I’ve run almost 40 miles since the start of the new year! This wouldn’t usually be so exciting 17 days in, but in light of the calf twinges that were plaguing me for so many weeks I’m quite pleased with that number. I’ve been very gradually increasing my weekly mileage, going from 10 to 11, to 13.5, to 16 miles this past week. This, plus dedicated calf stretching, rolling, and strength work has apparently been good enough to allow me to run without pain even while wearing my ice cleats and dealing with a few hills and some soft/uneven snowy surfaces.
On top of the running I’ve been trying to maintain at least 1 bike trainer day per week (which I plan to bump up to multiple days once Nordic ski season ends), several Nordic ski workouts, bodyweight strength work, and core work. The last few weeks have been a little wimpy, with about 5 hours of total working out time and not much in the way of circuits.
Prompted by my slightly discouraging performance at this week’s Nordic race I ended up adding in some extra circuit days this week, focusing on the muscles used in strong poling and lots of squat-type work that will hopefully improve my leg strength on the hills. I spent Weds eve til today stiff and sore from the added load, but should start adapting soon. At the very least circuits provide a lovely form of indoors (warm!) exercise that I can fit in around cooking and other tasks. And I can do them wearing shorts! And short sleeves! And no gloves/hat/wool socks/jacket/vest/tights/more tights, etc….
The thought of the upcoming ski races was enough to get me back out the door this afternoon, in spite of being tired from my morning run in deep powder and grumbly at the prospect of heading back into the cold. I’ve realized that promising myself a short workout (20-30 min) makes it much easier to get out at all than if I tell myself I need to go out for 40+ minutes to make it worthwhile. The short sessions still gives me time to do drills and work on my technique, which is probably just as important as building fitness for my current experience level. My second session today put me at 6 hours for the week, and made the dinner that followed extra delicious 😉
Now I just need to convince myself to pull the same schedule this next week, and the week after that, and so on, pushing through the dark, chilly after-work evenings (and actually doing some ski speed work!!!) Oof, I’m tired just thinking about this plan. I may need to start bribing myself with really fancy post-workout coffee…