One neighbor went nuts with a snow blower! Most of this side of the street was clear.
This winter has been colder and snowier than typical for a large portion of North America. In Central Ohio, our total snowfall is more than 9 inches above average already! And the sub-zero days and icy sidewalks can make training nearly impossible.
So what is a marathon walker to do?
If, like me, you don’t many indoor options, you know walking outside can be challenging. I will walk outside in single digits, but not if it is below zero. Ice scares me. Our local malls don’t encourage walkers like they used to. (I could probably still walk at a mall if I wanted to.) The Buckeye Striders walk at the community center when it is too bad on Saturday mornings, but I don’t want to pay $4.50 every time I need to walk.
First, you need to be flexible. Your training may have to be rearranged based on what is realistic. If the sidewalks or trails are clear one day, make that your speed day. If the sidewalks are snow covered, walking at an easy pace could be a better choice. If the snow is deep, wear boots. If the trails or sidewalks are icy, it might be best to skip it entirely and make it a rest day, find a way to go inside, or cross train.
This week I was lucky that Monday the sidewalks were fairly clear and temperatures were reasonable. I did an 8 X 400 speed workout. My first speed workout in a long time.
Today I was scheduled for 45 min. of easy walking. Our county was under a Level 2 snow emergency. So I bundled up in several layers, wore winter boots and walked — very slowly. About half of our sidewalks were covered with several inches of snow coated with an icy crust, making walking tough. (On one street, a neighbor with a snow blower went a little crazy! Nice!) I was so slow, I actually ended up walking 53 min. by the time I turned back home.
Later this week I have mile repeats scheduled and my long slow day is 6 miles. Whether I can do either of those will depend entirely on the weather. But even if I can’t do the schedule exactly as written, if I’m flexible, I’m confident I’ll be ready for a half marathon in April. (300)