Winter training versus Summer training is a common debate among all of us. I do not have a favorite as I see two sides of positive to both.
What else are you going to do in the dead of winter? Head to a barbeque? Go to Fire Island for a beach weekend? Probably you will be doing a lot of nothing since the weather does not permit for much outdoor group fun. Unless, of course, you run! I find that you can get solid training runs in without any distraction.
It’s crazy hot in the summer. I love summer training because I hate layering up. Starting a long run at 6AM to beat the heat? Yikes.
Well, any way you cut it here we are in the dead of winter on a ‘feels like’ -16 degree day. I have been quite diligent and consistent in my winter training for the Paris Marathon. My strategy this time around… 6 days of running per week with no cross training. I have temporarily retired my ‘triathlete’ title. It has been very challenging to wake up and hit the streets when it is dark and cold out, but every time without fail on my return home I feel great and am happy I made it out the door.
This style of training is completely different from my triathlete training. Just like most of my athletes, I impatiently want to see results. This cycle I have been very consistent, something I try to instill in my athletes. If you are consistent and do the work, the results will come. You will evolve.
Yesterday was a great example. All I have been doing is run, run, run. 4 miles here, 8 miles there, some speed work and a lot of foam rolling. I am scientifically training for the marathon distance, nothing else, so my speed has seemed to diminish. I want results from all of this crazy training!
I set out for my first of a few long runs yesterday, 18 miles.
It was cold, but bearable aside from the wind. I set off from Engineer’s Gate toward Harlem Hill at a 7 ish pace. It’s the pace I wanted to be around, roughly 30 seconds slower than my goal pace. I felt pretty good. 3 miles in I bumped into Abbe and ran with here for a mile before she told me to scram. I high fived Beth and yelled ‘Hi’ to Juan and Elizabeth. By mile 6 I had made my way over to the West Side Highway. I saw Sam and Steph and gave a wave (it seemed the Runner Army was out in force today).
Then, something fantastic happened… results! My pace quickened to a 6:40/45 pace effortlessly! Although excited, I thought that there was no way I could keep this up for another 8-10 miles.
I turned around at mile 10 and made my way back north, still moving at a decent pace. I popped a Gu at mile 14.
As I finished up my run in the Park I felt like I could keep going for another 3-4 miles no problem. Consistency, it seems, has paid off.
So, the next time you have a run to do and it looks cold and scarey outside, think of this…
Sir Edmund Hillary (and Norgay) probably never looked outside and said “It’s too cold. Everest can wait.”
Go kick some ass.