10 degrees… 10 inches of snow… Let’s go SWIMMIN’!!

dreadmillNothing like 8-10 inches of snow to ruin your groove.  I don’t have a trainer or treadmill at home so, short of another snow shoveling session I’m pretty much screwed.  Looks like today will be an off day unless I can dig out and get to the pool.

I had both a treadmill and a bike trainer for a while.  When I first bought the treadmill I used it diligently.  However that was when a “long run” was 3 miles.  The longer that run got, the more mind numbing and dizzying the treadmill got.  I grew to really hate the treadmill and would now rather run 10 miles in a blizzard or thunderstorm than 1 mile on a treadmill.  Nothing against them as machines… It’s just a personal preference.  If you can stand being on one, go for it.  Run some for me.  I’ll be outside.

Same goes for the bike trainer.  I think my biggest problem with the bike trainer was that mine, even though it was supposed to be a good one, never worked right.  It was quiet and smooth, but it developed a vibration when it warmed up that was really annoying and the adjustments to make it harder to pedal never worked.  I only found this out when I got on one that actually did work right.  For instance, I could never stand to climb or sprint because I couldn’t get enough resistance, even in the big gears..  So, unless I wanted to just do an easy spin the trainer was pretty much useless.  I might ride one again if I had one that worked right, but I’m several hundred dollars away from that reality.

Everybody trains different.  I know some people that can spend half a day on a trainer or run 2 hours on a treadmill.  I would jump out the closest window if I had to do that.  And in reality, even in the heart of Missouri in winter, I probably only “lose” about 10 days a year to bad weather that locks me into the house (like today).  I just don’t know if I can justify the expense, maintenance and storage of training devices for 10 days a year.  For me, that money is better spent on a gym membership.  Because that cuts those “lost” days about in half, they maintain all the equipment, have an indoor track and a pool (that I don’t have to clean).  Since I like variety in my training this gives me more options.

Another part of my training philosophy is that you train for the environment you race in.  I’ve never run a triathlon on a treadmill.  So, for the most part, I train outside even in bad weather.  I HAVE run a 10 mile trail race in the snow and been caught it 2 severe thunderstorms during triathlons.  Wind, waves, heat, cold (within reason) are all a part of the experience.  Granted, there are extremes (-20 wind chill comes to mind), but I would rather have experienced at least SOME of those conditions before racing in them.  That’s not to say that I seek out severe thunderstorms and then run in them, but if one comes along during a run…

So given that, would I run in 10 inches of snow in a race?  If I was there… and the race was still on (like a trail race?)… Yup.  I’ve learned several things in my snow runs this year.  Placement of screws in my shoes is critical, foot placement is important, but body position and balance is WAY more important.  One of the most critical clothing choices is something with POCKETS to carry things like sunglasses when they fog up too much, since seeing the trail is kinda important… 🙂

And before you go calling me a hypocrite because one of my previous posts bitched about extreme conditions, yes, I have my limits.  But while I may complain about it being too hot, cold, humid, muddy, etc.  I will usually go.  I draw the line when the weather man calls conditions “life threatening”.  These conditions are exactly the reason I pay that gym membership.  However,  when I am motivated and training (two key words), I rarely miss a workout opportunity.  And for the first time in a long time I am motivated and training.  My family should be happy about this as well since it is also what “motivates” me to shovel the driveway in 10 degree temps and 20mph winds so I can “GET” to the gym…

Ah, and the snowplows just came by and built up a 2 foot berm of ice and snow across my driveway.  Looks like my first workout of the day just got a little tougher…


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