Ohio has been slammed so far this winter with severe weather. From extremely low temperatures (wind chill bringing the temps down to -15 and colder) to ice and snow storms, we are definitely experiencing Mother Nature's wrath after two relatively mild winters. As a teacher, I am totally loving it (we've already had two snow days and one early release!). As an athlete, I admit that it can be less than ideal for training purposes.
|Note: this is NOT how our local running paths have looked!|
Here is what last week's training week looked like:
Monday--rest day. Mondays are ALWAYS rest days. I honor them 100%. No lifting, no exercising, no nothing. (Although yesterday I did shovel twice... sometimes life gets in the way even of resting!) Last Monday was a "cold day", meaning we had no school due to insanely frigid temperatures. So I spent the day hanging out with my kiddos.
Tuesday--AM workout: 60 minute run at 5 AM. It was still pretty cold out, but not cold enough for another snow day, so my friends and I opted for the treadmills at the gym. I love treadmill dates with friends. Katie had speed work to do, and had we been outside, I never would've been able to keep up with her (currently my coach has me doing all of my runs at an easy pace). However, the treadmill makes it totally possible. PM workout: 40 minutes on the bike trainer. Tuesday nights are busy ones in our house (my 12 year old has basketball practice, and his dad is one of the coaches, and my 10 year old has swim team practice--and both practices are at the same time). I am lucky that I have a trainer for my tri bike, and can fit in a ride between swim team drop-off and pick-up.
Wednesday--AM workout: 45 minute Body Pump class. I love that my gym offers a 5:15 AM Body Pump class. I love that typically the people who come on Wednesdays are the "regulars". I know the teacher and I am comfortable with her. She pushes me to do better, and I like that! It's an "express" class, so only 45 minutes long, but we still are able to fit in all of the body parts with the combination tracks for biceps/triceps and shoulders/lunges. It's such a fast class that it really gets my heart rate up as well--bonus! The gym has nice showers so I am able to get ready there and go straight to work after class. PM workout: 40 minute run.
|These are NOT the people I saw... just a random stock photo of happy runners :)|
Thursday--AM workout: swim practice. I swim every Thursday morning at 5:45 AM--as long as school is in session, at least. I workout with a Master's swim team that practices only a few minutes away from the school where I work. It's super convenient as I can shower after practice and head straight to work. There are others who practice with the team multiple times per week, which I have done in the past, but right now once a week works well for me. I am able to fit in 45 minutes of swimming time before I have to get ready for work, which typically amounts to 1800-2200 yards, depending on what we're doing that day. PM workout: This was supposed to be a spin class, but after two days of double workouts, I was just not feeling it. I knew that I had my long run scheduled for the next day, and I knew that I could fit in a spin class on Saturday. So, I listened to my body, canceled my reservations for class, and spent the evening chilling with my family.
Friday--AM workout: 90 minute run. With a snowstorm predicted for Friday afternoon into Saturday, my friends and I all decided it would be best to do our long runs before work on Friday. For me, this meant starting at 4 AM. Yep, 4 AM. It's not super fun, but sometimes it's necessary. Plus, we were greeted with tank-top-and-shorts weather-- it was over 50 degrees out! (No PM workout... Friday nights are for pizza!)
Saturday--AM workouts: 40 minute spin class + 60 minute Body Pump class. I love sleeping in until after 8 AM on Saturdays, and then fitting in two tough classes at the gym. The spin class backs right up to the Body Pump class, so I sneak out 5 minutes early to get my weights set for Body Pump. I have been able to go to Body Pump twice a week 90% of the time for the past two months, and I truly feel it is helping with my overall conditioning and strength.
Sunday--AM workout: 50 minute run. Today was supposed to be Friday's long run, but things were flip-flopped due to weather. It was pretty cold out (with the wind chill, it was -1 for the real-feel temperature), but my BRF and I decided to brave the chill as it was a sunny Sunday morning. Honestly, we dressed perfectly and the temperatures were just fine! The roads weren't bad, either--at least once we got out of my subdivision. (No PM workout... Sunday afternoons and evenings are for grading, lesson planning, and laundry!)
And there you have it! Nine workouts in six days (three days of "doubles"). Four runs (240 minutes total--this was just over 26 miles if you're curious), one swim, two Body Pump classes, one spin class, and one bike trainer ride. I work full time as a teacher, and I have four kids who are pretty active themselves in sports and other activities. Sometimes I have to be creative (e.g. fit in a workout at the gym while my daughter is at her girl scout meeting down the street), but I find that as long as I write it down, I feel committed to it. Knowing friends will be there motivates me as well, but I've done more than my fair share of solo treadmill runs lately, so I've had to draw more motivation from within.
A few take-away key points:
1) Look at the weather forecast early in the week. Be prepared to move workouts around based on what you see predicted.
2) It's okay to cancel/skip a workout. It's not great to get into this habit, but listening to your body is super important.
3) It's MUCH easier to convince yourself to do workouts if you have friends who are doing them with you. This goes for running, lifting, anything!
4) If you are super busy and have kids who are active themselves, you might need to get creative with your scheduling. It's taken me time to figure out when to fit in things like swimming and spin class. Knowing how important they are to my training, I persevered until I found times that worked with my life.
5) Rest days need to happen! Plan them and keep them in the schedule. I used to skip my rest days when fun runs would pop up. This definitely is a contributing factor to my injuries, so while I am willing to move my rest day with advance notice, I will continue to honor their importance in my training schedule.
I hope this blog helps others realize that it truly is possible to train through the long, cold Ohio winters!