Flexibility in Training

As I kick off Phoenix marathon training tomorrow, I’m reminded “Flexibility is key.”  This is true with marathon training in general, but it is even more important when training for a marathon in the winter months in Minnesota.  How so?

  • Extreme cold temps sometimes make outdoor speed work prohibitive.  So you need to have back up options.  Move it indoors to a track or the treadmill (boo!).  Flip flop workouts around, based on forecast for the week.
  • Ice and snow also throw a wrench in outdoor speedy stuff.  I will generally do all my easy runs and even tempo and marathon pace outdoors all winter long.  But if I’m doing speedy intervals and it’s icy, I need to be prepared with a back up plan (moving it indoors or switching days).
  • Flexibility with time of day to get the workout in is also necessary in the winter months.  Even though I prefer most of my running early in the morning, if its a workout where I need daylight (in order to see to avoid icy spots, for example), then I sometimes need to wait til the sun is up to run.  I’m lucky that I’m my own boss and can get up early and work from home and then run when the sun comes up and head in to work later.  One of the benefits of being my own boss!
  • Even when temps and ice don’t interfere without door running, the location of outdoor speed work in the winter usually needs to be changed because highschool tracks are full of snow.  So most of my outdoor interval stuff in the winter is on the road, instead of a track.


I’m super excited to kick off Phoenix training tomorrow.  And a tiny bit of this flexibility will be in order because day number one calls for intervals and the temp in the morning will be 19.  Still warm enough to do the workout outdoors, but I’ll need to layer up.  Can’t wait!

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