How to 1/2 marathon train in the winter? Cross Train

Holy moley – it’s been a whirlwind of a couple months, busy with ½ marathon training, shoveling out of 8 feet of snow and most recently speaking at the Lead On Conference for Women last week!

But not to be ignored, the NYC Half Marathon is in just 10 DAYS.

The longest I’ve run at one time has been 11.5 miles in California last week

Wait, what?

Some of you are totally freaking out for me right now. So let met explain.

As you have probably heard, Massachusetts (where I live) has had a pretty rough winter. Last year, I proudly donned my layers and trained and trudged out on snowy side walks. This year I didn’t.


There are literally no more sidewalks left.

Lake Quanapowitt, where I normally run, has no sidewalk and no shoulder left. Most of our sidewalks are a mixture of a narrow pathway that has been carved out of the ice, an ice skating rink, or completely non-existant. 

So, it forced me to get a little creative, and incorporate something that has been sorely missing from my normal running routine – cross training.

For example, we got hit with another 18 inch snow storm when my training schedule called for an 8 miler. You know what I did? I set up a circuit in my 3 season porch, which included a set of stair sprints. I ran up and down those stairs 150 times that day (yes. It was nuts).

I also started going to the gym with a really good friend of mine. She’s pushed me to try new things and really focus on total body strength. My favorites? The battleropes and ball slams – talk about therapeutic.

And then… of course. The dreaded treadmill has come into play.

Yes, I have said before how much I hate it. How much I avoided it. 

It’s become a necessary evil – so I’ve started to embrace it. I’ve set it to hill modes and intervals. It passes the time and still gets me to run.

How do I know all of this works? Because when I went to California and I went out on my only real long run of this training session, I was able to hold my half marathon pace for 11.5 miles. I felt like I could have picked it up. 

I felt like I was strong and could have kept going.

We’ll really see how well it works for me in NYC, but it’s taught me that I have to roll with the punches and make lemonade out of a bunch of lemons and snow.

How have you dealt with training in this snow this winter?

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