Winter Long Runs

winter running

It gets cold where I live. There are a few weeks in January and sometime February too where the temperatures drop below freezing and even below zero.

At those temperatures, it can be downright dangerous to be out there for four or five hours getting your long run in. When temperatures are that low, I have to wear so many layers of clothing that it hinders running a little due to covering my mouth and nose and just restriction of movement.

Creativity is going to be necessary for this winter’s training, since I am planning on running a March 100 mile event. In March, there is still snow in the mountains (it’s usually there till May) and the valley can be a slushy soggy mess, and at times there is still snow in the valley.

Many runners just move indoors on the treadmill or indoor track for the winter months or those especially brutal days. But have you ever run thirty miles on a treadmill or an indoor track.

I have and it sucks! A lot.

Running ten miles outside, even when it is very cold, is doable. Fifteen miles is harder but still doable. Twenty miles is pretty much maxed out when the temperatures are below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) or close to zero.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately and my plan is to run ten to fifteen miles outdoors, ten miles on the treadmill, and then ten miles on an indoor track.

I’ve considered doing ten outdoors, ten on the treadmill and then going back outdoors, but trying to put all the winter running gear on after I’m drenched in sweat is not going to work well, if at all.

The other option would be to break up the run throughout the day running ten in the morning, ten at lunch and then ten in the evening. The problem with this is it takes up a lot of time. It’s great training for a relay, but not what I’m looking for when training for a 100 mile run, although, this would be better than missing a run.

Of course, there is the final option of just taking the winter off, ha ha ha, that’s not going to happen. Funny though.

What do you do for your long runs through the cold winter months?


2 thoughts on “Winter Long Runs

  1. meridethcohrs November 13, 2014 / 4:49 pm

    I’m with you on this – I HATE running on the treadmill. Since I am still in relatively low mileage (I’m focusing on a 70.3 Ironman this summer), its still doable to run completely outside, but my husband struggles with exactly what you are talking about. He’s an ultra marathoner as well. We actually just moved to the Seattle area so that we can run in the mountains often and outside the vast majority of the year.

    Good luck with your creative solutions!!!

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