To be honest I always believed Snow days were a blessing in disguise. I absolutely love snow. It is so beautiful, peaceful, majestic, and it really gets one in the Christmas spirit. However, as a runner from the south I dread those days I am trapped indoors unable to run outside or head to the local gym because my car is stuck in 3 feet of snow. Luckily the blizzard conditions never last too long where I currently live. But coming from a runner it causes so much anxiety being unable to run, especially with the importance of winter training haunting us.
So here is my advice and suggestions for getting through the snowy days. Most of the time you are able to head to the gym and hop on a treadmill. However If you are stuck at home and cannot make it out the door for a run, talk to your coach first. Sometimes if the weather will only cause a day or 2 of delay your coach may just revise your training and tell you to have a day off. This is where I suggest snow being a blessing in disguise. I always believed the snow storms came at just the right moment. In my past I was so stubborn to ever take days off unless it was a scheduled day off. This is probably why I suffered with many injuries in my collegiate career. So I usually took a snow day as an off day and revised my training with my coach. With that being said my first suggestion is to always consult your coach. He or she wants the best for you.
If you are able to go to the gym but do not care for treadmills, there are other alternatives. Just remember the elliptical and bike is not the same as running. If you are in high gear training you have to train accordingly.
My top 5 Gym Training for Snow Days:
- If you have never ran on treadmill I would suggest to only do of half of your run on the treadmill and finish your workout on an elliptical or bike. For example, if you are supposed to run 6 miles, I would run 3 on the treadmill then go elliptical for an additional 30 minutes.
- Spin Classes are great. If the gym is offering a class. Take advantage of the spin class. Or hop on a bike and conduct your own spin workout. You can Google or Pinterest spin workouts; some even come with suggested music to cycle to.
- Never Exercise on a level 1. You are a runner. Set the level or resistance to something more difficult. Remember, Working out on machines are not the same as running. If you want to get the same benefit on the machine as in running you cannot dilly dally around on the elliptical without breaking a sweat.
- Do Fartleks while working out. This will ensure that you get a good workout. One of my favorites is to warm up for 10 minutes on a machine of your choice then proceed with 6X (1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, 2 minutes hard, 1 minute easy, 3 minutes hard 1 minutes easy) Followed by a 10 minute cool down.
- Alternate between Machines. It can become very boring and numbing to elliptical for 60 minutes. Try alternating between 3 machines. Spend 10 minutes at a fast pace on different machines such as, the Stairmaster, Rowing machine, and Spin bike. Your recovery between the hard sets will be walking do the different machines.
On the other hand, what if there are 18 inches of snow outside and you cannot even open your front door. If you are itching to get your cardio pumping I have provided some at home workouts to do when you are snowed in for good.
My Top 5 at Home Workout Suggestions
- Many of us have Netflix or Hulu. I have found some great Pilates, yoga, and cardio dance workouts online. If you do not have videos of your own those are great resources. Runners are typically tight and stiff anyways, so to get that heart rate up and blood pumping spending an hour or two doing yoga is a major benefit.
- Burpee Curcits. This would be similar to cross fit. Burpees are intense and get our heart rates up fast. Do something like 25 burpees, 25 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 25 Donkey kicks, ect… and repeat all for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Weight training with your running shoes. This does not sound too strenuous; however try holding your shoes out horizontally doing mini circles. Do this activity for 60 seconds and I promise your arms will be burning. Do activities such as these and spend a good hour doing different variations of weight repetitions for 60 seconds. Stick to 10 exercises and repeat 3-5 times.
- Meditate. I have mentioned in previous posts to visualize yourself running. This is a mental workout. It may not be very physical, but it is important to train our minds as well as our bodies. Spend a good half hour just focusing on an upcoming race, visualizing every aspect of the race.
- Pyramid workouts. This is a fun variation on circuit training. Instead of doing 3 sets of certain workouts, change it up by doing the workout Pyramid style. Start with 10 seconds of Lunges, 20 Seconds of Squats, 30 seconds of Russian Twists, and 40 seconds of High Knees, 50 seconds of Planks, 60 seconds of Burpees, 50 seconds of lunges, 40 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of Russian Twists, 20 seconds of High Knees, 10 seconds of Planks. Pick different exercises to do after each set. It is a fun way to get sore!
I hope my ideas are helpful. Please suggest some training ideas of your own below. And stay Safe and Dry over the Snowy week to come!