Snowed in, kind of

Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.
Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.

It’s a day off from elementary school for youngsters across Niagara and I was hopeful to get my girls to the YMCA so I could get a brisk 10k run in. Usually they love the children’s program at the Y but today there was just one problem: it snowed last night. Not a lot, but enough so that my girls wanted to hang out around the house instead.

It’s not a problem, really. Shoveling and sledding offer a unique kind of cross-training. And, I love that the girls enjoy winter. Looking forward to some sledding today. It takes hills to a whole new level.

I can run later. I’m flexible like that. Plus, I could use a little extra rest after the hard interval workout I completed yesterday. While my pace was just slightly off, I was consistent through the 5k of hard running I put in, the first such workout of the new year. It had been a couple of weeks since the last one (I took a couple of weeks off hard running over the holidays) and I was definitely feeling it last night. But I am on track, I think.

I had a great year last year, hitting all of my goals, including some that I thought may be still a year or so away. It’s led me set new, more aggressive goals for this year and beyond, including running a sub-16 minute 5k. That is going to be a challenge, it’s probably my most aggressive pursuit, but I think it’s realistic. Based on some of the splits I am running now, I think I will get there.

Because of my successes in 2012, I’m following a similar training pattern as last year. At this time last year, my workouts consisted of weekly tempo runs, and Steady Eddies (runs where I tried to keep my heart rate steady at a point between 60 and 80 per cent). I also did some weight training, rode the exercise bike and walked frequently with my dog.

This year I am still running intervals, tempos and Steady Eddies (that was supposed to be today; I love the challenge of following up with a Steady Eddie run after a hard workout), getting out for runs four times a week. I’m also hitting the excercise bike for a 45-minute ride at least once a week. And I am still walking my dog. My fitness program also includes daily core exercises.

When spring comes around I will start adding in more hills and more challenging outdoor runs. I also need to up my weight workouts: I am running the Spartan Beast Race in July and will have to climb, carry, and drag stuff in addition to running more than 20k up and down hills.

I look forward to starting another run streak in the summer, when I run daily from Canada Day until the Niagara Falls International Marathon in October. In the mean time, I am enjoying my winter workouts and even a little cross-training in the snow with the kids.

Winter training schedule

Sunday
Long run/Steady Eddie

Monday
Exercise bike

Tuesday
Tempo

Thursday
Intervals

Friday
Steady Eddie
Weights

Saturday
Weights

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