Sunday, January 25, 2015


Here we go.

Five inches of snow fell on Friday evening. A ''clipper," a fast-moving snowy system, will dump a few more inches this evening, and then a significant Northeast storm is scheduled to hit on Tuesday and Wednesday.After that, a bitter blast of cold air will envelop us for the rest of the week.

Winter, with all it's fury, is here.

What's a runner to do?

Go long!

Today, in balmy 36 degree temperatures I slogged out an 8-miler, still shaking out the soreness from last week's Charleston Half Marathon. Next weekend, on dry land or on snow-covered roads, I will run a 10 to 12 miler.

Winter is the time to grind out the long miles. There are two key elements to racking up big winter numbers: First, pick a safe route. Don't be afraid to loop and loop and loop if necessary. If you find a safe, dry route, stick with it. Next, be sure to dress properly. You know the drill. Don't overdress, as your body's furnace heats up rapidly. On the days when the wind is so strong it forces you to hurdle trash can lids, choose an out and back route, with the wind at your back coming home. Shed clothing along the way if you have to.

Throughout my career, I have consistently logged more miles in January than in June.

Use these next few weeks to build a good distance base for spring races. Don't worry about breaking speed records; rather, grind it out, accept the dreadful conditions, and go, adding up the big miles each week. For the most part, you're not racing as much, so you don't have to taper. And, psychologically, after a few weeks of this, you'll be more than ready to go to the track, or enter races in order to go fast again. And, the miles you have recorded now will pay big dividends in March, April, and May.

So, chill out. (oh man, awful choice of words), relax, accept the inevitable, and safely pile up the miles, as the snow piles up around us.

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