Flurry of Activity in a Blizzard

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Training

Here is Nate Jenkins weekly training blog for January 26 to February 1, 2015. For those of you outside of this region, or that just don’t pay attention to your surroundings, we had a blizzard here last week. If you’re curious to see how an elite runner makes lemonade (or perhaps lemon slushy is more appropriate) when Mother Nature forces a bunch of lemons on you, then you’ll want to read this. The snow can be a useful tool to run in, so sometimes you have to ignore the negative about a situation and embrace the positive.


PM Blizzard starting so forced on regular Treadmill at my gym. set at 1% grade, 1/2 mile warm up in 3:30 then 15 miles in 1:24:49 (5:47, 5:46, 5:43, 5:39, 5:39, 5:40, 5:38, 5:40, 5:40, 5:38, 5:40, 5:39, 5:39, 5:36, 5:20) fighting coordination a bit the last mile or so. whole thing felt super easy. total 15.5 miles

XT whartons


Crazy Blizzard all day, 34inches of snow, travel ban, gym closed. I did 35minute run with first 10mins in deep snow on the pond that our house is on. After 10mins it was clear that was more of a workout than I wanted on a recovery day. Call it 5 miles even though it was no where close to that. total 5 miles

XT whartons, YTI, ankle drills


AM On regular treadmill at my gym, 1% grade, 3 mile warm up, with 2 small stretches at 5:00 mile pace. went to bathroom and changed shirts, started workout with 0.25 miles at 8mph up to 10mph then just over .5 miles at 5:05 pace but then the treadmill short circuited, which was not cool. I switched to another treadmill and did the same .025 build up and then 6×2 miles with 1/2 mile recoveries
splits 10:10 (2:53), 10:10 (2:52), 10:10 (2:51), 10:10 (2:50), 10:10 (2:45) 10:00. total of 14.5 miles in 1:15:00 (5:10.3 pace) total 18++

PM deep snow walk with Uta and Melissa about 3 miles good hard work

XT whartons


AM Road 9.2 miles, 62:42, first 4.2 with Uta (the dog) in 29:46, she was tired! total 9+ miles

PM Road 8+ miles solo, 56:21 total 8 miles

XT whartons, YTI


Another small snow storm left roads in the sort of shape that running was doable but working out not so much.

AM on curve treadmill, 20mins warm up then four 15 second strides with 1min jogs between each, then did Moneghetti Fartlek, covered 3.46 miles- this is .21 further than I went on the curve the only other time I have done a Mona on it. The curve is harder than running on regular ground where my mona’s tend to be just a shade under 4 miles, sometimes a shade over. Very happy with this improvement. 15 minute cool down total of 60mins on curve for a bit under 10 miles.

XT whartons, YTI, 10 assisted pull ups.


AM road 8, 53:24, footing a bit sloppy total 8 miles

PM 35mins on curve with 4 strides in the last 5 minutes total bit under 6 miles

XT mid day between the two runs I did a 90minute Bikram yoga class. I have been going to yoga pretty religiously 1 to 4 times a week since the end of 2013. My body was a wreck and I was carrying a half dozen chronic injuries. The Yoga, after 3 or 4 months sort of worked through those. My regular attendance now seems to wipe away all the niggles and really keep my chronic stuff at bay. I haven’t been for a month or so because I was sick and since then my schedule has been CRAZY. I love the yoga and believe 100% I would not be running like I am without it but it has a few major drawbacks. It ain’t cheap! It is like a 2nd gym membership. It is HOT which means it dehydrates you pretty good and that makes it rough on recovery. It can be done after a race, long run or workout but it can be like going through hell to do it on those days so I avoid it. Also it is NOT a good idea to go when you are sick or on antibiotics or any medication that dehydrates you. Also if you haven’t been in a while or are going for the first time it will make you sore. There are no real hard exercises but it is 90minutes of stretching and basic exercises that is a good bit of work. The heat makes it very intense the first few times you go after that you get used to it and you just sweat a lot.


AM 21minute warm up, skipping warm up, light drills, 10 or so strides, all pretty short (60 or 70m) Race Super Sunday 5 mile, 2nd place (Louis Sarafini) 24:41 splits (4:55, 10:00, 14:51, 19:50) I got gapped early and struggled the first 2 and 1/4 miles into the wind, I was able to move a bit after that and went from being about 80 to 100m back at 2.5 miles to getting up to Louis with about 600m to go but I was finished and had zero kick, I mean ZERO. 2 mile cool down total 10 miles

PM road 5+ with Uta and Melissa easy, 39:42 total 5+


95 miles for the week with 3 good workouts and one shit race. I knew that running an a shade under 25 and feeling like crap doing it was a possibility for the race. I have been getting in great shape but other than the Moneghetti fartleks every other friday the other 6 hard sessions are at marathon pace or slower. So I’m very strong but I have little ability to use that strength in anything quicker. I have been pretty good about strides, very good considering the weather and footing, but obviously it has not been enough. Also it was very cold and I was dressed quit heavily. Still all that considered it wasn’t what I had hoped for.

As I said I knew this type of performance was a possibility but I had hoped that with the huge amount of improvements I had made that I would be able to sort of feel the same way but lock in at around 4:50 pace instead of around 5:00 pace and that I would run around 24 flat. I know I’m not in the sort of shape to roll off 4:40 pace. I’ve never been that fit without a decent amount of specific work.

I have mixed feelings about how to react to this race. Part of me says screw it. I’m not training to race fast right now I’m trying to get good at running 5:05 to 5:10 pace. Part of me says I should mix in a 2nd faster workout, 5k to half marathon pace, in my two week cycles. This is not easy to do this time of year- track is not clear, my gym has a 160m flat indoor track but I’m not keen on doing too much volume on that and I’m not sure they are too keen on me running 70second 400m pace zig zagging through the walking 60 something ladies. There are not a lot of flat areas on the roads around me but I have found a culd-a-sac that is pretty flat and close to 800m so I may be able to use that.

The reasoning for wanting to do more speed is simple. I have made huge improvements in strength and I have gone from thinking that a best case scenario would be getting into shape to hope and run around 5:05 to 5:10 per mile in perfect conditions. Now with the huge jumps in aerobic endurance which I thought would take much longer I have the idea that a bigger jump is possible. However if I haven’t done any work on the faster end it will be very hard to get efficient at the faster pace.

So I have a bit to think about and a couple more snow storms to fight this week. I am super pumped about my aerobic development, my endurance improvements and my specific work. I am not happy with my race. I’m not happy with my speed endurance and I am not happy with my efficiency at faster speeds.

The race Nate mentioned was the Super Sunday 5k, which was won by Louis Serafini in 24:26. Nate was a close second in 24:31. Be sure to follow Nate’s training log more regularly, and be on the lookout for his contributions to the Level Renner magazine!

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