The snow and the cold, especially after being in Mexico, have really been really bringing my outdoor running down. As in, I basically went on an "outdoor running strike," fearing (perhaps irrationally) injury due to running on the snow and ice.
So my last two long runs have been on the treadmill at the gym.
Yes, fifteen and seventeen miles - on the treadmill.
I trained for my first half marathon last winter/spring entirely on the treadmill, so I am not unfamiliar with this torture. (Although then the most I ran was twelve miles on it.)
Basically, you have to go into it with a good attitude, like any run. Tell yourself you can do it. Bring water, music, a book, GU, whatever you need to get through a long run, assemble it all on your treadmill, and get settled in for your run.
Tell yourself how lovely it is that you are not in the cold, jumping over icy patches on the sidewalks and bundled up in a ridiculous amount of clothing.
Remember that some (all?) machines will automatically go into "cool-down" mode after sixty minutes, so you'll have to find keep track of your mileage and start it over when that happens. I ended up just running six miles and then starting it over (twice) before it automatically shut down so I didn't have to try to remember a random number.
Either be motivated by all the numbers staring you in the face...or cover them up with a book/magazine/towel. I personally like seeing my pace (I don't own a fancy running watch) so that is the one highlight for me being on the treadmill. Still doesn't exactly help me know what my pace will be during the marathon, but I was able to find a pace that felt comfortable enough that I think I could run 26.2 in. I am only assuming it is close to what I am running when I am running outside.
Overall, my treadmill run went fine. I had woken up with soreness in my right quadricep so I noticed that at first, but soon that pain was overshadowed by a dull pain in my left knee. At ten miles I was a bit worried and decided I wouldn't try to push it in the last half of my run, when I would typically try to sprint toward the end. I have never had a true injury from running, so I am crossing my fingers nothing crazy happens before the race!!!
My legs were VERY sore after this run, as they were the last time I attempted seventeen miles, so I did a hot Epsom salt bath with eucalyptus essential oil added and that seemed to help. Anyone other runners do this? I decided I would prefer it over an ice bath. Again, I am completely over all things cold.
Last week's training...Sunday: Recovery! The day before I did a 15 mile treadmill run at presumed race pace (8:30 - 9:00 miles is my goal for the marathon...hopefully a bit faster!?)
Monday: 10 minute intense lower ab workout and this hip opening seated yoga sequence during naps; PM gym - light cardio
Tuesday: PM gym - 5.5 mile Fartlek on the treadmill that I just kinda made up on the fly. Ranged from a 9:00 pace to a 7:00 pace. Can I just say, I LOVE Fartleks???
Wednesday: no workouts. Hate to say it, but I give the "monthly" excuse!!! Just wanted to eat chocolate and potato chips and hide...
Thursday: this 10 minute ab workout and this Miranda Kerr butt workout during naps
Friday: AM yoga class
Saturday: 17 mile run (treadmill!) at race pace.
This week I am going to really concentrate on doing more yoga! My once-a-week one hour long practice on Friday mornings is wonderful, but I really want to work even more on poses that could help with my running...and opening up my hips, which are always tight. It's sad.
So my challenge to myself is to practice each of these poses every day -- any other runners with me on this? I love yoga and do believe it can help me in my running, as it has helped me mentally in everyday life, and physically in preparing for my labor with Finola. So this week I will be more intentional to work a bit of yoga into every day's training.
Anyway, hurray for warm weather happening this week - finally! I am looking forward to a long outdoor run this weekend!!!