When I first came to LA, the most frequently asked question I got was “why did you move to LA”? My standard answer was “I moved for the weather”. Oddly enough most people didn’t get it, until I reminded them how exhausting Chicago winters can be…especially if you are a runner. Yes, my main motivation for moving across the country was to be able to comfortably train and run races all year long.
Now that it is December and winter has finally arrived in LA, I must make good on that rationale. After a few weeks off, and a move to a new neighborhood it’s time to get my rear in gear and start training again.
Even though it is LA and winter running here is soooo much better than winter running in Chicago, it still can be a struggle some days to put on the shoes and head out the door. Dark mornings, cool temps and gloomy skies have provided not so great excuses to skip runs and extend my recovery time. Which means it’s time to dig into the running toolbox, and use the tips and tricks to get myself out the door. Yes, I realize the irony, when only a year ago I would get out to meet a friend to run on 20 degree days with no issues.
First up: Pick a race…. actually pick 3. Yep, I signed up for a half marathon, then another, then another, all within 3 weeks of each other. (They are all road races, but it is base training for a late spring, early summer trail running series) January 29th Phoenix Women’s Half, February 5th Surf City Half and February 19th Palm Desert Half. I find having a race to train for, gives me the motivation I need to run consistently in the winter. I am super excited for the Phoenix half, because I will be meeting up with a large group of Oiselle ladies and a leadership meeting. I am running the other two as a Bib Rave Pro, so you will hear more about those events in the coming weeks. (Yeah for so many racing options in winter)
Second tip: Great gear. Yes, even though I am running in Socal, I still run first thing in the morning when the ocean front temps are chilly. This year I stocked up on Oiselle long sleeve base layers and will occasionally add a jacket to layer. I find layering works well, so I can peel off as my body warms up.
Third tip: Recovery tools. Seriously kids…proper recovery is the key. I have committed to properly stretching and rolling out the tired muscles this training season. I am the first to admit I get lazy with that, but it really does make my recovery time so much better so that I can get back out the next day without legs that feel like lead. In the warm months I love ice baths after a long run, but this winter I am going to try Epsom salts. I received Epsoak to try, so stay tuned on how that goes.
Fourth tip: Journal the process. I have been a bit of a slacker on this as well in the past, but I am determined to record running experience each day. I use Strava to record my mileage, but I need more details, because I can never remember the "run". I will note how the workout went, my hydration & nutrition and the actual experience (was I tired, did I hit my marks,etc) I just got the new training journal from I Believe called Compete and boy it is filled with goodness. My intention is to use this spring training as base building for spring/summer trail racing and more significant fall races. I hope the journaling will give me more detail on what worked and what didn’t. I also plan to hire the coaching services of Ekiden again and I will also use this journaling time to record notes and tips I learn.
Training officially kicks off for me this week, and with that so will the blogging. . I will share my weekly runs and the base work I am doing to begin trail racing again. I have big goals for 2017 and with lots of hard work I will check them off one by one.