4min Repeats After Me: I Will Conquer Winter

Published on February 14th, 2014

It’s cold and snowy out. It’s winter. I’m supposed to be used to it because I’m from Michigan but it still annoys me every single year. Sure, Michigan gets more snow than New York, but at least in Michigan it was easier to avoid. All you need is a garage. There’s some snow brushing and scraping but you don’t have to dig your car out like you do in Brooklyn after the plow has been by. You don’t have to walk much past your driveway after you shovel it.


Yet, here I am year after year. I didn’t move to California or Florida when I could, I moved to New York. In a weird way, that’s what I like about it. The lifestyle isn’t easy but it makes you resilient.

Winter runners revel in being hard core and facing the elements. I’m still a bit of winter wimp. I don’t like running in the cold if I don’t have to, so I do most of my during the week runs in the gym on a treadmill. My walk to the gym is 11 blocks or just over half a mile. All the way today I was playing an elaborate game of hop scotch around ice patches and avoiding mote-like puddles at the intersections by climbing the snow drifts.

The snow was so deep I dug my big rubber boots out the closet, but rather shielding my feet from the icy water they seemed to pipe it right to my socks even faster than sneakers. None of this mattered though, I was on a mission.

The Workout

When I got to the gym it was no nonsense. I donned my Tough Mudder T-shirt and went to work on my workout.

Warm-up at Easy pace, 6 x 4 min repeats at Threshold pace with 1 min rests, Easy pace cool down.

Seeing Winter Olympians flash across the TV screens was really motivating. It makes you want to challenge yourself and not be a winter wimp. Below is the playlist I put together so I could be cued by music. The green rows are the threshold pace repeats. “Threshold” pace is comfortably hard pace similar to a marathon race pace. It’s not easy but it’s not your all out fastest.

“We’ve Got a File on You,” by Blur appears 4 times because it’s about a minute long and I don’t have too many minute long songs in my library. I also included “13.1, Halfway Done,” from my marathon concept album as the halfway point to break up the breaks.

Beastie Boys are always great because their beats are easy to hang on to while running plus they get you pumped up with their great lyrics. “Make It Wit Chu,” is relatively easy going for QOTSA which makes it good for warming up. One note, there is a weird part at the end of this recording where the beat drops, I used it as an audio cue that my work out was about to begin.

The 4 minute long songs are all solid running favorites of mine. I made them a little faster as I went but not too much faster.

It felt great to get it done and show the winter who’s boss.


Song Time Artist Album BPM/SPM
B-Boys Makin’ With The Freak Freak 4:44 Beastie Boys Ill Communication 90/180
Make It Wit Chu 4:51 Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris 92/184
Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz) 3:56 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Deluxe Edition) 94/188
We’ve Got A File On You 1:02 Blur Think Tank 93/185
I Had It Coming 4:08 White Rabbits Milk Famous 92/184
We’ve Got A File On You 1:02 Blur Think Tank 93/185
Treat Me Like Your Mother 4:10 The Dead Weather Horehound 96/192
13.1, Halfway Done 1:03 Lady Southpaw Marathoners Rocking New York 90/180
Perfect Situation 4:15 Weezer Make Believe 94/188
We’ve Got A File On You 1:02 Blur Think Tank 93/185
Gold Guns Girls 4:05 Metric Fantasies 90/180
We’ve Got A File On You 1:02 Blur Think Tank 93/185
Adrenaline Nightshift 4:26 Japandroids Celebration Rock 90/180
Still Life With Hot Deuce On Silver Platter 5:30 Titus Andronicus Local Business 92/184


BPM = Beats Per Minute, SPM = Steps Per Min.
The tempos are between 85-97 or 175-193 depending on if you count the basic or double time. To your feet this equals the ideal stride rate. This cadence does not effect your pace, just your turnover.



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