My Week in Workouts

My week in workouts started off a little rocky after stepping/falling into a hole (I think?) during last Sunday’s trail run. I didn’t run until Thursday when things felt 95% better. Amazingly enough, after the run, I was 100% better. Isn’t it weird how that happens sometime?

Monday

30 minute bike intervals

Strength training

Sunday night, while stretching/massaging my ankle that was hurting, I came to the realization that it wasn’t really my ankle that was bugging me. It was more of the posterior tib tendon. Of course, typical me, I started to panic that it was the deltoid ligament that I completely messed up 3 years ago by doing an eversion sprain since the painful spot was similar. After some poking around and consulting a PT friend, we concluded I strained my posterior tib tendon with the plan to lay low.

Tuesday

Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi

I played it safe and took another day off from running. I’d rather spend a few days not running now rather than have something pop up when I’m in 30k training. Besides, spending 60 minutes on my mat was much needed and felt oh so good.

Wednesday

30 minutes ARC trainer hill intervals

10 minutes Stepmill

Strength training

My intention for Wednesday’s strength session were two things – PR in my squat and bench press. I’m happy to report both were an success. In fact, I think I could have gone up more. It’s a good feeling, feeling strong.

Thursday

5 mile road run with Kyle

It’s really a bummer when your weather app says it will be 18 degree for your morning run the night before but in reality it’s 12 degrees. Six degrees may not seem like much but it makes a HUGE difference in clothing. I picked the wrong pair of tights (legs were freezing!) and my Buff was completely frozen almost immediately. That’s not too pleasant for 44 minutes of running.

What was pleasant was talking mountain running plans for the spring as Kyle and I chatted about training plans and chasing vert. I love having friends to share the fun with!

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

6 mile trail run with Jill and Jenny

The weather turned warm, yet again, and the lovely snow we got last weekend is practically all gone. Jenny and I took Jill on her first trail run EVER. Jill was a total trooper but was probably swearing internally nonstop.

With the warm conditions, what snow we had left turned to mashed potatoes. Lots of slop that was tough to run in. It was like running in soft sand at times and then you were sliding sideways because it was so slippery. I give major props to anyone who wants to try trail running in the winter. It makes things complicated for sure but like my friend Lori taught me years ago – we run on trails no matter what conditions!

Sunday

8.3 mile road run with Jenny

After months of not having a training plan, I’m feeling an itch to train again. Maybe it’s the newness of a new year or because a lot of friends have begun training for spring races. I’m trying not to rush anything and enjoy the plan free freedom.

Since I’m such a wonderful friend, I took Jenny on a tour of almost all of the big hills around town. She may have been swearing at me but I just gave her the ol’ “hills make you stronger!” and “hills are speed work in disguise” talk. She still swore at me but then she said HILL YEAH! when we parted ways. I think we have a hill lover, people!

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.ย 

Winter Trail Running Tips

A few years ago when I started to trail run more, I thought when the snow and ice came, it meant we’d abandon the trails for the roads till the spring thaw came along. The trails would only be a place to snowshoe or hike. We can’t run in that stuff.

But then a friend set me straight. Oh no, no, no. We run on trails ALL year ’round. With her help, I picked up the gear I needed to do just that.

I’ve had a few friends get the trail running bug in the past month. It seems like an odd time to try out trail running when the dirt ribbons are now snow ribbons but it inspired me to share my winter trail running tips. I’m by no means an expert. This is what I’ve found works best for me. Everyone’s comfort level is different so you may need to tweak things to see what works for you.

Dressing for a winter trail run isn’t too different than what you would wear for winter running if you live in a cold climate. Layers are key. It’s very tempting to put on ALL the layers before your run but you want to be chilly at the beginning of your run. I like to think of the old adage about jewelry – take one piece off before you leave the house. Do the same with your layers!

Here’s what you should be wearing from head to toe on your next winter trail run.

Head

If the temps are in the upper 20s to the 30s, I’ll wear a headband. It keeps my ears warm but lets the heat out too. If it’s any colder, I’ll wear a tech material hat. Skida (affiliate link) is my fave brand for both headbands and hats. They are made for sweat induced cold weather activity so you won’t end up with soaked frozen material.

Hands

My hands are always cold so I opt for mittens over gloves once the temps are below 30 degrees. If the wind is really blowing, I’ll double up with a pair of thin gloves under the mittens. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. Popping hand warmers (affiliate link) in my mittens is something that always works. However, if the temps are in the 30s, I’ll pick a lightweight pair of gloves.

Upper and Lower Body

I’ve really fallen in love with Buffs (affiliate link) this year. If my neck is covered, I can get by with wearing less on my upper body. It also is handy to have for covering your mouth and nose to warm the air on the really cold days. Or you can pull the Buff over your head and turn it into a Balaclava. FYI – it took my forever to spell that correctly. HAHA!

Most days I’ll run with a base layer of a wicking material long sleeve shirt with a water resistant or water proof shell over if it’s actively snowing or raining. Long tights are a must. I am not a fan of fleece lined tights so I’ll stick with thicker material tights. Some of my go-tos are from Saucony and Athleta. If it’s really cold (single digits with windchill), I’ll throw a running skirt over the tights to keep my buns toasty.

Socks

I feel like having the right footwear is the biggest winter trail running tip. I will run with exposed ankles in the 20s BUT if it’s actively snowing and/or I’m wearing MICROspikes or running snowshoes, mid length wool socks. Merino wool is a must. Even though your feet will be soaked from the snow, the merino wool will keep you comfortable and surprisingly warm. Plus, taller socks will protect your ankles from the gnarly kicks you’ll receive from your MICROspikes (see below). ๐Ÿ˜‰ My current merino wool faves are from Farm to Feet (affiliate link) and Darn Tough (affiliate link). Pro tip: pack another pair for after your run. You’ll want to get out of wet clothing ASAP post run.

Shoes and Traction

Water resistant or Gore-tex trail running shoes are nice if you are going to be logging lots of snow covered miles. However, it’s not completely necessary to buy a separate pair of trail shoes than what you’d wear any other time of the year. I will wear my Saucony Peregrine ICE+ (affiliate link) fresh snow that requires breaking trail. Trail shoes are a good idea thanks to the extra lugs for better traction.

Speaking of traction, Kahtoola MICROspikes are a life-saver. I’ve run across shear ice with zero fears of wiping out. Even when there’s fresh snow, MICROspikes will give you traction. Coil-type traction doesn’t give you enough grip. Trust me, spikes are the way to go. I’ve had a pair of Kahtoola (affiliate link) for years with zero rust issues. Just make sure you dry them off thoroughly before storing in between usage.

Other options for added traction are screw shoes (you can easily make your own with an old pair of shoes) or running snowshoes. You can check out my winter running footwear guide HERE.

Attitude

One thing I’ve learned from winter running that goes for the roads and trails is adjusting your attitude. You can’t control the weather but you can control your attitude towards it. If you switch it to a positive rather than a negative, it won’t seem so bad.

What would you add to the list?

Do you like winter trail running?

My Week in Workouts

My week in workouts consisted of a cut back week in running mileage. Official 30k training doesn’t kick up for a bit yet so I have to remind myself to give myself some down weeks in between the “fun” weeks. Not saying I’m not having fun. It’s always fun thanks to the return of snow and cold. Gotta keep winter running interesting.

Monday

30 minutes Elliptical random intervals

Strength training and mobility

My right hip was feeling a little tight after Sunday’s trail run so I took it easier on the elliptical for some non-impact sweat. I also kept my lower body strength session on the lighter side and and focused more on mobility work. It did the trick because it felt better throughout the day.

Tuesday

3.8 mile road run with Max

Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi

In an effort to get back into my yoga flow, I opted to run a short road run with Max before going to class. I have never felt this tight in my life so yoga is a priority. Is it just me or does anyone else feel the stretches so much more when in class? I can do the same yoga poses at home and feel nothing. Why is that?

Wednesday

25 minute Stepmill intervals

20 minute Treadmill incline hike (898 ft elevation gain)

Strength training:

Bench press

Smith press seated pull ups

Bird dog DB rows

Cable tricep ext

Cable bicep curl

Barbell squats

DB lateral lunge w/ balance

Plate SL DL w/ balance

Box jumps

Plank matrix

I wasn’t feeling 40 minutes on the Stepmill so I swapped out some time on the treadmill for hill hiking. I increased the incline every minute from 5%-15% for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes steady climb @ 15% while keeping a faster pace. And of course, NEVER holding onto the railings. That’s a huge pet peeve of mine at the gym.

Thursday

5 mile road run with Kyle

This run almost didn’t happen. I woke up multiple times during the night feeling nauseous. Lots of people have the flu right now so I felt for certain I was coming down with something. My stomach didn’t hurt I just felt like I was going to puke. I finally fell asleep and woke up feeling fine so I hit the road.

I’m glad I was able to because it was snowing big fat snowflakes for the duration of our run. There’s just something so peaceful about running in the snow. Even if we do talk the whole time!

Because of said snow, the kids ended up having a 2 hour delay so my plans of hitting up another yoga class were squashed. I still made it to my chiropractor appointment where he addressed my hip flexor that has been talking to me since bombing down the snowy trails 2 weeks ago. He fixed me right up and encouraged me to do more trail bombing. I can do that!

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

5 mile road run with Max

Usually, I’m ready to run come Saturday morning. But I was full of procrastination. If I would have had someone to meet or if we had to be somewhere, I would have been out the door. But we didn’t so I delayed the run for quite some time. The reason for my procrastination? My mind…and the cold. I got too much inside my head about the single digit temps and wind chills.

When I finally made it out, I realized it wasn’t that bad. Once again, mind over matter prevails.

I did get quite a chuckle from a woman who decide to give me unsolicited advice while out on the run. She stopped her car to tell me that it was too cold for Max to be running. What? He’s a LAB who thrives in cold. Second of all, he was in no distress at all. He was not showing any signs of being cold (paws up, shaking, me dragging him instead of him dragging me, refusing to move etc) so we ran.

Thanks for the advice, lady.

Sunday

6.5 mile trail run with Jen, John and Kevin

We got dumped with about 6-8 inches of fluffy snow Saturday night which made for a very fun and hard AF trail run Sunday morning. Quite a change from our weather LAST Sunday! We opted for Microspikes instead of snowshoes because the snowshoes would have been equally as difficulty since we were breaking trail.

The trails were gorgeous with fluffy snow covered trees. We were aiming for 8 miles but then around mile 5.5 I rolled my ankle off a snow covered bridge. It was a doozy that had me seeing stars for a little bit. I was able to walk it off and eventually could run again.

As I type this Sunday afternoon, I’ve been icing and babying my ankle. It’s not really swollen but tight. It’s nothing major so I’m hoping that things will calm down quickly. The irony of the whole thing is that we were talking about ankle sprains minutes before I fell. That settled it: more ankle sprain talk is allowed on runs!

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.ย