I have two official weeks of training under my fuel belt. It has been a long time since I trained for a marathon during the long, cold winter months. Training in the winter, especially here in Minnesota, presents it’s fair share of obstacles. Namely, the cold and ice/snow covered sidewalks and trails.
Here’s what I’m learning about getting outside:
- Layers, layers, layers. I was told long ago to dress for 20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside, whether or not that is what you should do, I don’t know. I always start with my fleece-lined running tights, sports bra, tank, and a long sleeve tech shirt. From there I add on depending on just how cold it is and whether or not there is a wind chill to factor in. Another tech shirt (preferably with a hood), a hat or ear warmers, gloves or my winter mittens (if it’s really cold) and a wind breaker usually do the trick. If I overheat, I can peel off a layer as needed.
- The right socks are essential. Wool socks are a must. My favorite winter running socks are SmartWool. My toes stay warm and they do enough wicking to prevent blisters.
- Trail shoes or Yaktrax prevent the slip. IF you’re going to run on snow you need a little extra grip. While I don’t own trail shoes, I do have Yaktrax. I’ve only used them a few times, but they really do help prevent slipped on the snow. Ice is another story, if it’s super icy, go inside.
- Water is still a must. I hate drinking cold water when I’m already cold. While I do still sweat when it’s cold, it’s not nearly as much which makes me feel like I don’t need water. Wrong. To keep my water from freezing while out and about, I wear my fuel belt under my outermost layer.
- Know when it’s just too cold. While I’ve enjoyed so beautiful, yet cold runs this winter, I’ve done my long run inside several times due to overwhelming cold. Others may have their own standards, but when the wind chill brings the temperature near zero or below it, I stay inside. If the high temperature is not to be above 10, I stay inside. No run is worth risking life or limb (hello frost bite).
On the flip side, when you are faced with unseasonably warm temperatures and a sunshiny day, you get out there and enjoy it, like I did on our weekend in Lincoln.
Here’s how the first two weeks went:
Monday – Orangetheory Fitness
Tuesday – 6×800 @ 7:13 (6.25 miles @ 7:51 min/mile avg)
Wednesday – Walk
Thursday – 7 mile Tempo (8:09 min/mile avg)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 14.5 Miles (8:43 min/mile avg)
Sunday – Rest (drive home from Lincoln)
Monday – 4 mile bike + weights
Tuesday – 3×1600 @ 7:19 (6 miles @ 7:59 min/mile avg)
Wednesday – Orangetheory Fitness
Thursday – 5 mile tempo (7:48 min/mile avg)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 2400 yd swim
Sunday – 12 miles (8:27 min/mile avg)
Week three is underway and the scare of an arch injury, seemingly passed, I’m looking forward to another good week.