Winter... To run or not to run?

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bobbio84
Percy Williams
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Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby bobbio84 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:59 pm

Since September I've gotten myself from 1/1 walk/run ratio to 1/9. Next week I will be at 1min walk/10 min run. This is my first goal since starting running in August.

We got a big dump of snow over the weekend and it ain't going anywhere. My favourite runs are outdoors. I've had my eye on a pair of winter running shoes (Salomon) for a while now, but I just purchased a Fitbit... Don't know if the shoes are happening. I don't enjoy the treadmill as much, but don't want to loose my progress.

Okay, okay, my question. Is it reasonable to maintain my 1/10 intervals on the treadmill let's say... 1 to 3 times a week throughout the winter and be able to pick up where I left off in the spring? My new goal is to be able to run 10k without no walk breaks, but I'm thinking of stopping the progress until the white stuff disappears.

Is this something that is common?... I.e. Hitting the pause button for the winte? I'm going to be keeping other exercises going. I've started jumping rope and found that I really enjoy this as well.
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby IronColl » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:34 pm

If you can handle the treadmill then go for it. I am a fussy winter runner and I will happily spend months on the indoor track or the treadmill. I dislike running in the snow because I have to work that much harder to run slower and I'm usually cold.
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby ultraslacker » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:26 pm

You can run on a treadmill or an indoor track.... orrrrrr.... you can run outside through the winter! Most people run outside all year round. :)

The hardest part is the footing if there is fresh snow or slick ice. There are traction devices you can get for your shoes for those days, or just stay inside those days (they pass, and then the sidewalks get cleared and salted).

Aside from that, lots of good layers of clothes.

When I lived in Edmonton my best winter running gear brand was Sugoi. They make great stuff. Layer, layer, layer.


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La
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby La » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:05 am

Bad footing will keep me indoors, so I generally play every run by ear, depending on that.

I think your question is whether you can maintain your fitness level through the winter running on a TM (as opposed to outside): Yes! The TM might feel a bit easier because you're not fighting wind and hills, but you'll be able to maintain your running fitness, no problem. It's better than skipping runs because of bad weather or poor footing.
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:31 am

Bad footing or very high wind chill values (-30 of more) will keep me in. I will embrace the treadmill on those days instead of skipping a run. Like was said above, layers are the way to go, start off cooler and you will soon warm up and wish you had one less layer on.
Best wishes on winter running.
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bobbio84
Percy Williams
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby bobbio84 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:52 am

La wrote:Bad footing will keep me indoors, so I generally play every run by ear, depending on that.

I think your question is whether you can maintain your fitness level through the winter running on a TM (as opposed to outside): Yes! The TM might feel a bit easier because you're not fighting wind and hills, but you'll be able to maintain your running fitness, no problem. It's better than skipping runs because of bad weather or poor footing.


Yes, that is my question... but right now I'm doing 3 or 4 runs a week. If I reduce it to 1 to 3 runs a week, will I loose my progress? I've been progressing distance, speed and intervals for the past three months. I still want to progress, but not until the spring. Can I 'maintain' my current stage and by that amount of running or will I have to take a few steps back when I finally want to advance more?

Thanks to everybody for your answers.
Music teacher by day, dad by night... Running maniac if I can fit it in.

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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby IronColl » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:17 am

To maintain your fitness and muscular adaptations, you need to maintain your runs.
If all that you read is everything you believe then let go, then let go, then let go.

Nothing will change if you never choose.

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NMG
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby NMG » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:25 pm

No problem at all using the TM in the winter to maintain your level of running fitness. Heck, you could even increase it using the TM if you wanted to. They can be a great tool for training.

I think the big thing that will impact you will be your planned volume of running over the winter as compared to what you're doing now, combined with your current base. It sounds like you've been running since September? If so, that's awesome! Just keep in mind that three months is still a fairly short amount of time in running terms, especially as a beginner. I think you'll find that if you change your routine too much from what you're doing now, you'll definitely lose some of what you've gained.

Personally, I'll cut my January and February mileage by about 25% compared to what I do in the other 10 months to give my legs a bit of a rest. By the time spring rolls around, it usually takes me a couple of weeks to get back into the normal swing of things and allot of that is just due to the differences between the TM and the road. That said, that's also on a pretty solid base of running consistently for years. You'd be amazed at how quickly your running fitness can go if you don't keep it up!

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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby Dstew » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:29 pm

Studies show a rapid decline in gains BUT ... that seems to level off at around 20% even after 12 weeks of NO activity. The winter can be an excellent time to work on the weaknesses and imbalances that running produces and so 1 - 3 treadmill workouts with "Cross training" over the winter is actually an excellent approach. Running is notorious for causing injuries - over use is a common cause. So replacing some runs with weights and strength training is a better long term strategy than mindlessly trying in maintain a schedule.

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Avis
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby Avis » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:03 pm

I'll add my two cents. I generally continue to run through the winter. I use sturdy trail shoes, and they work on most wintery conditions, except sheet ice. I'll stay inside on sheet ice days and do alternative workouts. I don't own a treadmill, and never really got used to running on one in the gym.

Running on packed snow or gravel-over-snow requires a slightly different foot-strike pattern. I relearn that each winter, and have to unlearn it each spring, but I don't believe it does my running any harm.

The main difference, for me, between winter and non-winter running is my pace. I am just slower running on the snow than I am on gravel or pavement. To adjust for that, I run by time spent running rather than distance. For example, if you normally cover 5k in 30 minutes on dry pavement, you may only cover 4.5k in the snow in 30 minutes (for the same amount of effort). This oversimplifies it a bit, but you will work harder running on snow than you do on pavement.

Running outdoors in the winter has sometimes left me a stronger runner when spring comes. Aside from that, I like winter running. I joke that the only time I'm really warm all winter is when I'm running outside!
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NMG
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Re: Winter... To run or not to run?

Postby NMG » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:44 pm

Avis wrote:The main difference, for me, between winter and non-winter running is my pace. I am just slower running on the snow than I am on gravel or pavement. To adjust for that, I run by time spent running rather than distance. For example, if you normally cover 5k in 30 minutes on dry pavement, you may only cover 4.5k in the snow in 30 minutes (for the same amount of effort). This oversimplifies it a bit, but you will work harder running on snow than you do on pavement.


So true! My first snow run of the year was this evening and even though the amount of snow was quite minor, it was still a good reminder of how that subtle slip and slide on every step really adds up by the end of the run with all the extra stabilizing muscles working!


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