The Winter Warriors Speed Workout

The Winter Warriors Speed Workout

I’ve lived my entire life in the Midwest, and have found that some of my best runs are in the wintertime. There’s nothing like getting in a hard run during the dead of winter, but before you do, there are a few important things to consider before you do.

Warm It Up First

Numbero uno, it’s important to make sure you’re properly warmed up before you push hard, especially when the temperatures drop below freezing. This can be done by extending the time of your running warmup outside, taking a hot shower before your workout (my fave), or performing a dynamic warmup indoors with your running gear on. Either way, make sure your muscles are toasty before you ask them to run fast in the cold.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

Better to be safe than sorry. On days when the weather is extreme with ice or deep snow, it’s best to take your workouts inside. It will help bridge the gap between hard workouts and, more importantly, allow you to get in a quality run without the risk of pulling a muscle slipping on the terrain.

That said, there is a workout that I love to do this time of year because it keeps things simple and fun. It’s perfect for those that are looking to get in a solid speed interval workout in a safe manner. All you need to complete this workout is about a short, flat stretch of road.

Perform the following workout on a clean, plowed, well-lit, low-traffic, half-mile-ish stretch of road in your neighborhood, or on a path. I’ve even done this in a parking lot as those tend to be plowed first!

The Winter Warriors Speed Workout

Warm up by running easy for 10 minutes and performing dynamic warmup exercises indoors or outdoors. Make a loop out of the half-mile stretch of road to do this. Begin the intervals on one end of the road or path. This will be your starting point for every rep and the finishing point for every recovery period.

Repeat this ladder interval set 1-2 times. (Each set includes 8 minutes of hard running.) Please note: this workout is not geared to first-time runners or folks that haven’t been running for 6-8 months regularly. If you are new to running, build your base first, and then try this fun workout.

How to Perform the Workout

  • From the starting point, run 30 seconds at a hard effort. It’s just beyond your comfortably hard effort. Recover by turning around and walking or jogging back to the starting point. You can walk until you catch your breath and then jog back to the start.
  • The key is to allow your breathing to come back down to an aerobic level where you can talk easily before you start your next interval.
  • From the starting point, run 1 minute at a hard effort, and then walk/jog recover back to the starting point.
  • Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 2 minutes at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 90 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 1 minute at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.
  • Run 30 seconds at a hard effort. Walk/jog to recover.

Cool down with an easy 5-10 minute run.

There are lots of ways to get in quality workouts during the winter, and this one can be a useful tool on the days when the weather and daytime hours aren’t on your side. Although it may seem like it’s a lot of back and forth, it’s actually quite fun to see just how far you can get with every interval and discover what you can get accomplished on a short stretch of road.

Winter Warriors Speed Workout Overview

Warm up: Run easy 5-10 minutes; do a dynamic warmup

Repeat the Following Set: 1-2 times

  • 30 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 1 minute: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 90 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 2 minutes: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 90 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 1 minute: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start
  • 30 seconds: Hard effort, walk/jog back to start

Cooldown: Run easy 5-10 minutes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.