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Any marathoners out there?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey all, as Thanksgiving's upon us and there's (finally) some more snow in next week's forcast for Tahoe, I'm needless to say getting pretty jacked about the season.  After battling knee injury and severe drought last season, I'm looking forward to improved health and high probability of improved conditions this year.


That aside, I ran my first timed half-marathon on Sunday and clocked a 1:29:56 running only 15-24 miles a week.  My initial intention was to run this race then focus on the gym for a while to improve my core strength and work on more ski-specific conditioning.  Inevitably the road trips to Kirkwood every weekend, the Starbucks breakfast sandwiches, the 10,000 Coors Lights, Red Bulls and Pop Chips start taking their toll and I develop a nice warm, cozy winter coat.  On good years, I'm getting about 25 days and skiing all day; on bad years, the beers start to outnumber the runs taken.


This year however is different.  I've somehow become additcted to running, a sport I formerly thought reserved for those that stole something or had to run down their next meal.  I'm having a hard time feeling okay with keeping running mileage low, and have signed myself up for the San Francisco Marathon next July (sh--, now I'm committed).  I need to ramp up my mileage to about 30-40 weekly miles through March, historically Tahoe's best snow month.  I will insist on getting my days in all the way through April and have to find balance somehow.


Anyone else here have experience training for a marathon through ski season?  If so, please weigh in on your training program, and how successful you were, both in your race and in your skiing.


Running - WTF?!?!  I never thought it would come to this...

post #2 of 9

Running is awesome. When you get to a certain fitness level and can go a certain distance there's nothing else that gives the same high.


I don't run (much) through winter and use the time to let my bones and joints rest, so I can't really be of help with training programs. I just wanted to give a "hell yeah!"

post #3 of 9

I'm an old guy lucky to do one 3 mile run a month these days.  But I'd say go ahead and mix the running and skiing all you want.  The fitness from running will definitely give you stamina for skiing.  Back in the early-mid 70s I was a collegiate distance runner and used to mix recreational skiing while training and competing during indoor track season.  I also ran X-Country and Outdoor Track.  One Christmas/semester break I ran 6 miles every morning and 6 miles every evening for 3-4 straight weeks. That was fairly close to my year round mileage, but this training was on hilly roads and I would carry a pace of about 7 minutes per mile, sometimes a little slower.  No speed workouts during the break. I was staying in the mtns and skied every day between the two-a-day runs.  About a week after I returned to school we had a meet at the USMA, West Point and I ran a 9:15 in the two mile run.  I wasn't very good compared to most of the guys on the team, but I still shake my head at the hardy ski/run regimen I followed that particular Christmas break, believe this was 1975.  At that point my running was more serious than my skiing.  My coach wasn't real crazy about all the skiing, but didn't care too much as long as I didn't break any bones.  Sorry for the ramble.

post #4 of 9
Since I'm online I figured I would give a "heck yeah", too - you go!!! I used to run and loved it, until my toe vetoed it, and then my back chimed in. . . enjoy it while you can!!! Some can enjoy it late in their years, so hope that's you. . . . !

I think that cross-training (whatever that ends up being for you) will be to your benefit so that you don't overuse your running parts. When I used to do (little) triathlons, I really didn't have time for a really good training schedule - despite that, my strong areas remained strong (biking), and my weaker ones (swimming and running) remained - well, respectable. Mostly I was happy to finish in the middle of the pack. So don't overstress yourself, however you pull off your training - it will all work out. Make sure to have lots of fun, and enjoy!

My niece in Chicago found a runnning group (might have been a Meet-Up group?) to help her train for her marathons. Maybe you can find the same in your locale, and swap training trips.

Good luck!
post #5 of 9

used to run seriously, still running but now not planning any wins. I always find the hardest part in winter is getting the needed mileage. You wind up running in the dark either on uneven ground that is hard to navigate or beside some busy roadways with cars coming up from behind or worse blinding you with headlights. Neither is overly pleasant and easy to have a misstep that could foul up both your running and skiing  When I get days off  I always prefer to ski. However found it works ok to mix the mileage with more indoor training in winter. A good whole body training program will make you a stronger and faster runner, Ramp up your mileage in April after the season. The extra hours of daylight will also be there long before you need to be doing the 12 milers you have plenty of time.

post #6 of 9

Agree with you, noncrazycanuck!!

For cross-training, spinning classes (or your own spinning bike, or your own road bike up on a trainer in the living room!) seem to give the best aerobic workout, closest to running, in my book. You'll build up some killer quads, too!


post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post

 When I get days off  I always prefer to ski. 


Same here. I find that switching up sports along with the seasons keeps everything fresh and exciting. Although I lose some running fitness over the winter I always get it back pretty quickly each spring. Within a few weeks I get back up to my usual 12-16 mile trail runs.


I can't bring myself to run on a treadmill more than 10 minutes, and it seems to only happen in a hotel fitness room if I travel.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the "heck yeah's" I love the stoke factor that is so deeply engrained in winter sports!  Nice to hear everyone's experience with running through the season (James; that's one epic winter break you described!).  


I think I'm going to cut back my mileage after tomorrow's Run To Feed The Hungry 10K (had a goal of going sub-38:00 but decided I'd rather cruise easy as I'm still recovering).  Maybe keep weekly miles at around 20 through February with few or no runs over 10 miles to give my joints a breather.  My new winter routine will also be motivation to swap my typical pre-ski manmosa breakfast (Coors & OJ) with a nutritious one like oatmeal!  Maybe my skiing will benefit too...


Kittygal - definitely good advice on joining a running club; we have a fantastic one here in Oakland (Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders) that only collects $20 annual dues and puts on monthly 5k, 10k, and 15k races on an official course for only 5 bucks!  I've thought about joining for sure.


If I'm finding it hard to keep miles up as I get into March and April (I have no interest in taking running gear to the mountain!), there's an excellent XC trail network at Kirkwood that I could utilize before getting my runs in.  Nothin' like a few hard miles of kick double-pole to get the blood flowing on a crisp morning!

post #9 of 9
So... Not a marathoner, yet a skier who moved to mtns & has been drawn to running! I spent a few seasons racing mostly 5k & then after getting beaten up by ultra buddies- joined the crowd! Bulk of my stuff is technical trail running 5k to 40 mi-ish

FWIW- I think paced trail is perfect for ski training. I've been training / treating for a couple seasons now & would ask what your program looks like now?

More miles are not better- better miles are better!
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