With the arrival of December came all kinds of tweets and facebook posts regarding winter training, all asking some variety of the question "Do you train outside when it's cold?" I proudly responded that I run and bike outside all winter. I get a kick out of running in crappy weather, and I particularly love running in the snow. While those things are true, I have to admit that over the past few weeks they don't tell the full story.
First of all, while winter is great mountain biking weather because sub-freezing temperatures mean predictably rideable trails and proper gear allows you to be comfortable even when it's cold, you won't catch me on my road bike in the cold. Yeah, yeah...I know that there's no bad weather, just bad gear...but I'm honestly not even interested in finding the right gear to make road riding comfortable. In fact, I'm seriously considering selling my road bike (as anyone who's ridden or run with me lately has heard repeatedly).
|Technically not running, but taken during a run...and I like the picture. :)|
As for running, I've enjoyed some really great cold-weather long runs, including a couple in the snow. That said, I have to add a caveat to my winter running. I love running in the snow, and I don't mind running in the cold...but I'm afraid to try to run fast in the cold and dark. Now that I'm actually following a training plan (!! I know, right?), the only opportunities to do my weekday runs are before/after work. That leaves me in the dark, and after a couple of bad nighttime sidewalk falls I'm just not interested in running anything faster than an easy jog if it's dark and/or icy. Treadmill it is. In fact, treadmill it's been for every single non-weekend run. I'm not nearly as tough as I like to think I am.a
Here's what the training looks like so far:
Monday, Jan 7.:
Scheduled: 2 mi easy run at 10:48 pace
Actual: 3 miles--1 mi easy warmup, 1 mi at 8:00 pace, 1 mi easy cooldown; overall pace 10:36. Basically just wanted to see if I could run an 8 min/mile in the hopes of stringing together three of them in April. Run on the treadmill because I wanted to be able to time that fast mile.
Tuesday, Jan. 8
Scheduled: rest or cross train
Actual: 4 nighttime miles on muddy trails at 13:50 pace. I don't like to run two days in a row, but this was my only opportunity to hit trails before Saturday's SHITR half marathon, and I wanted to audition my new trail shoes rather than wear them for the first time in a long race.
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Scheduled: 5 mi speedwork: 1 mi w/u, 3x800 in 4:07 with 400 jogs, 1 mi c/d plus finish out the 5th mile
Actual: Did this after my workout with the trainer, which wasn't optimal, but at least it was an arms/abs day. I was running short on time, so I abbreviated it a bit. .75 mi easy w/u, 800 @3:50, 400 recovery jog, 800 @ 3:55, 400 recovery jog, started last speedwork interval at 8 min/mi pace and couldn't hold it, so I just ran .25 mi easy c/d and then headed home. When I first started talking about going for a 5K PR, Rose said something along the lines of "Be prepared to hurt", and this was the run that reminded me what hurting felt like...and I gave in. A) I was overreaching on pace, but B) I'm going to need to work on endurance in pushing myself rather than just endurance in dragging myself.
Thursday, Jan 10
Scheduled: Easy 2 miles
Actual: nope. Nothing.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Scheduled: Long run, 7 mi @ 10:48
Actual: 13.1 miles of muddy nighttime trails @ 12:58 at the SHivering Icy Trail Run
**So, basically, though I'm "following a training plan", I haven't done a single workout as directed. And then I wonder why I don't do better. That said, I've been running at least once a week since before Christmas. I know that hardly qualifies as regular training, but it means that I went into Saturday's race, a very informal event put together by friends, better trained than for any race since last February's Castlewood Cup. While I ended up limping the last 3 miles of the SHITR thanks to my stupid hip, the 4.5 miles my Garmin registered before the battery died showed a 10:xx pace. That was primarily on fairly smooth doubletrack, but it's still mighty encouraging. Score one for the plan.
Monday, Jan. 14
Scheduled: 3 mi easy run @ 10:48
Actual: 2 treadmill miles @ 10:58. Probably should have skipped this run because my hip was still pretty unhappy from the half marathon.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
Scheduled: 5 mi tempo run: 1 mi w/u, 3 mi @ 9:12, 1 mi c/d
Actual: 1 mi w/u, 3 mi at mostly 9:12 with about a half mile at a faster pace, .5 mi c/d. Hip was ok, but knee was stiff. I sound like someone's grandma.
Thursday, Jan. 17
Scheduled: 2 mi at 10:48
Actual: Nothing. And I don't intend to run these, either. My body just does better with a day off between runs.
Saturday, Jan. 19
Scheduled: 7 mi @ 10:48
Actual: 9 mile mountain bike ride on Berryman trail. Ran 8.3 trail miles Sunday @ 12:53
|Mountain biking on a seriously beautiful day|
Monday, Jan. 21
Scheduled: 3 mi @ 10:48
Actual: 4.8 miles on the mountain bike. Very nice to have the day off (thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr.) and the freedom to hit the trails, even if my time was limited since my son needed my car. I may try and substitute a 30 min trainer ride for those Thursday runs.
Wednesday, Jan. 23
Scheduled: 5 mi speedwork: 1 mi w/u, 2 x 1600 in 8:41 with 800 jogs, c/d
Actual: We'll see...but it'll be on a treadmill...