Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Strength for Spring Speed

Winter is definitely not the easiest time to motivate yourself to run, there are countless excuses to skip a training day. The upside to winter training is that the conditions and piles of clothing force us to slow our pace a little and focus on the strength portion of our training. Giant leaps forward can be made by just taking that first step out the door. Having a variety of footwear ready to go helps as well. I keep a couple pairs of Brooks Cascadias  in the winter rotation of shoes, one pair has 8 screws per shoe ,one pair 16 depending on just how bad the trail conditions are. Also this year my wonderful wife and sister bought me a pair of snowshoes which means I can continue to run trails as long as it doesn't turn into a pot holed icy mess which lucky for me has only happened twice so far this year.
Snow shoe run, first tracks on the hill
               Pick a spring race to have a goal and enjoy the trials of winter running,the results are guaranteed to pay off with increases in speed this spring. As an added bonus your going to see some beautiful winter scenery that everyone stuck in front of their television are going to miss for sure.
If that's still not enough to get out try Gu Energy's new Salted Caramel Gel, tastes so good its like having a forbidden dessert on your run.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

   If nothing else running has taught me absolutely nothing is impossible, if you decide to do something and follow that decision with a lot of effort sometimes you achieve things you never imagined.
  December 24th I received an email from Gu Energy informing me I had been accepted into the 2014 Gu Energy Pro program, an amazing opportunity for someone who consumes gels at the rate I do. Had you told me when I started running as an overweight ex-smoker that I'd be receiving endorsements to do something I love I probably would have laughed at you. I remember like it was yesterday the feeling at the end of one of my first runs over 30 km, the group had turned left to add on a couple extra kilometres  and I was in a very basic survival mode just trying to keep up a steady movement on the quickest route back to my car. Today I ran that route just for fun and added on the couple extra while picking up the pace for the last 5k, tomorrow I'll repeat it again as I start to ramp up distance to build for another year of racing.
   I took some time to relax after the Road to Hope Marathon and let things heal up again as the speed work right after the Haliburton Forest 100 left me feeling pretty sore. I took the time to go out for a couple group runs with some amazing people I have met through the Ultra community and am feeling inspired to start training again. This year will be a very similar training plan to last year with the exception of some speed work on the new treadmill, I never thought I would enjoy this but after a month of having it I can appreciate the time savings of being able to incorporate speed work and laundry into the same hours of the day.
That's it for now, wishing everyone a happy new year and may your first step out the door come easy.