Snow or treadmill (Read 1225 times)

    I run an April marathon, and have to train through a mid-west winter.  For the last couple of years I've had someone run through the snow with me (everything but freezing rain), and we've had pretty good luck with respect to finding swept streets.  With our pace up to a minute and a half slower, we justified that it was a harder workout, so it was worthwhile.  Now I'm wondering whether I should just stick to a treadmill this time around, to ensure my speed stays up.  This time around I have Boston, so my care factor is much higher.  I guess a mix of both?  What do you all do?

      I mix it up.  Running while it's snowing can be fun, but if it's slippery out, I'd use the mill for your speed workouts. 

      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

        Mentally I couldn't handle that much treadmill.


        I train outdoors. My guess is that you could get a higher quaility - quality- workout and be more consistant with them on a treadmill. I also believe that running through the snow and muck works additional muscles and could also be beneficial.


        If I could tolerate the treadmill I would most likely use it for my quality workouts but do the majority of my training outdoors.

          I think it's important to get outside on the harder surface as much as possible. Now, if you have a schedule/planned quality day and the weather is absolutely miserable, jump on the TM and get your workout on.  I caution you though about paces on the TM.  It's worthwhile knowing how accurate your TM is and adjusting accordingly.  Also, I know this is an area of debate, but I always like to put mine on at least a 1% or higher incline to be close to running outside.  For me, running on a TM is easier than running outside so I try to run faster paces on the TM. 

          Feeling the growl again

            I mix it up.  Running while it's snowing can be fun, but if it's slippery out, I'd use the mill for your speed workouts. 


            IMHO the increased effort of running the bulk of miles through the winter is a net benefit.  It's really tough to do where I live now as it's windswept plains and the extreme windchill can make it impractical to run a good share of the time, however when I used to be able to do it I found myself feeling very strong and fit in the spring when everything dried out and "unslicked".


            However, such conditions can make it nearly impossible to get in good workouts at the proper speed.  Despite the increased effort, it is also important to get in work at the proper speed and stride length.  I too would recommend some real workouts on the treadmill.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


            A Saucy Wench

              I say do your easy, recovery and long outside, do your quality work on the TM. 

              I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


              "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


                I agree with your mix of both option.  The treadmill to keep your speed up...and the feel of the speed...  Running outside, well, to run outside!  I used to run outside for a good portion of the workout, then come inside and continue running on the treadmill.  Doing so, I could extend my workouts w/o being so bored on the treadmill and so beat-up by the cold.... and more specifically...the wind.

                There is only one acceptable pace...all out suicide...

                ...and today is a good day to die!

                           --  Pre

                  I mix it up.  Running while it's snowing can be fun, but if it's slippery out, I'd use the mill for your speed workouts. 




                  I do all my slow easy mileage outside, but if the roads completely suck I hit the treadmill for the speedwork sessions.


                    Feeling the growl again

                      XC ski!




                      If you have the snow and trails/equipment for it, that's actually a phenominal idea.  While not a direct translation to running, a key point about XC skiing is that you can do 3 hours/day of it just fine.  The boost to your aerobic system from a winter of this is phenominal.  I went from mid-36 10K to low-34 with a winter of this...not 3 hours/day every day, but 1-2 hours 4-5 times a week and a couple runs mixed in there.

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


                        +1 on the bulk outdoor, but tm it if it's slippery.  I've been running outside for the past 3 winters after deciding the treadmill was too boring for me.  However, DON'T be stupid like I was last year and twist your knee on ice.  Still in a brace from that.  Oops. 

                        'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'


                        "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"  - Peter Maher


                        "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis


                          I say do your easy, recovery and long outside, do your quality work on the TM. 



                          You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                          Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                            I only run trail races, so I train mostly on trails - year round outside in Alaska. Depending on snow conditions, I'll either run with/without traction devices or running snowshoes. If we don't have a snow base yet, but the bike paths are clear or during breakup, I'll run on the bike paths. We just play it by ear each year depending upon whether we get snow, ice, mashed potato snow that refuses to form a base, no ice, rain on top of ice. My running plan of choice is to "go with the flow." With Kahtoola microspikes and good snowpack, it's possible to do decent hill workouts. Leg speed can still come on the downhills.


                            If we had a fitness center with decent tm and/or stepmill (escalator)  and it had 10-punch passes, I'd consider getting one for those few rough days. But we don't. And even when we did, I never quite reached the desperation stage of getting one. That said, many years I have taken a supplemental winter xt class (8 sessions for the winter) - about 1 hr of running on floor exercise mats, submax plyos including jumping onto or over mats - forward or sideways - sideways running, backwards, skipping forward and back, carioca, etc. Then 30 min of core / stretching then 30 min of machine ckts (26 stations iirc, with every 3rd station a cardio one, 1 min work, 20 sec change). After class I might do another 20-30 min on tm - while I was warmed up. It was both high end cardio and short, quick running - in a conga-line format, so keep up or get run over or drop out a lap to catch your breath (or puke, as needed). He changed the format a bit (downsized), and I don't do the class anymore (not enough benefits to risk driving on icy roads that early in am).


                            However, I've found I do better with some supplemental work like that rather than just dealing with snow all the time.


                            XC skiing is both good cardio and strength if you are reasonably proficient and do hills with it. Many of our top mountain runners are top xc skiers, including Winter Olympians. Top 2 women at Mt. Marathon (probably most prestigious race in AK) are currently on the World Cup Ski circuit. Running is their 2nd sport.


                            Flip side of this is that Chris Clark trained mostly on tm for marathon OT in 2000, then was the sole US female in Sydney.


                            So mix and match as to what works for you, what you have available and your goals.

                            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog