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Training Advice from a 5x Snowshoe Marathoner

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Written by Racer Patrick Deware

I’ve been able to do the Peak Snowshoe Marathon 5x (might be 6x) over the years and have had an absolute blast doing this race, everytime laughing at myself for running a snowshoe marathon.

Training tips:

Snowshoe recommendations –

Atlas snowshoes or Dion are both great brands that I use. I also use extension poles for longer runs (10Miles+) as it helps me with cadence of keeping upper body and lower body moving in rhythm.

Footwear recommendations-

I’m on my second pair of Salomon Goretex trail shoes with Climate Shield that you can look up on any of the outdoor sites for pricing (backcountry or moosejaw) and work very well on race day. They are a weather proof trail running shoe that enables you to move freely within the snowshoes and not have to wear a heavier shoe or small boot. I also use smart-wool socks as well as Outdoor Research goretex gaiters to keep snow out of ankles etc…I typically swap out my socks after the second loop as well as a few layers. There’s nothing better then dry feet and layers going into the last two loops.

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Layers recommendations-

DO NOT OVERDRESS! A couple of years ago it was -6 at the start and I saw people at the starting line with down puffy jackets! And they had their water bottles on hip belts outside their jackets (exposed to cold temp) or Camelbacks packs. They were overheated within 20-30 minutes and at the stone hut up top they were sweating way too much, overheated and their water bottles were frozen solid!

I wear 3-4 layers depending on the temps on race morning and what’s forecasted. Everything is breathable with 3/4 zip so you can ventilate as needed and any softshell jackets I wear I ensure they have armpit zips for ventilation as well. I highly recommend a vest as opposed to fully shell for at least the first few loops as you’ll be looking to keep your core warm but your arms with 2-3 layers already on them will be fine as you heat up.

I bring a rubbermaid bin to the race with extra set up of all clothes, socks as well as a fix it kit with zip ties, duct tape etc and a couple of thin running beanies and very light running gloves. I find that as I am slower on the 3rd & 4th loop it’s more enjoyable with dry clothes so I always change my waist up and socks heading into the 3rd lap.

Feel free to come back to me with any specific questions and hope my information helps someone…

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEAK SNOWSHOE ULTRA, MARATHON & FUN RUN

READ: PREPPING FOR THE 100 MILE SNOWSHOE

READ: SNOWSHOE TRAINING: without snow, training naked & don’t be afraid of snowshoes