So, we’re one month into 2011 and less than seven months away from towing the line at the start of the Raid the North Extreme. Having set some monthly training goals in preparation for this year’s big event, I thought I’d pause and take stock of how January panned out.
At the beginning of the month, Brent and I decided that we would each shoot for –
-Long rides (40+ miles or 3+ hours) every other week.
-Climbing (2 hours) three times a month.
-Paddling (3+ hours) twice monthly.
-Technical mountain biking (1-2 hours on trails) once a week.
-Core/strength work three times a week.
-Three runs each week.
-Long hikes twice a month.
-Bushwhacking twice a month.
-Night training twice a month.
Looking at it strictly by the numbers, this month didn’t turn out quite as planned.
That pesky back issue prevented me from running and core work for nearly two weeks. There was no paddling or mountain biking or night training to be had. While I found myself off-trail several times, the piles of snow and the sparsely-vegetated woods made for only marginally legitimate bushwhacking. We didn’t begin climbing until the middle of the month and so only got in two sessions for January. And I had no three-hour bike rides.
That said, it actually felt like a pretty successful four weeks of training.
Sure, running was erratic, and the bulk of it took place on the treadmill – but in its place I broke out the snowshoes at least three days each week, contending with snow and cold and hilly trails. And I easily surpassed the twice-a-month hiking quota.
And while there were no long bike rides, I actually got on the bike at least four times each week, far more than I’ve ever regularly ridden before and at a much higher intensity. I rode by time, rather than mileage, since it was all indoors, and I ended up getting in four two-hour rides and half a dozen 1.5-hour outings. Overall, I averaged three legitimate rides per week.
I’m still finding my rhythm with core work and strength training (enjoying the former and fighting through the latter). But after a few months off from either, I’m happily noticing small changes and bits of progress.
Brent’s month was similarly altered, more so by injury (he spent much of the past four weeks fighting plantar fasciitis) than by weather. But he was on the bike five or six times a week, and developed a pretty impressive strength and core routine. I feel lazy just thinking about it.
So what’s in store for February? Probably a fair bit of the same, since there seems to be no end in sight to this cold, snowy winter. Some day we’ll see dirt again, and when that happens, runners beware – Billy the Kid and I are taking the trails by storm!
By the way – stay tuned for an exciting giveaway later on this week. If you’ve been contemplating testing the adventure racing waters, now’s your chance!