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Coach’s Corner: Reader Q&A, Keeping Your Sanity In Check While Training

Posted Apr 21 2010 12:00am

The Question:

Sent via twitter – We’re getting ten days of rain, sleet and snow forecasted. Trying to train for a marathon keep my sanity in check. Ideas?

Coach’s Corner Says: When it comes to marathon training and bad weather, balance and quality are the keys. You want to preserve your current fitness while still building through a training plan towards your racing goals despite the weather. Bad weather does not have to negatively impact your fitness, it may actually result in increased strength, freshness of mind and overall endurance if a few factors are taken into account.

If the weather is really bad for a consistent period of time, TAKE A FEW FLYERS. This means don’t torture yourself on the shorter weekly runs and intervals. Pick a day or two per week and head inside. Incorporate a interval spin class follow by a 10-20 minute run on a treadmill (with at least 3.0 grade!!!). The spin will increase endurance and allow you to stay fresh while also out of the elements.

You can also choose to do a few runs on the treadmill instead of going outside. This is great for interval work that would otherwise be torturous in the wet and slop. This can be done by simulating hills using the elevation or speed work with pickups. Don’t get hung up on the pace of the treadmill as it translates to your outdoor pace. Trying to go really fast on a treadmill is miserable and very awkward. Instead, use a heart rate monitor to simulate your target heart rate zones using elevation to decrease your actual pace while maintaining the proper heart rate. The is great for speed and always keeping elevation up to 3.0 or greater will really take stress and pounding off your joints, which is another great benefit.

If you do decide to do a long run on the treadmill, make sure you hydrate well and don’t hesitate to throw in another few minutes on the bike or other machines in the middle of your workout just to refresh the mind and trick you mental and physical state for a bit to pass the time.

Put a towel over the time, hydrate and throw on the iPod to also help pass the time.

Coach Junior

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