Tag Archives: workout

How to Train in Winter Temperatures & Adjust Your Training Indoors

Dark, wet and temperatures far below 0° F are the conditions when all runners suffer at this time of year.

Not only is it uncomfortable to run outside in these conditions, it can also lead to injuries and infection. If you want to compete or train outside, consider following these tips below.

As the cold air can cause damage in the lungs, you should choose the mildest hours of the day, if you are forced to do your workout outside. You will want to choose an extra layer of windproof clothing because the wind can cool down your core-temperature. You will want to wear more thin layers, because this way you can adjust your apparel to the needs of your body and avoid exceeding perspiration while your body is warming up during your workout. Because most heat is lost through the head, you will want to wear a hat while running outside. To protect your facial skin from the cold temperatures, use an acidic skin-cream, or if you’re like my husband, wear a ski mask.

When you have finished your run, make sure to replace your workout gear with a dry and warm layer of clean clothes as soon as possible so you don’t catch a nasty cold from finishing a workout and having a chill.

If you have an opportunity to switch your training to an indoor facility to avoid extreme temperatures, I’ve got tips for that too.

Runs can be shifted 1:1 to the treadmill. You will want to choose 1-3% ascend to simulate running outside. Be sure to stretch out your calf-muscles, because the ascend causes more power-transfer out of this area. If you are doing intervals on the treadmill, raise your speed at the end of the previous zone, to be in the high-interval-zone from the first second on. Stay in the interval-zone until the last second and then slow down to the recovery-speed.

If you like diversion, you can use a stepper, an elliptical-trainer or a cross-trainer instead of always running on the dreadmill.

If you are not into a treadmill or machine, this is a great opportunity to mix it up and add strength and flexibility workouts.  These workouts will help you to improve your running while still providing an alternative for a safe warm indoor workout at home.

Indoor or outdoor, be sure stretch and dress appropriately!

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Polar Bear Series 5K

polar bear running2

The local YMCA holds a series of runs from January to March, each race increasing in distance. Today was the first race, lovingly called, “New Year’s Resolution” 5K. All the races start at 1:00 pm, which seems late to me, but whatever.

My husband and I both signed up to run the whole series; 5K (today), 10K, 10 miles and ending with a half marathon on March 10, 2013. We arrived at registration about 30 minutes prior to the race starting and picked up our bibs and race shirts; really nice dri fit long sleeved shirts. The course was the same one I ran for the Turkey Trot back on Thanksgiving, so I knew what to expect as far as hills, turns, etc.

I’m not sure exactly how many people ran today, but saw bib numbers in the 100s. As an alternative to running, you also have the option to do walks, each one increasing in distance, the last one being 6 miles.

Today’s race was chilly, only 21° F, windy and we recently had 12 inches of snow. The conditions were icy and slushy. Lucky me, I had received a pair of Yaktrax for Christmas as well as cold-weather running gear. I was still cold while waiting for the race to start, but as always, warmed up quickly.

I managed to get my music started in time for the gun to go off, this is a first for me! I got a new watch/HRM for Christmas and had intentions of using it to time myself. I thought I had pushed “start” when the race began, but once I crossed the finish line and checked my time, it still said 00:00:00, oops!

I didn’t feel very fast today and my lungs/chest felt tight and I felt out of breath. I used my husband to set the pace and ran about 20-30 feet behind him for the majority of the race. When there was about 1/4 mile left, I made my move and increased my pace to pass him. I saw the finish and put my legs into high gear. My unofficial time was 27 minutes, I will post the accurate time once the results are available online.

I’m not exactly happy about my time, but there’s always room for improvement, right? My goal for 2013 is to run a sub-25 minutes 5K.

**Updated: 27:09 minutes is the official time**

Check out my other races!
Next race: Polar Bear Series 10K
Herbivore Triathlete Race Results Page

Weekly Workout Summary 12.30.2012

Weekly Workout Summary
Here’s what my weekly workouts looked like:

Sunday 12/23/12: 5.6 mile run at the YMCA on the dreadmill (1 hour)

Monday 12/24/12:  2.8 mile tempo intervals on the dreadmill at the YMCA (30 minutes)

Tuesday 12/25/12: Rest Day

Wednesday 12/26/12: 60 minute spin class at Allegheny Endurance

Thursday 12/27/12: 3.6 mile run outside (40 minutes)

Friday 12/28/12: 2.9 mile fartlek intervals at the YMCA on the dreadmill (30 minutes)

Saturday 12/29/12: 4.65 miles on the Elliptical at theYMCA (50 minutes)

Weekly Totals

Running: 14.9 miles,  2 hours, 40 minutes

Elliptical Trainer: 4.65 miles,  50 minutes

Spin Class: 1 hours

I’ve got race #1 (5K) of the Polar Bear Series on New Year’s Day!

Weekly Workout Summary 12.23.12

Weekly Workout Summary

Here’s what my weekly workouts looked like:

Sunday 12/16/12:  Rest Day

Monday 12/17/12 @ 6:15 pm: 45 minute spin class at the YMCA

Tuesday 12/18/12 @ 6:30 pm: 30 minutes of Pilates/Yoga @ home using Fitness Blender

Wednesday 12/19/12 @ 6:00 am: 45 minute spin class at Allegheny Endurance

Thursday 12/20/12 @ 5:30 pm: 30 minute fartlek intervals at the YMCA

Friday 12/21/12 @ 9:00 am: 30 minute elliptical trainer at the YMCA

Saturday 12/22/12 @ 6:00 am: 45 minute spin class at Allegheny Endurance

Weekly Totals

Running:  2.85 miles, 30 minutes

Elliptical Trainer: 3.3 miles, 30 minutes

Spin Class: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Pilates/Yoga: 30 minutes

My running distance and time was way down this week. My neck was really bothering me early on in the week. It was super tight and painful and the pain radiated into my shoulder, arm and back. I decided that it would be more beneficial for me to spend some time stretching and focusing on loosening up the muscle in my neck rather than running in pain. It helped tremendously and I was back on track by Thursday.

Weekly Workout Summary 12.16.12

Weekly Workout Summary

I often hear that people don’t exercise because they just don’t have the time, they are too busy, etc., etc. While I agree that life is busy, especially at this time of year and with kids, there is always time to get a work out in if it’s important enough to you. Even with my husband being out of town, working full-time, and 3 young kids with their own activities 4 nights per week, I still found time to train.

Here’s what my weekly workouts looked like:

Sunday 12/9/12 @ 11:00 am:  30 minute sprint intervals at the YMCA

Monday 12/10/12 @ 6:15 pm: 45 minute spin class at the YMCA

Tuesday 12/11/12 @ 5:30 am: 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer at the YMCA

Wednesday 12/12/12 @ 6:00 am: 55 minute spin class at Allegheny Endurance

Thursday 12/13/12 @ 5:30 pm: 28 minute fartlek intervals at the YMCA

Friday 12/14/12 @ 9:00 am: 55 minute tempo run at the YMCA

Saturday 12/15/12 @ 6:00 am: 45 minute lactate threshold spin class at Allegheny Endurance

Weekly Totals

Running: 10.5 miles, 1 hour 53 minutes

Elliptical Trainer: 4.2 miles, 45 minutes

Spin Class: 2 hours 25 minutes

Tabatas and How They Can Be Used for Swim Workouts

I recently heard the term, Tabata training when browsing Fitness Blender exercises on YouTube. It’s something that I think many triathletes would benefit from if they incorporated them into their swim workouts.

Especially this time of year when time may be filled with other commitments around the holidays! So what exactly are Tabatas and how can they be used in swim workouts? Tabata is an exercise protocol using intervals with extremely focused short bursts.

Essentially, it’s a set (8, 12, 16) of 20 second sprints followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. The active recovery could consist of easy swimming or treading water.

These types of workouts  allow you to burn more fat than in a typical long aerobic session. You will burn more calories in a long aerobic training session; however, Tabatas will allow you to burn more fat.

However, if you have poor stroke technique, there is no reason to be doing Tabatas for swimming. If you have worked on your technique and feel like you’ve hit a plateau in swimming, this would be a nice alternative to swimming lap after lap in the pool. Tabatas will give you the ability to burn more fat and get faster in the water.

Tabata Swim Workout 

Warm Up: 300 yds. your choice

8 x 25 with :10 rest in between each
~All out maximum effort full speed sprints
~Followed by 1 x 200 on 4:00
~Do this set 2-4 times

Warm Down: 300 yds. your choice

Have you tried doing Tabatas in any way? What is your experience?