Hal Higdon's Winter Training Plan: This is a training plan for runners living in cold-weather areas who can train either indoors or outdoors. But it can be used by runners living in warm-weather climates as well. The program lasts 13 weeks and can be used during a time of the year when runners do need some extra motivation to maintain training, if only because the days are shorter. Lack of sunshine can be as much a downer as ice and snow on the road. Each day you will receive an email message with three segments: 1) an outdoor running workout, 2) an indoor running workout, and 3) information related to many subjects from stretching and strength training to integrating these workouts with your running routine. You pick and choose what to run each day, either indoors or out. For more information on training, visit halhigdon.com.
Outdoors: Welcome to my Winter Training Program. You can use these schedules whether you run outdoors or indoors or some combination of both. You can use them if your winter is cold, or warm. Winter is a time of year, but also a state of mind. For those running outdoors, run an easy 15 minutes today. For those running indoors, use the directions for indoor training below. Fifteen minutes is a relatively short time to run, so use the extra time to do some stretching and strength training.
Indoors: You can run today's workout indoors or outdoors. If you choose to run indoors, run 15 minutes on a treadmill at an easy pace, mainly as a warm-up for the other training you will do in the gym.
If you do your indoor training in a fitness center, hopefully the center offers an indoor pool. Take advantage of it and swim 15 minutes at a very gentle pace. Monday workouts should be easy to recover from the harder work you did on the weekends.
In my Winter Training Program, I have designated Tuesdays as the days you run for a somewhat longer length of time than other days of the week. Equate this to the sorta-long runs in my marathon training programs. Run 45 minutes at an easy pace. Please note that in estimating the miles people using this program might cover, I use 10:00 per mile as the base pace: thus, 45 minutes allows you to run 4.5 miles. If you run slower or faster, make the adjustment.
If you work out in a gym, there may be rules that prevent you from hogging a treadmill for 45 minutes. Or you may upset others waiting to use the 'mill. But there are other aerobic options in most fitness centers, everything from stair machines to indoor bikes.
Wednesdays in my 13-week Winter Training Program are easy days to rest from sorta-long runs on Tuesdays and to prepare to do a faster run on Thursdays. Run for 30 minutes, then head indoors to do some strength training. If you don't belong to a fitness center, push-ups and crunches work quite well to condition your upper body.
Remember: In this Winter Training Program, I am not asking you to do two running workouts a day, one indoors and one outdoors. I offer two separate (but similar) workouts to give you the choice. Some days you may prefer running indoors; some days, outdoors.