Monday, 16 March 2015
In the old days, before I was stupid enough to decide that I wanted to run a marathon, going on holiday usually meant leaving my running shoes at home. These days, six weeks out from the big day, my training programme doesn't really allow such luxuries. Perhaps I wasn't going to be able to run forty miles in a week as I have for the last couple of weeks, but I couldn't justify doing nothing.
Well, not that five days of fairly hard skiing is exactly "nothing", but you know what I mean.
So I took my trainers and managed to go out for three runs whilst we were there. The thing about running in a ski resort, I have to tell you, is that at least half of your run is going to be up the side of a mountain. To compound the problem, you're also at altitude. These two simple truths made these three fairly short runs difficult. You wouldn't think it possible, but sometimes a little three miler can be more painful than the fifteen miles you ran at the weekend.
Not surprisingly, before the week was out, Runkeeper had some news for me:
Running up a mountain three times is apparently more altitude gain than my usual runs around the rivers and canals of Nottingham. You think?
Mind you, look how steady I kept my pace in that bottom chart. Not exactly the fastest run I have ever managed, but not disgraceful under the circumstances and after a full day's skiing.
After running the first time on my own, for the next two runs, I dragged my wife out with me. As you can see, she was delighted by the whole experience.
And when we got home, we went out on Sunday morning for a sixteen mile run. I can confirm that skiing seems to be pretty good cross-training for running: it gives the thighs a good workout, but gave my poor weary hips and knees a break from the pounding. Five days on the piste actually left my legs feeling pretty good. Tired, but differently tired to running alone.
Also, skiing fashions. What's not to like?