{Motivation Monday-Winter Miles Challenge}

Winter Miles Challenge
We all know winter running is a challenge, so why not make a challenge out of it. With snow, ice, wind, and wind chill warnings in my area, we need all the support and encouragement we can get from each other. Run with Jess knows this so she created this amazing challenge that will keep you sticking to your running goals, and give you the chance to win awesome running prizes each week you reach your goal. Click the button on the bottom of my sidebar anytime to get more information or click the link here (http://www.runwithjess.com/2013/12/winter-miles-challenge-2014.html#.Usb6Cij440M).

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The winter miles challenge lets you set your own goal based on your current level of fitness. Maybe you are new to running or just coming back from an injury, then ten miles a week would be a great goal. Maybe you are in ultra marathon running shape and 50 miles a week is your goal. The point is YOU decide how far you want to push yourself during the weeks of January 6th-March 2 (often the most challenging times to stay motivated in the midwest). Sign up to run at least 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 miles a week. Each week you will post your mileage. If you reach your goal you will be entered to win that weeks running related prize. Prizes include things like Yak Traks, compression socks, jewelry, and more!

I signed up last Friday! Will you join me? You have nothing to lose. Come on and let’s run some winter miles with Run with Jess! How to dress for those miles? Check out my post about what to wear on winter runs .

Happy Monday!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 1}


It is only week one so you would think it would be easy peasy to get all of our runs done. Throw in a holiday and some really cold temps and that doesn’t make life so easy. Before I outline our first week training I’ll share a bit about the training plan we are following.

Ryan is following the below plan to gear up to run his first marathon. The plan is not the easiest plan as Ryan has run four half marathons in the past couple years without much training. By not much training I mean running only two longer runs leading up to the halves. It is not an advanced plan by any means either because Ryan’s previous training cycles were not really what I would call training and low in miles. He has never ran this kind of mileage so I do not want him to over do it and risk injuring himself. We are approaching the plan knowing when we get to the upper 30 and 40 mile weeks that we may need to make adjustments to his plan. You do not need to run 40 miles a week to finish a marathon. If your body can handle the mileage though it will usually make you better prepared (i.e. the marathon will be easier–no easy though) and you have a better chance of finishing in less time.
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When choosing a plan be realistic about your past and current fitness level. Choosing a plan that is too high in mileage will leave you injured, burnt out, or both. Choosing a plan that is too easy may not be as rewarding or allow you to see the results you hope to see. More details about training plans can be found in this previous post-Training Plans.

This week we completed the following as our prep begins for the Wisconsin Marathon.

Day 1-Monday (3 miles easy)


Thursday (5 miles easy)
We ran separately this day.

Friday (3 miles easy)




Saturday (8 miles-long run)
Both of us had tight muscles with all the cold weather running. After a few warmup miles (this is important runners) our muscles relaxed a bit. Having temperatures in the low 30’s (wind chills in mid20’s) was like a heat wave. We both overdressed and had to ditch some layers after our first 5 mile loop. The last 3 miles were on a paved trail, which gave our legs a nice finish to our first long run of the marathon training.
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Towards the end of the run Ryan felt hungry. Fueling properly can be one of the biggest learning curves of training for your first long distance race. Once you get more accustomed to running longer distances you will know what to eat, how much, and when. Ryan learned that a small bowl of oatmeal may not be enough before longer runs.  More on fueling right in a future post.
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Bowls of fruit post-run had our hangry selves in a much happier state. Remember, just because you are running more does not mean you can eat everything in sight. Well, I guess you could, but that isn’t going to help things much. Neither of us are training to specifically lose weight, but we each have a few pounds to lose. With proper fueling and training that shouldn’t be a problem.

We missed a 5 mile run this week with our busy schedules and the cold weather, so we made our 3 milers a little longer to make up for it. These are totally excuses, BUT since both Ryan and I increased our mileage a fair amount, we decided this would also be the bet choice to stay injury free.

In the past month I have only been running 15 miles max a week in an effort to rest after a busy November of racing a 5k (PR’d), 5 mile, half marathon (PR’d) and a challenging marathon. Ryan had been running about 15 miles a week on top of lifting at the gym two to three times a week.

Week 1 Total-19.83 miles

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Be sure to dress in layers for cold weather runs.  If you put on too many layers you can always take them off.  When dressed appropriately for winter, running outside in the cold isn’t too bad.  When you don’t wear enough layers your appendages can get very cold (especially your male parts)!

Happy Running!

{Motivation Monday-Winter Running/What to Wear}

if its too cold not a runner
With the weather officially cool in the midwest it is important to dress the part else you may not actually get out the door or last very long once you are out there. Getting out the door is the hardest part. I always tell myself-Go at least a mile. If you want to come back after that, then do so. I’ve never came back yet.

I know from numerous outdoor runs throughout the winter that dressing appropriately helps ensure you have a successful and comfortable run. I love running outside throughout the winter although I was not always big on this. Years ago I didn’t dress appropriately and therefore never went more than a few miles outdoors in the winter. Miles on the treadmill and around an indoor 2OO meter track only hold a person’s interest for so long. After training for my first marathon mostly on a treadmill for the first two months I knew I couldn’t keep doing that forever. It was then that I began to reevaluate winter running outdoors. If I ever wanted to run more than five miles outside, then I’d have to change my attire.
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Modern technology in running attire has made it possible to wear minimal layers and still stay warm. The first mile is always a warming up time and one should expect to be chilled to cold. Once the body warms up though you will be thankful for the lighter layers not holding you down and causing you to get cold from sweat. So how do I dress for winter weather…well, it is extremely individual. As I’ve gotten more experienced as a runner, I’ve found I need fewer layers to stay warm. I find no matter how often I run outdoors in races versus long slower runs, etc I still struggle with exactly what to wear on a run, but I follow these general guidelines for dress:

55 or above=shorts (either Nike Tempo or Lululemon Speed Short) or running skirt (love C9 from Target) and a t-shirt or tank top

45-55=capris (love Nike and love,love Lululemon), t-shirt, and a lightweight long sleeve shirt (love Run Swiftly-Lululemon) that may or may not stay on. Arm warmers are great!

40-45=capris, t-shirt, and a medium weight long sleeve shirt

35-40=pants or running tights (Road Runner Sports has awesome tights), t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and a headband

25-35=running tights, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and light jacket OR
t-shirt and heavy/warm jacket or shirt, hat and gloves

15-25=thermal/thicker running tights (love my Nike thermal tights), t-shirt, thermal/thicker long sleeve shirt, jacket (love Lulu again), hat, and gloves

-15-15=thin running tights with running pants over top, t-shirt, thermal long sleeve, jacket, hat, and gloves/mittens

If it is much below zero, I generally run inside or don’t run. A great website I’ve used to decide how to dress is from Runner’s World-What to Wear.
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Last year I trained for the Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon throughout the Wisconsin winter doing all my runs outside except for my speed work sessions. It is impossible to run fast on slippery and snowy roads and sidewalks, so I brought that workout to the gym on a treadmill. All of my other runs were done outside. My first 20 miler came two days after we got 20 inches of snow and had school cancelled for two days in a row. I still went out dressed appropriately, ran at a slower pace, and put one foot in front of the other. The wipeout that had me sliding on my belly only deterred me for a couple of blocks. Had I worn my Yaktraxs that wouldn’t have happened.
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This year I will be wearing my Yaktraxs fo show. My ankle is still recovering. I only wear heels a few times a week. When I wear them I can feel my ankle hurting although it is not a hurt hurting. It still swells after days on my feet, heel wearing, or after long runs. I am just so grateful it doesn’t really bother me while running.

During the winter months don’t be afraid or frustrated that your pace is slower. Running on snow and ice is similar to running on a beach; your muscles work much harder to maintain your balance. Running a slower pace on a harder terrain can still mean faster on an easier terrain. Take my PR in Arizona as proof. Those of you who live in Cali or elsewhere without snow, ice, and sleet-well just be glad. I will hate you all in February.
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Better yet, let winter be your maintenance miles. Stay in shape and enjoy the holiday treats without the guilt. Run to holiday tunes (a future post coming on that) and the holiday lights. Run for fun. Find a turkey trot or jingle bell run to motivate you.

When dressed appropriately you can run all winter long and enjoy it.

Happy Monday!