Looks like I changed my training plan just in time. The weather turned from really nice fall days to snow today. No accumulation here in the valley, but the local mountains are white. Yeehaw! (I think).

This is the first week of my winter training plan. Well, October through December, anyway, beginning this last week of Sept and first week of October. I’m simply scheduling a morning bike trainer ride and a 5 or 6 mile run at lunch EVERY DAY. This requires me to get to bed at 9:30pm instead of after midnight, and then I have to get up at 0500. I was successful the first three days (Mon, Tues, and today)! We’ll see if it continues, but I feel good about.

The morning bike trainer is just 30 minutes right now, and it’s more of a matter of getting up and then simply doing a little something to get used to getting up. The bike isn’t boring…yet. Intensity level is low, with heart rate around 120. It’s amazing how much you can begin to sweat when you’re not really working hard but don’t have any wind to evaporate the sweat. I actually drink coffee during this workout to make sure I don’t get into a higher effort level than I want. I’ll up this bike trainer time to 60-90 minutes as time goes by and I get used to the volume.

The lunch run is the same as I’ve been doing all summer, but I’m lowering the effort level to 8:15 miles or so, about a 6 out 10 effort level, with a 10 being race effort and 4 being a little jog. I want to hit 24 miles per week, which is four six-mile runs or five five-mile runs each week. The focus is on consistency and not effort level. I’m going with the theory at least until December that consistency at a moderate effort level can increase your overall speed, and I’m also working on getting my run cadence up to 84 instead of 80, which actually takes alot of mental focus. Running at lunch in the cold and/or snow is something I can deal with, but cold and wet means I’ll head to the gym and get on the elliptical. It’s nice that home, work, and the gym are all within a mile of each other.

I feel good about this plan / philosophy so far, but I’m only on my third day. I found in the first three weeks of September that consistent running with moderate effort can be effective because I noticed myself running a bit faster with the same effort level.

In any case, I’ll continue with this and evaluate it after three weeks. I’ll assume I can continue getting up in the morning! When the bike trainer time gets up past 60 minutes, I think I’ll cut that time back a bit and head to the pool when it opens at 0600 to get a short swim in and be back at 0640 so I can watch little Paul (not so little anymore, btw!) while Tera works out.

Lifting weights will get thrown into the mix somewhere along the line, too, but I’m not sure where. Maybe 60 minute bikes followed by 30 minute swims on Tues and Thurs and then lifting weights for 30 minutes on Mon, Wed, Fri. I have a quick lifting routine that will fit into that time frame nicely.

All in all, I think I’m happy with this plan and where it should get me at the end of December.