Just as long runs, tempo runs and speed workouts are all necessary components in any training schedule, so is the occasional rest week. Brief time outs are necessary to give your body - and mind - a break from the rigors of training.
Since I just raced the Haunted Hustle half marathon, the timing is right for a mini break. This week, I'm limiting myself to two 4-6 mile easy runs, one strength training session and boot camp class.
Winter training plan
During this bit of downtime, I'm writing my training plan for the upcoming months. This plan includes:
Running 40 miles/week - I want to get used to running 40 miles per week this winter so once spring hits, I can increase to 45 and eventually 50 miles/week. Every fourth week I'll cut mileage by 20 percent to 32 miles/week.
One rest day/week - Up until now I've taken two rest days/week. Decreasing to one is mainly an attempt to avoid double workout days during the winter months.
Track workouts - When the weather is freezing and icy and a treadmill workout less than appealing, an indoor track workout is a great option. Also, the indoor marathon relay I'm doing in January is at the Pettit National Ice Center so I want to get used to running on that track.
Combo workouts - If you must hit the treadmill, a challenging combo workout can make time fly. My current workout includes a one mile warm up, 4-6 strides, 2 miles at half marathon race pace, half mile recovery, 2-4 800m repeats at 7:00 mile pace, 4-8 400m repeats at 6:30 mile pace, one mile cool down. This workout can also be varied a bit by swapping in hill intervals for either the 800m or 400m repeats.
Long runs - I won't do another longer race until spring, but I want to keep my fitness up. Long runs this winter will cap out around 10 miles.
Tempo runs - Every four weeks, I'm planning to add an extra mile to my tempo runs.
So now that you know what I'm planning to do this winter, I want to know: What will your winter training plan include?