Running for me is like a metronome that helps me maintain a steady rhythm during the unpredictable holiday season. I think the most important thing about running over the holidays is to just get in the miles, period – which I did. Fortunately for me, my cutdown week fell over Christmas.
My past two weeks included lots of treadmill miles – as I’m sure is the case for most runners who live in the Northeast US and had to contend with the dangerously frigid temperatures.
But I also ran in the snow and in the biting cold. I think it’s important for a few reasons. One, it builds mental toughness. Two, after being cooped up inside all day, I crave the fresh air and being outside, even in the winter. For the first few runs I did outside in the frigid temperatures, I wore way too may layers. It felt like a weight vest, especially after sweating, which slowed me down and exhausted me. It takes awhile to learn — and relearn what to wear for different temperatures as a new season emerges.
These were certainly not my best sessions or paces. I am still getting back into shape, building base, and getting used to winter running. The important thing is I did the workouts. Here’s my log for the past two weeks.
Week of December 25 (Cut-down week– Arctic temperatures)
- Monday, Christmas 12/25: Day off
- Tuesday 12/26: Running, 6.13 miles at 8:27 pace, 15 MPH winds. Wore too much which made this “easy” run feel harder
- Wednesday 12/27: Running, 4.40 miles at 8:24 pace, shakeout run
- Thursday 12/28: Running, 8.57 miles at 8:25 pace. Real feel was 3 degrees. I wore too many clothes again, which made this an exhausting “mental toughness” run.
- Friday 12/29: Intervals on the treadmill, 6 miles at 8:13: 2 mile warm up, 5 minutes on/1 minute off x 4, “on” paces: 7:30, 7:30, 7:28, 7:25, remaining mileage as cooldown. I usually love intervals, but this felt super hard. Weights and core: 21 minutes
- Saturday 12/30: Running, run in the snow wearing YakTrax, (a must for more than 2 inches of snow) 7.o1 miles at 9.20 pace. As fast as I could muster in several inches of snow. Just took my time and enjoyed the lovely view. Any run is better than no run.
- Sunday 12/31: Running, treadmill, gym 2 miles at 8:25 pace; Elliptical 10 minutes, Bike, gym 5 minutes to flush out my legs
Total weekly miles: 31.1
Total exercise duration: 5 hours, 28 minutes
YakTrax are a must when running in the snow and ice. I keep mine clipped on an old pair of Nike Air Pegasus, so they are always ready to go when bad weather strike. No excuses.
Week of January 1, 2018 (Frigid temps continue, lots of treadmill running)
- New Year’s Day, Monday 1/1: Day off
- Tuesday 1/2: Real-feel: 4 degrees, Running, 6.5 miles at 8:40 pace; Again, I wore too much. Was like running in a weight vest. Felt exhausted after this run.
- Wednesday 1/3:, Running, 8.72 miles at 8:24; evening Yoga: 1 hour class at gym
- Thursday 1/4: Running, Blizzard outside so I did ladder intervals on the treadmill, 6.75 miles at 8:12 pace, ladder workout 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1 equal on & off (eg, 1 minute hard, 1 minute jog, 2 minute hard, 2 minute jog): paces: 1s- 6:40 to 6:31 at end; 2s- 6:49; 3s- 7:19: remaining mile cooldown. I felt great and enjoyed this workout. Running those sub-7’s restore my confidence.
- Friday 1/5: Running on treadmill. 6.01 at 8:35
- Saturday 1/6: Running on treadmil, 6 miles at 8:14 pace. Boot camp class, 30 minutes: Tough class! Strength, sprinting on gym track, rowing intervals. (After I outkicked all the 20-year olds, one 20-something said to me, “Wow, you’re fast.” Made my day, ha-ha.) Rowing, 5 minutes, to cooldown
- Sunday, 1/7, Running, long run. Real-feel, 8 degrees, 9.64 miles at 8:44, I dreaded going out in the cold but this ended up being one of the most pleasant runs I’ve had in weeks. I think all those slow miles helped. Also, I did not overdress. Ended run at 7:34 pace which was a confidence booster
Total weekly miles: 44.1
Total exercise duration: 7 hours, 45 minutes