Somehow it is already March and spring; all the races are approaching at light speed. Here

in Estonia it is still winter, though. A real winter. The temperature has been below –10

degrees for a while now. If you consider also the wind chill, the temperature in the

mornings has dropped as low as –29 degrees. All the roads are covered with a layer of

snow and ice. As you can imagine, training outdoors is quite the challenge right now.

Fortunately for me I have an indoor track near me and that’s where most of my runs

have taken place during the last couple of weeks. In addition to that, I was ill with flu (I

think); had to take a small break from training. But now I’m back working on my goals.

 

My training week usually starts on Monday with a steady, easy pace 40 minute run (or a

40 minute fartlek, depending on what our coach has planned for us) accompanied by 45

minutes of core training. On Mondays I train with my running group that is instructed by

our coach. On Tuesdays I usually rest and go to a foam rolling class to keep myself

flexible and injury-free. On Wednesday my running group has interval training. In

December we took a little time off intervals but started again in January with short,

intense intervals (200 m, 400 m) and continued that in February, slowly building up to

longer intervals (up to 1000 m). On Thursdays I usually do a slow, easy pace run, up to 1

hour. Fridays are for BodyPump that is a great group workout to build endurance and

strength simultaneously. Saturday is rest day and on Sundays I usually do a longer run

with some of my best buddies from my running group.

I have funny tradition to run a special birthday run. My birthday is on the 27th of

February. The tradition is to run as many kilometres as how old I become on that

birthday. It is a great way to motivate myself to train during the colder months (January

& February). I started that tradition in 2015 when I became 23 years old. That year I ran

my birthday run alone on the streets of my hometown Tartu. The next year some of my

running buddies wanted to join & we ran 24 kilometres in the chilly winter weather.

Last year the weather was even tougher: the night before my birthday run it started to

snow heavily. We ran 25 very difficult kilometres that day in loose salty snow. (If some

you do not know, salt is used is some countries to melt the snow & ice from roads in the

winter.)

 

This year I was not even sure if I can run my birthday run & keep the tradition going. I

had just recovered from an illness, it was terribly cold and snowy outside and I had missed

my last long training run. My running group and me had trained for almost 2 months to

prepare us for my birthday run that was going to 26 kilometres long this year. So… What

to do? I wasn’t going to risk getting ill again. The only option was to run it indoors.

Yes, you read that right. Last Sunday we ran 110 laps on an indoor track. Exactly 26

kilometres. It took us a little over 3 hours. I had feared it was going to get boring but it

was actually so much fun. We chatted the whole way, indoors it was nice and warm, no

hills and it was super comfortable to get water (that would have been a hassle outdoors in

–15 degree weather). Some people joined halfway, some ended a bit earlier: everyone

could pick their own distance. I ran my birthday run with 15 amazing friends this year.

It was a blast!

 

As you can see, during the past couple of months I have built my endurance quite a bit

and have also started to build up speed again. This regime will continue up to Helsinki

 

Half Marathon (after that I will start training for Tallinn Marathon). I have also

registered for a couple races prior to Helsinki but HMM will be my main event for the

spring season. Hoping to improve my personal best and enjoy great crowds and weather.

Fingers crossed and let’s keep training!