Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Marathon Training Tips

Listen, I knew this would be tough when I signed up for the Rock n Roll Marathon a few months ago.  But I wanted to do another marathon and it seemed at the time like a great idea.  I mean really, how bad could it be?  Winter training in Colorado is definitely a roll of the dice type of thing.  The weather could be beautiful (dry and 50s) or it could be the complete opposite (cold and snowy).  But I was willing to take the gamble and go for it.....

And honestly, it hasn't been that bad.  And to be completely honest, my heart has only been 75% into the process.  I needed a couple of weeks off after Clearwater to recover both physically and mentally but I also wanted to go about building my mileage somewhat smartly.  My schedule back in November (just a mere week after Clearwater) had me running 19 miles.  Yick.  I ignored that one and decided that I knew what was best for me.  So I started on a somewhat shortened build that had me running my longest yesterday.

Which got me thinking....what is the best way to train for a marathon in the winter???  Or, what is the best way to get through the training?

Here's my list:
1.  Have great training partners.

2.  Be willing to change your schedule depending on the weather and availability of great training partners.
3.  Be flexible (see number 2).
4.  Have very warm clothes.  And don't be afraid to look like the Michilin man while running in 3 layers of pants and four tops, two hats and gloves.
5.  Yak Trax.
6.  Have great training partners.
7.  Not shaving your legs counts as an extra layer for warmth.
8.  Take frequent sips off your water bottle for 2 reasons: stay hydrated and not let your bottle freeze.
9.  Be comfortable letting anyone/everyone see you strip off your wet sweaty clothes in your car so that you can get into your warm dry clothes ASAP after a run.
10.  Make sure ipod is charged at all times with your favorite songs.
11.  Bring a thermos full of tea/hot chocolate/coffee for after your run to help warm up.  If thermos is not available know where nearest coffee house is located.
12.  Be willing to consume frozen sport beans, shot blocks, gel blasts, gel etc.  Have dentist number in phone just in case you crack a tooth chewing frozen sport beans.
13.  Snow can work well as toilet paper.  I'm just saying.....
14.  Yak Trax.
16.  Be one with the treadmill/dreadmill.
15.  Have great training partners.

16.  Do laundry more than once a week to avoid having to go through pile of stinky clothes looking for least offensive layers to wear on long run (sorry for that one great training partners).
17.  Enjoy the good runs.  Enjoy the not-so-good runs.
18.  Dream of running in the relative warmth of Arizona.
19.  Observation:  Port-a-pottys are so much "nicer" at 15 degrees versus 95 degrees.  I'm just saying....
20.  Have great training partners that wear Yak Trax!

That's my list, what did I miss??  Please comment because I still have 3 weeks left in Colorado before heading to Arizona!!

(Great training partners in pictures in this post include Sandi, Beth, Shania the dog, John not pictured, Keith not pictured but took the pictures, Dave, and Sonja!!!)


goSonja said...

Know the conditions of the trails...keep and ear on the trail report. Grill people about trail conditions who have run there recently.

Ummm, PIC, what about all the great training partners you have had?? Don't forget that one!

Doreen said...

Love your list of things to do for winter running!! Especially this last weekend!! Great partners and yak traks are a must!!!!

Michelle said...

These were just my great training partners over the last week! Not enough time/room to list ALL of my great training partners!!

Gaye said...

SO SO SO true! Especially on the great running partners and being flexible! I think our 20 milers were in nearly identical conditions...which I definitely would not have survived without my awesome running partner! Wish I would have seen #8 BEFORE today's run. Camelbak tube froze solid. Luckily, running partner's warm car thawed it before we continued on! :-)

Theresita said...

Screw shoes! Great, cheap alternative to Yak Trax for those of us whose only chance of "sponsorship" is AA :o)