Spring Training

This past week with the dawn of spring and milder temperatures on the horizon I decided to move my training from the ease of controlled pace, limited inclines, and comfortable conditions on the treadmill in the basement to the rural road and the reality of spring potholes, rough gravel, uneven pavement, melting ice, snow, and wind. My first outdoor 4-miler of 2017 is in the books with a time of 46:04 and I am quite happy with this because I didn’t push myself and I didn’t need a walking break – even on the hills.

During my winter training sessions on the treadmill I have gradually improved my endurance by doing 3 or 4 mile runs at least three times a week. Additionally, without focussing on time, I have lowered my pace from over 12 minutes per mile to slightly under 11 minutes. In April, I am planning on increasing my long run to 5 miles and doing 4 miles on the other days. I would also like to improve my pace, but at this point my main focus will remain on endurance.

In other news, this little deer has been hanging out in my backyard for a week or so and this is a solid sign that spring is here.

I am going to sign up for the Miramichi Rock ‘n Roll 10K on June 25, so I have approximately 3 months to get ready.

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Running is not a chore

The second week of training was a slight improvement over the first week, but a solid reminder that I have a long way to go get in shape. Total distance for the week was 13.7 miles. I also decided that I would do 4 runs a week to make it easier to establish a regular routine. Previously I would rarely run two days in a row and opted for every second day but this makes for a messier schedule. However, my plan to run four days didn’t happen in week three and my weekly mileage decreased to just over ten miles.

On non-running days I did yoga, stretching and brisk walking, but these activities are a bit boring, so I need to replace them with something more interesting. I am just not sure what at this point.  Actually, exercise seems like a chore sometimes, something that I don’t want to do but have to do – not exactly  the way I should be feeling after less than a month into 2017. On a positive note, there is snow in the forecast, so I am looking forward to some cross-country skiing this week.

Off to a good start

The first week of 2017 is in the books. I was able to stick to my exercise plan in spite of some cold, wintry weather. I began the year with a 8-mile (about 12 km) cross-country ski excursion on New Year’s Day. It only takes me five minutes on foot to access the off-road trail that travels across New Brunswick. The trail is used by snowmobilers in the winter and ATVs in the other months. It is a great place to bike, run and walk in the summer and a perfect place for cross-country skiing in the winter.

After a longer than expected journey on Sunday, I had sore muscles (especially my upper body – the ones that don’t get a workout from running) and I really wanted to skip training on Monday, but decided that this would not be a good start to the new year. I managed a mere 2.3 miles in 35 minutes. I used Tuesday as a rest day to recover from  skiing. I went to bed early thinking about running. On Wednesday I got up at six and did a 3-mile session (36:31) before breakfast. The next day I did an early morning yoga workout and then shovelled snow for two hours. Yesterday, I did another 3-mile run (35:41), followed by 30 minutes of stretching. I ended the week with an easy  6-mile trek on the trails this afternoon.