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How to train in the cold for a warm race

Right now, much of the northeast United States is in the icy grips of winter.

During my run two days ago in Ohio, the real feel temperature was -2 degrees and the footing was a mix of ice and snow. Today back home in Indiana, the real feel temperature is the same and there is a chance of light snow on top of the icy crust on our sidewalks and roads.

Needless to say, this is not optimum training conditions for the A1A Marathon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which will be my next race on Sunday, Feb. 18. The temperature in Fort Lauderdale in mid-February should be between 60 and 75 degrees.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the A1A Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out to review find and write race reviews!

You can use my code, "BIBRAVE" for 15 percent off the A1A race. While I will be doing the marathon, there are other race distances including a half marathon, 5K and a Komen’s Run for the Pink 6K.

Tips for winter training

As I train for the A1A marathon, I don't have to worry about building up to the distance. In November, I finished my 18th marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental, and followed that up with two half marathons to close out the year.

My training will build upon my base with weekly long runs. I will hit a mix of long and short runs on a variety of surfaces, including trails, roads and the treadmill.

While training this time of the year in this type of climate is not new, I can learn from a previous experience. Several years ago, I ran another February marathon in a warm-weather location after training in the cold. It was the Phoenix Marathon and the heat did hit me hard during the race.

I'll take what I learned from that training cycle and race and better prepare myself for the 2018 race. My training will focus on several key areas that runners need to do when training in the cold for a warm-weather race, including:

Embrace the treadmill. I won't be able to do all my runs outside because of treacherous footing, especially when it is dark outside. Instead, I will use the treadmill, especially when I need to do speedwork. It's not optimum but it will be much easier to get the required leg turnover on a treadmill than when gingerly navigating through slick, icy patches.

Load up the layers. While I don't need to wear long pants until it hits about 20 degrees, I will be wearing tights and additional layers up top during many of my outdoor runs. Additionally, I will be dressing warmer than necessary on the treadmill. I've seen recommendations of starting treadmill runs with a hat and gloves to adapt to warmer weather conditions. By adding an extra layer, I will be sweating more and teaching my body to work through it — a good way to adapt to the warm marathon.

Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate again. Even during cold-weather runs, it's critical to be hydrated. This is an excellent practice, regardless of the conditions, but even more important for when running in conditions similar to what it should be like at the A1A Marathon.

Stay focused on the big goal. During these training runs and the race itself, I will need to remind myself that the A1A Marathon is not the ultimate goal. The race is the first of a three-part series of races concluding with this year's top goal: completing my first 100K at the Ultra Race of Champions in May.

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