Have you been training in cold winter conditions? Based on my own observations, it may be better training than you think.
A number of times I have gone for a run after traveling to a much warmer climate. I struggle along, not used to the heat and feeling rather miserable. Yet, despite the horribly slow feeling, I end up ticking off miles more quickly than I do during my runs in cold, rainy, Juneau Alaska.
This winter I have gone on a number of cold, winter, slushy, wet runs during which I have just been plodding along. Definitely no sprint type efforts or really trying to do anything other than continue moving forward in something that feels like I am at least jogging…regardless of how it may look to others. Even though I have been going slow on these runs, to my surprise my heart rate has been going up extremely high. I haven’t been paying attention to my heart rate during these slogs since I am just trying to stay moving forward – and it has been too cold and wet to think about moving my jacket up to look at my watch – but at the end of any workout, my watch gives me estimated recovery times based entirely on heart rate and these recovery times have been ridiculously high meaning my heart rate has gotten far higher than usual.
My conclusion with these events is that with the same amount of effort that it takes to run in cold weather, I get farther in warm weather.
As a side note, I find this ‘recovery time’ feature to produce hilarious results for me personally. I can ride 6 hours at a slow pace on the bike and get a 1 hour or 0 hours recovery time, and then I can go for a 30 minute light jog afterward and get a 20 hour recovery time. I assure you that I feel like I need more recovery after 6 ridiculous hours on a small bike seat!