Winter running plans – the eatdrinkbreathesweat edition

Now that I have no choice but to officially admit that yes, winter is here, I figured it was time to throw down some winter running plans – the eatdrinkbreathesweat “way” of course.

<I’m also doing this in part to support my fab sis who is embarking on a 6-month running challenge – a challenge many of you are also committed to, which I LOVE!>

While I’m not in training mode for a race right now Β — I sort of always consider myself “in training” when it comes to running because it’s something that needs to be nurtured consistently for it to evolve. This is true for other activities as well, but I think it’s particularly important as a runner.

My ultimate goal this winter is to maintain – as best as I can – my run-durance built up from the two half marathons I trained for this summer/fall. Β I worked damn hard for that endurance, Β and I don’t want to see it completely fly out the window this winter. I’d love nothing more than to have a really good, really solid base under me around March-ish of next year (foreshadowing of race plans to come, perhaps??) versus feeling like I’m starting from ground zero again.

So – what do these big, bad winter eatdrinkbreathesweat-style winter running plans look like, you ask? They’re pretty basic, honestly — but I thought I’d share them in case any of you runner’s out there were looking for ways to ward off the winter crankies with runner’s high, instead. πŸ˜‰ <—plus, jotting down my running plans here keeps me WAY accountable, never a bad thing in my book!Β 

The winter running plan*: eatdrinkbreathesweat style…
Day 1– 6-7 miles, treadmill-style (early-AM, no choice!)
Day 2– 6 miles, interval-style (treadmill, again)
Day 3– 5-6 miles recovery-style (slow and steady, hopefully outside)
Day 4 – Β 7-9+ mile long run (outside as much as possible)
*cross-training will center on barre n9ne, obvs πŸ˜‰

I told you, very basic, right?Β Throughout the winter, I promise to share with you guys snippets of what these runs look like, but for now – you get the gist. Four days of running. One long run. One interval run. Perfection.

The key for me here is consistency. Both in terms of mileage and maintaining a base of between 6-9 miles (or maybe more) throughout the winter; and in terms of four committed runs per week. No more, no less. For me – four days of running is ideal. It keeps my legs in great running shape but doesn’t burn them out.

Another important factor here is speed and building that pace during the winter months where it’s easier for me to do interval work. Since I run garmin-less, doing intervals outside would be tough (not impossible, just tough) so I tend to do more interval work in the winter than I do in the summer. However, that *will* need to change once I get into 26.2 training mode. But that’s a story for another day (I promise).

For now? I’m digging my simple and smart winter running plan. It’s quite honestly the most consistent running schedule I’ve ever had in the winter — and there’s obviously a method to that madness. I have grand racing goals in mind for 2012, afterall!

But that’s a story (and a post) for another day this week – stay tuned for some 2012 race “musings” and *maybe* even a sneak peak into my marathon training plan (but only if you ask nicely, heh) later this week, too!

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37 thoughts on “Winter running plans – the eatdrinkbreathesweat edition

  1. Great plan. I guess my plan will look like always: 3 runs/week – 1 long and slow, 1 intervals, 1 short and fast. I love to run outside but especially in winter it’s difficult as it is ALWAYS f***ing dark (and I don’t have a run mate like Scott!). So I have to do the long one on Sundays and the others on the treadmill which I HATE. Ah, spring time, how I long for thee… But hey, I still stick to my plan to do my first marathon in October. So I HAVE to stay in my “run modus”. And I cannot wait to read about YOUR marathon plan πŸ˜€ Isn’t it exciting??

    • Agree – four runs per week is my running sweet spot. Challenging but not overkill.

      LOVE intervals – I have a post coming up on one I did just today that you might like to try. πŸ™‚

  2. Great plan! Very similar to mine for the most part, a little higher on the mileage…and maybe I’ll work up to that by the end of this 6 month challenge too. I am hoping to, anyway, given my own plans to keep distance up! Just gotta get back to a good average of 5-6 each run and then longer for the long run. Asslap!

    • I’m glad we’re getting our run-durance up in similar fashion, it’ll keep us BOTH super honest and accountable, right? We got this!! And I promise to get you out in the winter air to run this winter together – we have those barre n9ne rundates to kick off soon anyway, so you (and we) have no choice!!

    • It’s hard to keep it going in the winter months, no doubt. This is why I wanted to come up with a plan, put it in writing, so I’d have no choice but to stick to it. πŸ™‚

  3. That is a great plan. I love 6 mile runs – hard enough to feel really accomplished, but short enough to have energy for the next day – or in your case, later in the day when you face the barre πŸ™‚

    Getting out in the cold is so hard at first, but spring running will feel so much better because of it!

  4. Maintain maintain! It’s easier said than done, especially in the winter, but it makes all the difference once the next training plan comes out to play πŸ™‚ You’ll be ready to go in the Spring!

    This looks pretty similar to my plan – 5-7 miles during the week, 10+ with the group on the weekend and yoga whenever I can. It’s not a bad way to get through the cold days πŸ™‚

    • Seriously – maintaining this winter is SO HUGE for me, and it’s going to be hard, I know it will be – but I feel really good about this plan. And LOVE that your plan is similar, especially the group 10+ miler on the weekend. Love that!

  5. Frosty has nothing on you. Sprinkling in all the right bits of training. run-durance — that is awesome.

    I like how your are mixing up your routine. No doubt you have your fitness level maintained.

  6. I’m in the same weird limbo right now. I’m shooting for two 6 mile runs a week and one 3-4 mile run a week. I want all of them to be a bit harder with elliptical or spin classes for cross training. It will probably be for the next month or two before I go back into training for the Publix Atlanta Half in mid March.

    • It is a weird limbo, huh? That’s partly what drove me to make up this little plan…it’s pretty basic but at least it gives me a semblance of structure and a “plan” to work against this winter before any racing fun happens. Nice plan Tina, you’ll do great this winter, I have no doubt!

  7. Oh, I soooo need to make a plan like this for myself (or maybe the exact same plan because I think it sounds stellar!) I always find that I have a hard time keeping on track when I’m not training for a particular race. I know that I will do a spring marathon, but I probably won’t officially start training until January or February, so I am having a hard time committing to anything in the meantime. I love the sound of your plan, though…you’re awesome!

  8. great running plan!! i just started training for my marathon yesterday and im definitely intimidated by the winter. treadmill runs are definitely fine, but there is nothing like running outside. it might be chilly at first, but then it becomes peaceful. love it!

  9. I love that word, “run-durance!” As you know, I always consider myself “in-training” too, I don’t know how to be “out of” training. I think I am going to have to try to become friends with the treadmill again…you might also want to try running on your local track (if it’s not icy!). I did that a lot last winter – still got to be outdoors but not as monotonous as the TM.

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