What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. - John L. Parker

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Week 3

Another successful week of winter training.  I hit 53.4 miles for the week which is one of my highest totals ever and only my fourth 50+ since high school.  The week started out very cold with temperatures well south of zero Monday afternoon into Tuesday.  Those were definitely the coldest conditions I've ever run in but I managed to still get my runs in outside and I actually didn't think it was so bad.  I finished every run feeling warm and did not have any problem with fingers or toes going numb.  The only issue I encountered was ice crystals forming on my eyelashes causing my eyes to keep freezing shut.

The key to running in cold weather is preparation, both physical and mental.  From the physical standpoint you need to make sure you dress appropriately: minimize exposed skin (when I was out in the cold I had everything except my eyes covered), wear layers, and have clothing that blocks the wind and wicks sweat.  If you stay dry and keep the wind out you can get warm even in extremely cold temperatures.  From the mental standpoint you just need to go into it knowing that you will be freezing the first mile or two but if you've dressed appropriately you will warm up.  Also, you need to be smart about your route.  Small loops run multiple times are better so you can stay close to home.  NEVER RUN ANYWHERE UNLESS YOU ARE 100% CERTAIN YOU CAN RUN BACK.  The last point is in all caps because it's probably the most important.  When running in the cold your body will generate enough heat to keep you warm but once you stop you have only a few minutes before you start freezing.  You don't want to be caught several miles from your house and unable to run.

With that being said, hopefully the coldest weather of the winter is behind us.  The end of the week was actually quite pleasant with temperatures near 50 for Saturday's tempo run.  The coming week looks to be pretty decent as well.

This weeks runs:

Monday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - 5 mi easy

Tuesday: 5 mi easy

Wednesday: AM - 400's
                    1 mi warmup
                    6x400m w/ 400m recovery: 79.5, 79.8, 79.6, 82.1, 81.8, 80.5
                    1 mi cooldown
                    5 mi total
                    PM - 4.8 mi easy

Thursday: AM - 5 mi easy
                PM - 6.8 mi easy

Friday: AM - 5 mi easy
            PM - 5.36 mi easy

Saturday: 4.36 mi tempo, 6.4 mi total

Sunday: rest day

Total: 53.4 miles

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