Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Workouts that will keep you from getting ragey.

Last winter, as we all remember too vividly, was a complete polar vortex of absurdity.
From what I remember, from about Thanksgiving on there were barely any days where it was safe to head out and run on the roads. Between the snow, the ice, the sharknados and the sub zero temps it was a serious disaster.

Such danger.

I'm seriously pleased that I was able to spend most of December (except for a few runs) out of my basement and free in the world enjoying the sights (trees. squirrel! trees.)

I know some people don't have much trouble running in very cold weather. I, however, am not one of those brave and crazy individuals. I literally freeze my butt off running in the teens and when it gets into the single digits, FORGET IT. Nope. not happening, Zero fun. Zero.
So yeah, that's when I jump onto my pissy old treadmill and get my damn workout on. UGH!!

Since I am a *world famous blogger* and OMG a FOUR time Boston Qualifying CHAMPION people are always asking me about how I stay so awesome during the winter.
.....And by people always asking me I mean my friends. Occasionally. But who's counting......

So, to satisfy the curiosity of my legions of fans (*ahem* *or my mom*) Here are a couple things I do that keep my ADD at bay.

For longer runs (anything that requires me to be on the beast for 90 plus torturous minutes) the only solace is to bring down the ipad, pop in my earbuds and enjoy hour upon hour of the highest quality educational television known to man.
.......Dance Moms........
Whatever. You all watch Real Housewives so don't judge!

Strategic angles to make me look tall. Totally working.

There is a plus to the treadmill, and that is the benefit of being able to select a pace and not to alter it for a specified period of time. While I much prefer to do repeats on the track (or the road) it is good practice in pacing to thrash out treadmill repeats. B-A-R-F. I mean YAY!

A couple workouts that are enjoyable.
For people who hate fun.
Just kidding!!! I like these! Make the best of it bitches, it's winter.

Fartleks, because the word "Fartlek" makes me say "hee hee hee!" (For those you who don't know, fartlek means speed play- not excessive gaseous fumes.) Clearly you could mess around with this to meet your fitness or mileage needs but typically I like to do this:
-2 miles warmup
-Between 10-20 One minute fartleks, with one minute active rest in between (I run slowly- you could walk, or whatever makes you happy) I like to shoot for around 5K pace which feels brutal in the very best of ways... This is fun because it breaks up the monotony, trains the old legs to move nice and quick, makes you feel like a track star and speed work is good for the soul. Or the cardio, whatevs.

Or, if you want something a little different:
I am a big. BIG. Big. Fan of the progressive treadmill run and there are so many ways to do this to keep you from getting bored, falling off purposefully and breaking all your legs.

I do one of two things all of which involve some sort of outside entertainment.
1: Progressive song run. Duh, so easy. Crank up some sweet tunes and every time the next song comes on you increase your speed a predetermined amount. Rock on with your bad self.
2: Commercial progression of excellence. (fails if you have Netflix) Self explanatory, but a slower progression as a general rule. Sometimes I do "commercial hill repeats" where, during ads I crank up the incline- all the while desperately wishing for my crap TV show to come back on.

Let's be honest. I'm looking forward to getting back on the road! In the meantime though, I'm lucky to have an at home workout option and I hope that some speed work over the winter will pay off in April when it counts!

Furthermore, when else will I have a legitimate excuse to watch such horrible television??



  1. I always change speed with every song on the TM. I do like it because it makes me stay the speed I am supposed to. I certainly liked it today when it was -16.

    1. It's been so cold these last few days! I'm secretly looking forward to the rainy day tomorrow because it will be warm!

  2. I am not one of those people who can workout in the bitter cold.

    1. I hear you! The air hurts. Not fun for me. Now, being that I am a Mainer I will very happily run tons of miles in the 30's with zero issue- but when it's under 25 I have to wear a snowsuit or stay IN!

  3. I have a twenty degrees threshold. Anything below 20 and I'm inside. You will BARF at this idea, but I count down the seconds/minutes during a treadmill run. Yep, I've been known to countdown from 90 minutes to zero. It keeps my mind fresh and keeps the time moving.

    1. I might be able to one up your BARF-iness...
      A couple of times I have counted my steps. I always question what I'm doing when that happens as it really seems the height of unacceptable boredom!! (but honestly, at the time it worked pretty well!)