable of the sport, very helpful and was quick to respond to my questions.

Big thumbs up!

Have you ever tried snowshoe running?