I faced a tough decision this morning. Do I brave the cold or spend my time on the treadmill? The temp here was 6 degrees and I do not even want to know what the windchill was. I made the decision that just a few miles outside would still be better than a treadmill run. I lucked out as it wasn't too bad and still got my planned 6 miles in and at a faster pace than was planned to boot!
During my run. I started thinking about some things I learned through last year's training that I thought I would share:
I am a huge supporter of outside runs over treadmill runs. I know there are a lot of treadmill supporters out there, but its not for me. I think I get more benefit out of road running. My goal this year is to do my long run each week outdoors. Last year, I did my long runs on a treadmill for the first couple months and had built a base of up to 18 miles. On my first long run outdoors, I struggled to reach 13 miles. I had felt really good about my training until that point, but that run made me realize. I was behind. I never ran indoors again during last year's training and spent the following month trying to catch up. This year I don't want to make the same mistake again.
So, in 2012 I will be doing the following differently.
- Long runs will be done outside.
- I will try to run my weekly runs outside whenever possible.
- When I am left with no other choice. I will run the treadmill with a varying incline between .5% and 2% to closely mimic wind and road conditions.
I think these guidelines will help me in this year's race and the base we build during the winter months of January and February will pay dividends on race day. I also want to do a much better job this year with my diet. One of my goals this year is to run the race about 35 pounds lighter than I ran it last year.
One of the biggest joys of running this race is the journey to race day. I hope what I have learned will help you with your training. Also, don't worry about the cold. With the right clothing, you will stay warm. Even with its 6 degrees out.
I invite everyone to share any tips they may have in the comment section. Other runners are a great source of information and I know I still have lots to learn.
Good luck everyone with your training!!