My Winter Training Begins

  • January 23, 2018

Blog Update from Running Ambassador Sarah Monte

I look out my window at the snow and ice storm that has blanketed the ground and I check my calendar to move my long run. This time of year is all about being flexible with your training plan. It’s too easy to get caught off guard by a weather event and skip a run (or two). I used to be able to pile up the missed runs back to back to get them in, but now I need those days in between for recovery.

This year will be my 20th year in a row running the St. Lukes Half Marathon! [Check out the race shirt from the 1999 race above.] Different goals throughout the years have dictated what training plan I’ve chosen. I’ve picked plans to get faster, maintain fitness, or even to start at a beginner level after an injury. For the last few years I have learned how to create a plan to meet my specific needs. My goals now are to: not get injured training, finish the race feeling good, and get back out running and cycling soon after recovering from the race. I prefer a 3 day a week model to avoid irritating my past injuries. One hill/speed run, one easy run, and one long run per week. I switch between running hills and speed work, focusing more on hills since this race is a particularly hilly one. As far as ‘speed’ I don’t concern myself with times, rather with how I feel.

I round out my week with road cycling (either outside or on a trainer), Vinyasa yoga, weight lifting and all the various physical therapy exercises I’ve amassed over the years. I pull out the bands, ankle weights, blocks, balls and foam roller and go to town. Strengthening and stretching knees, feet, shoulders, glutes, IT bands, back and neck. I really don’t ‘enjoy’ doing these, but I will NOT be able to run if I skip this workout.

Most of my exercises are from various physical therapists that I’ve gone to over the years. I also like to watch Bob and Brad Physical Therapists on YouTube to find new workouts and stretches to keep my workout fresh and fun (since they are pretty funny sometimes!).

I am very happy with my wardrobe for running in the cold. Silk long underwear is very warm and super light weight under fleece lined tights and a shirt with a windproof fleece lined jacket.

Smart wool liner gloves in my spring weight cycling gloves keep my fingers toasty. I love, love, love my buff headwear! I have about 15 different ones at this point and I will wrap up to three of them around my neck, head and face on a very cold day. They keep me warm, allow me to breathe through them and are lightweight.

The cold, dark days of winter make it difficult to motivate to do anything let alone go out and run but soon spring will be here and it always feels great to have a solid base of training to help enjoy running on those warmer days.

Happy running!