March 1, 2012

Taking it indoors

This has not been the most challenging winter for outdoor running, as I've mentioned several times. I've been using outdoor tracks throughout January and February, which is sort of crazy if you think about it. We live in north-central Utah for crying out loud!

However, March roared in like a lion, covering everything with snow and ice last night, and my workout today called for 6 x 1 mile @ 10K pace. Normally I am flexible with moving workouts around depending on weather conditions, but I really needed to get this one done today - I have a big race next weekend and this was a important workout that I didn't want to move to next week.

So I bit the bullet and broke my "no running indoors in the past 10 years" streak and went to the Olympic Oval at 5:30 this morning. I essentially refuse to run on treadmills or tiny indoor tracks, but we are fortunate to have an oversized (442m) indoor track near Salt Lake City. It has a mondo surface and is built around the perimeter of where they did the speed skating at the 2002 Olympics. Pretty cool to have a huge indoor track at 4,700 feet of altitude. It would be an awesome track to run some fast times, but I'm guessing they don't have big meets here simply because the altitude would make running fast 3K/5K times more difficult.

I got my workout in (details on my training log), then battled rush hour traffic on my way to work. I think today was also the first time I've driven on the interstate during the morning commute since moving to Utah - that was definitely more mentally taxing than mile repeats!

Normally I wouldn't devote a blog entry to a single workout, but I thought it was worth showing some pictures of the Olympic Oval facility - its a really awesome place, and good alternative to battling harsh outdoor conditions. Now, since my no-indoor exercise streak is broken, I'll probably take advantage of running at the oval more often. Better to get quality miles indoors than plod around on ice and snow.

Bird's Eye view of the oval and surrounding facilities


  1. How much does it cost to run there? Or is it free?

  2. Its $3 for a one-time entry - but they also sell multi-passes and longer-term memberships. I think the pricing is on their website: