Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

After an oddly mild start to winter, snow finally accumulated last week. I also had my first full week of continuous running after my metatarsal fracture, with four runs totaling approximately 14 miles. Two of those runs were off road and one was in snowshoes. It was a good week of running. 

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

Monday: 30 min run & 20 min Pilates

The weather was oddly warm – 40 degrees – and windy. It felt more like late March or early April than it did January. I ran a simple out-and-back route, totaling just over 3.5 miles in 30 minutes. This run felt smooth and good, even with the wind. 

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

I immediately followed the run with 20 minutes of Pilatesology. This particular workout ended with reformer-style lunges to work on ankle stability, hip mobility, and leg strength. Building back running mileage involves focusing on more than just increasing mileage; it requires building back up a strong and mobile body to handle the mileage. 

Tuesday: 45 minutes arc trainer 

The focus of my running over the next few weeks will be building frequency and volume. I don’t plan on adding quality workouts back in until I’m running at least 25-30 miles per week (about 75% of my previous mileage). Instead, I am doing intervals in my cross-training workouts. For this workout, I duplicated one of my favorite running workouts on the arc trainer: 10 minutes warm-up, 5 x 3 minutes hard/2 minutes easy, 10 minutes cool down. 

Wednesday: 37 minute run

I constantly tell my athletes that injury recovery is never linear. You will have a few runs that feel great. Then, without warning, a run where the old injury aches again and you question your progress. This was one of those runs. It was blistering cold – a windchill of about 2-5 degrees – so I bundled up and braced myself for the winds. The temperature was not too bad and overall I felt good, until my foot noticeably ached just past the 30 minute mark. I took a short walk break and then ran-walk the remaining few minutes home. 

On the bright side, this was my longest run after my stress fracture! It almost makes sense that a phantom pain would emerge on this run but I opted to be cautious over the next few days instead. 

After the run, I foam rolled and did foot and hip/glute strength exercises with the mini resistance band. 

Thursday: 15 min arc trainer & 15 min strength train

I originally planned on taking Ollie for his first run back. However, since my foot felt achy the day before, I opted to cross-train instead. I joined Ryan at the gym in the evening for 15 minutes of arc trainer and 15 minutes of strength training (reverse flyes, bicep curls to shoulder press, single leg deadlifts, med ball squats).

To be honest, I am appreciating the hint of definition from consistent upper body strength training! I typically shunned moves like bicep curls in the past but I do like how my arms and shoulders look right now. 

The dogs and I also went on a decent length walk. Despite Charlie’s resistance to his winter jacket, we all enjoyed the fresh air.  

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 6K trail race

There’s a municipal golf course in town that’s open to the public, including skiers (in winter) and runners. When I saw a trail race at this park advertised on the local running store’s Facebook page, I quickly signed up Ryan and myself. My foot is not ready for the intensity of racing, so our intention to have fun in a local event and enjoy the course. 

This race was fun. The course followed the perimeter of the park, transversing over wide open grass fields with few gentle rollers. Both Ryan and I really enjoyed this race, even with a strong wind and the start of a snowstorm. Since it was a small race, even our relaxed approach landed us each second in our respective age groups.

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

The snow started falling more heavily after the race, accumulating almost five inches. I shoveled for the first time in a very, very long time – and I forget how much of a workout that can be! 

Sunday: ~30-minute snowshoe run

With a decent snow accumulation, I decided to try my new snowshoes out. Ryan, Ollie, and I returned to the golf course and ran through the fresh powder . Ryan ran with Ollie and without snowshoes and I got a hard workout in just trying to keep up with them for most of the run. Snowshoe running has high energy demands particularly as a novice – I was working fairly hard an 11:00/mile pace – but it is really, really fun. I especially loved how it gave me the satisfaction of a hard run without the pounding of a road workout. 

Mile Markers: Off of the Road and Into the Snow

After the run, we brewed our first batch of beer since moving! 

[Tweet “First time snowshoe running, a trail race, and a fun week ofwinter running via @thisrunrecipes #running #snowshoerunning”]

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7 Responses

  1. Yay for enough snow to test out snowshoe running. It’s crazy hard when you have to make your own trail but still oddly fun. I haven’t been able to get out yet since we don’t have enough snow. Although there is enough north of us. Now I just need to get out there!

  2. Congrats to both of you for placing 2nd in your AG at the race. I’m glad that the snow wasn’t too horrible during the race.

    The snowshoe run looks like it was fun, but also a great cross training workout as well!

  3. OMG snowshoe running is incredibly hard so I know the 11/min mile pace was intense! Good for you! I also love that you’re getting into the community by joining a race – and taking 2nd AG – very cool!! Sounds like everyone is settling in nicely. Good luck with starting to build up mileage. Hopefully the foot cooperates 🙂

  4. Congrats on the race! I’ve always wanted to try snowshoe running, though I have standard snowshoes instead of running ones so I’m not sure how that would work out.

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