While winter is traditionally a time of slow base-building, it is possible to do intense speedwork in cold and snowy conditions; in fact, doing so can give you an edge when the spring racing season arrives. But don’t just repeat your warm-weather workouts– Runner’s World recommends making the following adjustments to reap the most from wintertime efforts (no shoveling required).
Ease Into Speed Even after a vigorous warm-up, your muscles will be cooler than usual, which raises your injury risk. Start with a tempo run of 10 to 20 minutes, or several long intervals of 5:00 or more, and gradually transition to shorter, faster repeats. Save all-out efforts for last, when your body temp is highest.
Think Effort, Not Pace When conditions force you to run on roads rather than the track, lose the watch. Knowing your pace can be demoralizing, thanks to slippery footing and/or your seven layers of clothing. So, for example, if your plan calls for 800-meter intervals at 5-K race pace, aim to run a 5-K race effort instead. And don’t fret about the exact distance: If you’re within 10 percent, you’re fine.