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An Outdoor Speed Workout for Wintry Conditions  ⛄

This interval run can be done when road and weather conditions are unfavorable.
There’s nothing like getting in a hard, fast workout outdoors in the dead of winter, but there are a few things to consider before you do.

Really Warm Up. It’s important to make sure you’re properly warmed up before you push hard, especially when the temperatures drop below freezing. This can be done by extending the time of your running warmup outside, taking a hot shower before your workout, or performing a dynamic warmup indoors with your running gear on. Either way, make sure your muscles are toasty before you ask them to run fast in the cold.

Think twice. On days when the weather is extreme with ice or deep snow, it’s a wise idea to take your workouts inside. It will help bridge the gap between hard workouts and, more importantly, allow you to get in a quality run without the risk of pulling a muscle slipping on the terrain.

That said, there is a workout that I love to do this time of year because it keeps things simple and fun. It’s perfect for those that are looking to get in a solid speed interval workout in a safe manner. All you need to complete this workout is about a short, flat stretch of road.

Coach Jenny’s Winter Wonderland Interval Workout

Perform the following workout on a clean, plowed, well-lit, low-traffic, half-mile-ish stretch of road in your neighborhood, a large parking lot, or on a path.

Warm up by running easy for 10 minutes and performing dynamic warmup exercises indoors or outdoors. Make a loop out of the half-mile stretch of road to do this.
Begin the intervals on one end of the road. This will be your starting point for every rep and the finishing point for every recovery period.
Repeat this ladder interval set 1-2 times. (Each set includes 8 minutes of hard running.)
From the starting point, run 30 seconds at a hard effort. (That means a pace where you aren’t able to speak, but can still control your form. It’s somewhere between comfortably hard and an all-out sprint effort.)
Recover by turning around and walking or jogging back to the starting point. You can walk until you catch your breath and then jog back to the start. The key is to allow your breathing to come back down to an aerobic level where you can talk easily before your start your next interval.
From the starting point, run 1 minute at a hard effort, and then walk/jog recover back to the starting point.
Then Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
Run 2 minutes at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
Run 1 minute at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
Run 30 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
Cool down with an easy 5-10 minute run.
There are lots of ways to get in quality workouts during the winter, and this one can be a useful tool on the days when the weather and daytime hours aren’t on your side. Although it may seem like it’s a lot of back and forth, it’s actually quite fun to see just how far you can get with every interval and discover what you can get accomplished on a short stretch of road.

An abbreviated, easier-to-read version looks like this:

Warm up: Run easy 5-10 minutes; do a dynamic warmup
Repeat the Following Set: 1-2 times
30 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
1 minute: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
90 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
2 minutes: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
90 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
1 minute: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
30 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
Cool down: Run easy 5-10 minutes.

Source: An Outdoor Speed Workout for Wintry Conditions  ⛄

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