Saturday, November 7, 2009

The great (internal) debate

I've been reading the December issue of Runner's World and I'm finding a lot of great stuff. I love this magazine and I'm always excited when I get a new issue. There's a lot in the front section about preparing for winter running. I'm interested in that because I want to get through the season without losing any fitness but I am extremely adverse to treadmill running. I'm concerned about days when I'm greeted with a blanket of snow on the ground and 18 degree temperatures. I'm thinking about purchasing some Yak-Trax so I can go outside on days that would normally require an indoor workout.

I've had some tough runs this week and AG, who is the best coach I've ever had regardless of sport, suggested that I skip this weekend's runs so that I can fully recover from the Cape Cod Relay and last week's seven mile bike trail run. Skipping a run during the week is always a self-debate but ultimately an easy decision. My weekend runs mean something different to me and I really look forward to them throughout the week. In the past I've only skipped a weekend run day when resting for a Sunday race. Still, since AG recommended it, I needed to take that seriously. While I read through Runner's World this morning I saw a piece that reinforced the idea of maintaining a consistent running routine with the point that to maintain fitness the workout can still be easy.

The pleasure of a Saturday morning run plus the RW article tipped me toward running and I set off with the intention of going 30-35 minutes without regard to pace or distance. I dressed warmly since the temperature was 30 degrees and I didn't want to be tempted to run fast to warm up quickly. I felt very good and actually worked hard to keep my pace moderate. I covered parts of my neighborhood and parts of neighborhood #2 going 3.9 miles in about 37 minutes. I was surprised that my pace was mid 9:00 because it felt slower but I verified the distance on Gmaps. It was the best run I've had since the relay and although it wasn't taxing it produced the requisite level of endorphins to reinforce the value of the workout. I think I characterized this type of running as "comfort food miles" and that's how they felt today. I'm considering a very brief speed workout tomorrow (4 x 800m) if I feel strong. Otherwise I may just rest. Hopefully AG will approve!


  1. I have a pair of Yak-Trax and I love them. I don't know how they would be running but I do a lot of walking and since a lot of people don't shovel sidewalks in the winter, they get incredibly icy. They are like studded snow tires. Highly recommend them!

  2. Thanks - I appreciate hearing that. Do you know if they make different versions for various conditions (snow, ice, etc.)?

  3. I believe they make a more sturdy version for people doing winter sports, I have the "everyday" version and they are fine for ice. You still need a snow boot in deep snow since they take the same footprint of your shoe, so they don't provide any "snowshoe" effect of keeping you on top of it.


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