I am now several months into my newest experiment of high mileage. And now I remember why I’ve never run 70+ miles per week over the winter before: it freaking sucks!! I have been averaging about 80mpw for the last 10 weeks, and it has become progressively more difficult as winter lingers on and on. It’s not just that it’s dark out when I leave work, or that it’s cold. The main thing getting to me now is the lack of traction on the snow and slush. This is irritating at most when running 40 easy miles per week, but when I’m running an average of 12 miles per day, and trying to get in quality workouts, it becomes downright dangerous.

11/24/2014 – 11/30/2014 80.50
12/1/2014 – 12/7/2014 82.30
12/8/2014 – 12/14/2014 73.40
12/15/2014 – 12/21/2014 81.60
12/22/2014 – 12/28/2014 73.50
12/29/2014 – 01/04/2015 91.70
01/05/2105 – 01/11/2015 80.30
01/12/2015 – 01/18/2015 76.30
01/19/2015 – 01/25/2015 84.30
01/26/2015 – 02/01/2105 63.20
02/02/2015 – 02/08/2015 70.00

Case in point: about a month ago, my right hamstring started to tighten up. I have had chronically tight hamstrings for as long as I can remember, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. But one day, Chad Byler and I ran a 5-mile tempo run at 5:50 pace on the canal, which was covered in packed snow and ice. While the workout itself felt good, I could barely walk the next few days because my hamstring was so painful. I found that easy jogging loosened it up, though, so I kept running and saw my massage therapist Debbie Fenton at Canalside Therapeutic Massage as well my ART guy, Dr. Reinhardt.

It felt better a week later, so Chad and I did another workout; a 6-mile tempo around the streets of Fairport. Again, I could barely walk the next day. So, I have resigned myself to easy jogging for the next few weeks until I feel able to start introducing faster running again. Also, knowing that running on snow and ice aggravates the hamstring, I did something that I am frankly quite ashamed of. Ashlie and I bought a treadmill. It pains me just to type that, but I have to be honest and realize that if I want to run at a high level over winter, I have to resign myself to hopping on the treadmill for at least some of my runs, and having one at the house gives me more opportunities to do that.

There is some relief in sight, however, Ashlie and I will be heading down to Texas to run the Austin Marathon and get away from this arctic wind tunnel known as Rochester. I am not racing it however, and just using it as a long run so that I can continue to training geared towards breaking 16 minutes in the 5K.

Categories: Matt's Blog

1 Comment

Doug · February 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

I hear you! I am struggling to get to 25 miles a week. I have only 20 miles this month on 2/10. I will have to get out the rest of the month because I don't want my streak of 100 miles/month to end. Enjoy Austin! I won't be too envious … OK, maybe yes.

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