Friday, November 28, 2014

Teacher Runs Winter aka 5 Tips from a Novice on Winter Running

My Story:

I break up with the gym.  (Too stuffy, too predictable, too expensive for me.)
I run through the fall.  Minus a break during conference week, I've been doing pretty good at keeping an outside running routine.
As I ventured outside this morning, a few things came to me on what to do to have a successful running season.  I hope they help you if you choose to venture outside this season:

1.  Get the Gear.
I'm using my technical shirts, trail running shoes, face mask...you know..the gear!  You have to be layered if you are running in the Midwest this time of year.  On my wish list are a technical outer coat, and some wool socks.

2.  Realistic Plan
Where I am in the middle of the Midwest, you aren't running mile repeats at 100% right now...unless you wish to skate across the packed snow that has turned into ice and end said running journey.  I do not wish to end my journey...so develop a realistic plan for yourself.  Mine looks like this:

  • Sunday and Wednesday:  Rest or 20-30 minutes of yoga.
  • Monday:  15-25 minutes of easy running
  • Tuesday 30-45 minutes of easy running
  • Thursday:  Go for speed.  I'm fond of a 6X3 minute workout with a 10 minute warm up and cool down
  • Friday:  15-25 minutes of easy running
  • Saturday 45-60 minutes of easy running
My plan might not be your plan.  But I'm finding focusing on minutes instead of miles in this weather is allowing me to feel accomplished.  Find one that works for you!

3.  Be Flexible with The Plan.

Yesterday, I woke up thinking I was going to run outside.  Sub-zero temperatures and snowy conditions convinced me I'd do better heading to our basement.  (Blerg.)  I didn't want to, but so glad I did.  I did this workout, adapted from Pinterest:
  • 5 minute warm up on the elliptical.
  • Rotate through 10 push ups, 20 squats, 30 sit ups.  (I used a Bosu for the sit ups)
  • 5 minute blast on the elliptical.
  • Repeat 6 times.
  • Eat All The Things at Thanksgiving to Undo This Workout.  :)  
Having some realistic plans as back up will keep me from skipping all together.  

4.  Unplug for a mile or two.

I had to be focused on traffic, the uneven sidewalks, ice and snow.  Take this opportunity to unplug from your devices and run fully focused on what you are doing.  I'm also reveling in my sense of accomplishment and quiet as I run.  

5.  Mind your Mindset.

I love a good mile split.  I had to train myself to not focus on it this summer.  As I'm running this fall into winter, I'm noticing how good the fresh air feels, the fact I didn't fall down as I was running around the icy driveway, the sense of accomplishment.  If you are running in the winter (indoors or out!), that is something to be proud of.  10 minutes or 100 minutes, you get your run on!  

I leave you with one of my favorite motivational quotes:

"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.  Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it."  -Pricilla Welch, retired British marathon runner.

Joy!
Kendra 

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