I have to admit that I'm the worst at staying active in the winter. Between holiday parties, traveling, holiday cookies/food/drinks, and cold weather, it's really hard for me to keep my motivation and get out for runs. Isn't that what baggy sweaters and leggings are for?!
Since I'll be running a full marathon in April (the Gettysburg Marathon for those of you who asked), I need to train through the winter. That is going to be a real challenge for me! I'll be sharing more about my training in the next few weeks, but today I wanted to share a few tricks that I'll be using to stay in shape and train during the coldest months of the year :
- More cross training
Now is definitely the time to spend more time in the gym for me! In the spring, summer and fall, it's easy to want to stay outside all the time to enjoy the warm weather. I definitely neglected cross training while training for my previous races, so I want to make that a priority this time around.
My plan is to swim at least once a week (my swimming day will be Thursday, which is my running rest day). I also want to continue to rock climb to strengthen my back, shoulders, arms, and core, and do yoga for recovery. If you're interested in trying my favorite swim workout:
- Take it Indoors
I hate to run indoors, but sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate. I'm not as hard core as Jennifer, who runs outdoors 365 days a year, so some days I'll be running inside. My gym has an indoor track, so if conditions are really icy or cold, I'll do my speed work there. It's not ideal, but I pulled a hamstring in high school doing sprints in the cold and I don't want that to happen again! (PSA- make sure you warm up before picking up the speed in the cold!)
My goal is to do all of my other runs outdoors, but I would rather run on a treadmill than skip a workout. Let's just hope Pittsburgh doesn't get hit with a storm when I have 20 miles on my schedule!
- Run with a Group
I loved running with the True Runner Run Club all summer and fall, and now I'm joining them for more group runs! This winter, they're hosting a Winter Warrior track series once a week, and then starting a training program for the Pittsburgh half and full. (The program is completely free if you're interested in joining!)
I think that I'll be much more likely to get outside in the freezing weather if there's a group running. Plus, I won't have to worry about planning out long routes or running alone. Peer pressure for the win!
- Layer up
Wearing the right clothes is so important when it's cold out. The saying goes that it's never too cold to run if you have the correct gear, which is why I invested in the Lululemon Toasty Tech Tights. They may be pricey, but they're super warm and will give me reason to stay outside when it gets below freezing! I'll be sharing more layering ideas and tips in an upcoming post!
True story- I used to be terrified of running in the winter, because I have a fear of ice. I would always skip running in the winter just because I was afraid of slipping and falling- so much that I would avoid going to the gym because it meant I had to walk outside. In order to "face" my fear, I bought Yak Trax last year! I have a full review here, and I highly recommend buying them if you're also afraid of winter runs!
In addition to Yak Trax, I also make sure to have a pair of gloves and hat. When my head is warm, my entire body feels comfortable. This may vary for your, so find out what area of your body needs the most warmth, and make sure you cover that before you head out.
- Sign up for Training Races
My marathon is at the end of April, which seems like forever away. I like to schedule races during training cycles to stay on track, and this will be even more important this time around. Luckily, there are a lot of options in my area for people training for the Pittsburgh Marathon.
Right now, I'm planning on racing a 5 miler in January, 10 or 15 miler in February, and 30k (18.6 miles) in March. All of these fit perfectly with my training schedule, so I can be sure that I'm staying on track! (for all you Pittsburghers out there, these races are all organized by Elite Runners and Walkers and take place at North Park)
- Suck it up!
Yes, there will be a lot of tough love for me this winter! I have a real problem with motivating myself to get outside when it's cold out, but once I start running, I don't want to stop. The snow is always beautiful, I get the runner's high, and I feel better overall.
I need to make myself stick to my training plan like a contract, and I'm hoping that all of you will help me stay accountable! If I start slacking, I give you permission to yell at me, call me a wuss, tweet me mean things, and taunt me on dailymile.
How are you planning on staying in shape this winter?
Is anyone else signing up for a spring marathon?
What's your favorite way to cross train?
linking up with Tuesdays on the Run
Wild Workout Wednesday and Jill