The Winter Grind can be rough even for the most motivated runners. It’s cold, dark, and just plain ugly. Often times made even longer when April fools you and you get those late season snow showers! It’s with the challenges of the winter runner that I’d like to share my 3 “B’s” of winter training. BASE. BIBs. BANTER.
Base mileage. My husband likes to say, “the wider you build your base, the higher you can build your pyramid.” For those new to running, base mileage is easy running. Depending on your fitness level, these runs can range from 30 to 60 minutes and should be done at a comfortable pace. They’re great for building endurance. Most importantly, there is no set pace; you get better by just doing them.
BIBs, as you probably guessed, are about picking a race. I recommend a short term goal to keep you motivated in the not-so-distant future, but also having your “Superbowl” race farther away. Short term goals can be anything from “time trials” to local 5k-10ks (personal note: I would not travel over 45 mins for these types of races). I like running fast, so I’ll often set mile time trials in the middle of my winter training to gauge my fitness. Those are my short term goals. My “Superbowl” race, AKA peak fitness race, will be this year’s AJC Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10k.
Banter. This is a necessary time for those running partners and group runs. Having a run date on the calendar will keep you accountable to get that mileage in and lead to a more enjoyable run, regardless of the weather. For example, I had the opportunity to run with my husband for once this weekend (with family in town to watch the kids). We set out to run a 4-mile loop and ended up getting in an hour and could of kept going. This is a perfect reminder there is strength in numbers. Although it can be hard to find the time to do this often, try once or twice a month to meet someone to break up the solo training.
What are some ways you stay motivated to get those miles in during the winter?