Here are some ideas to up your running game. I’m not a coach, but I’ll pass on what I’ve done. Winter is sometimes lonely for us runners. Very few events, lots of cold and wind. I’m not a winter person so I struggle during the cold months – especially during the years when I ran alone. What keeps me going is my thoughts towards Spring events, less clothing, warmer temperatures, getting stronger underneath all those clothes and now that I have a team, I’m (almost) looking forward to winter training.
Cross training. If you can’t get out there, do something else!! Plus cross training has so many benefits. I have a little weight routine I do in my living room plus I just added this baby to my arsenal:
If you have don’t have as much time due to fewer daylight hours, or you can’t go very far on a winter run, here are some additional ideas:
HILLS: Don’t make that face!! Find a long one – one that will take you several minutes to run up. This isn’t about going fast and super hard, it’s about steady and running strong. Run up strong, slow run back down. Repeat. 5-10 times. You can do variations on this by going up 5 minutes, then down 5 or set a point to turn around. Have fun with those hills! They’ll make you stronger!
INTERVALS: I love these!!! Speed workouts are the best! This isn’t for distance so you have to ignore the Garmin. Do a warm up of 15-20 minutes and know what intervals you’ll do. 1 minute hard, 1 minute slow? 2 minutes hard, 1 minute slow?? And how many times you’ll do it. 5? 6? 10?? Get those babies done! Anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes hard and 1 minute slower. Then do a nice, slow 15 minute cool down. I like these because you never watch distance, you don’t really even watch speed. It’s all about effort – what feels hard or slow to you. Plus, they’re easy to do if you have a loop around a block or a bike path which are often lit up during those dusky hours. I’ve even run a 3 mile bike loop in pitch dark – between street lights and my knuckle lights those are some of my favorite runs.
Shorter runs more frequently: Use your lunch break, time before dinner, etc… and get in shorter runs but increase how often if needed. You can still log mileage in shorter bursts.
I have knuckle lights like I mentioned and I love them. I also use my trail shoes when it’s icy or snowy out on the road and when that’s not enough I strap on snow trax. Also in my arsenal are Little Hotties Hand Warmers (I buy the case at Costco for $12.99). In mittens, pockets, etc… when it’s down to the 8* I ran in last winter or in windy weather, I stick them everywhere I have a pocket.
Get out there and get at ’em!!! NO EXCUSES!!!!