It’s been 3 weeks since returning from my lovely between-season’s running break and so far everything is going along boringly. Which is actually excellent in this case because it means things are going as expected, with only the usual ‘starting up again’ stiffnesses and twinges and no major setbacks.
I’ve cautiously moved up from 0 miles to 19 miles, then to 22 miles, and then to 25 miles, and hope to keep gently building during the long, cold winter. I’m staying on top of auxillary work (core, glute/hip exercises, upper/lower body general strength, the horrible rolling of the calves and IT bands…) by forcing myself to just do one or two non-running things per day, and so far it’s paying off.
The weather has been interesting, with more sunny days than last winter, but also more ice as the snow melts and re-freezes with warm days and cold nights. I’ve been busting out the headlamp most nights except for my weekly treadmill night, during which I sweat profusely while running in place and counting on specially-selected podcast episodes to keep me rolling in place for the necessary 30-40 minutes. The weekends bring the glorious opportunity to run in full sunlight (or at least full, if overcast, daylight) without the need to either rush into work sweaty from an early morning run or rush home to make dinner after a few late evening miles. I’m supposed to be starting strides this week (6-8 strides twice per week) but am finding that a bit challenging with snow and/or ice blanketing every surface and a complete inability to go faster than a quick up-tempo pace on the treadmill without panicking.
Cross-training has consisted mainly of circuit sessions or classic skiing, a bit of a change from my heavy indoor bike trainer and skate-ski schedule of last winter. Alas, I no longer live 5 minutes from a groomed skate track, and can’t bring my skis to work (and the nearby skate course) on the shuttle bus (no parking due to construction and a very crowded shuttle), so classic skiing on the unused train tracks behind my apartment is a much more convenient activity. As for the biking, I’ve just been too lazy to switch out my relatively new back tire for the worn-down trainer tire. The upside to less cross-training variety is that it reflects my ability to run more often than last winter – fewer forced cross-training days means less need for so many different cross-training activities! Hurrah!
A few winter-running questions for you all!
- Anyone out there actually comfortable doing workout/strides pace on the treadmill?
- What are your favorite winter cross-training activities?