Friday, March 1, 2013

Make it up or let it go?

I have a weekly training schedule that works for me, and I bet you have something of the sort as well. It's the best way for me to fit in the 6 runs, 4 swims, 3-4 cycling workouts and 4 strength sessions I try to get done every week - partly dictated by my working hours, partly dictated by available lane swim times, it all just flows.

Like this creek through a local golf course, shot on a sunny run last Saturday.

This week we had a nasty storm that started Tuesday on our way home from work. It began with ice pellets and freezing rain, stripping away all traction on the roads around my home. I usually do a middle-distance run (8-10k) and hit the pool for a shorter, drill-oriented swim on Tuesday nights, but that wasn't happening this week. There are very few conditions in which I won't run outside, but freezing rain and ice pellets are two of them: besides obvious injury risk from slipping and falling I find it nearly impossible to keep that crap out of my eyes, and the combination of compromised vision and lack of grip (for both me and vehicles) is just beyond my safety tolerances. The only treadmill to which I have access is 13km away at the recreation centre where I swim, and frankly the idea of driving anywhere on icy roads sounded almost as stupid as going for a run, so I had to bag both workouts.

Yet I'd been able to run in a single layer on dry roads Monday night!

Rather than taking the night off completely, I hopped on the trainer. With Steaming Nostril less than 4 weeks away and cycling's low impact nature, I was better off getting in an extra workout than just opting for complete rest despite having done a tough bike workout (2 x 20mins all-out) the day before. It was a different kind of session (7 minute pyramids: start in a relatively easy gear and increase gearing every 60 seconds for 4mins, then decrease gear every 60 seconds for 3mins, spinning easy for 3mins between each pyramid), so the training adaptation would be different than the previous day's workout. 

Not nearly as much fun as riding to the market in sleet on Saturday, though.

We didn't end up going in to work on Wednesday, as the roads were covered in better than half a foot of heavy, wet, slushy snow. Our street wasn't plowed out until 2:30pm, and what fell was useless for nordic skiing or snowshoeing, so I decided to do a double run day instead. With the Mississauga Half Marathon approaching, I'm trying to keep my mileage higher than previous winters so I might actually be ready for a race. I put in a little over 9km around 4pm, splashing around in the slush and reveling in the clear sections of road and sidewalk I could find. I cracked this one out at a snappy pace regardless - the day off running had my legs feeling great.

I had a little pile of sleet on my hat when I finished (this was partway through).
I considered going to the pool, which would make up the workout that I'd missed Tuesday evening, but instead I hopped on the trainer for an easy 30min spin to warm my legs back up before heading out for a second run at around 9:30pm. The sleet had turned to snow again, but the roads were still a slushy mess so I took it slow and easy.

Still just barely above freezing, though, so knickers it was!

Since Wednesdays are now my short, easy run & short, easy ride day, I'd done my regular Wednesday workouts and made up for Tuesday's missed run. Since it's still a long way until the first tri of the year, I am able to simply let the missed swim go. As a bonus, I got an extra bike workout in that should pay off before the end of this month! Even my extreme training OCD can't argue with that.

When deciding whether to make up a workout or simply pass it by, consider how the session fits in the context of your whole season. Once missed training session will not make or break your race, and sometimes you'll benefit from shaking up your good old routine. While being in a groove can be a good thing, you don't want to get stuck in a rut!

Bonus shot from our way in to work on Thursday - back to the winter wonderland!

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