Oatmeal Apple Butter Bars

Have you read my True/Slant article on winter running? I tried to follow my own advice in order to get pumped up for a workout with my running club. Despite the darkness and 16 degree windchill I managed to have a pretty good time!

1.5 mile warm-up
1 mile @ 10k pace – 6:50
.75 mile recovery
1.5 mile @ 10k pace  – 10:36 (~7:04 pace)
.75 mile recovery
1 mile @ 10k pace (downhill mile) – 6:30
2.5 mile cool-down

Total: 9 miles

Hamstring/IT band felt good throughout, but my legs and lungs were working REALLY hard to maintain this pace. I don’t even remember the last time I ran a 6:30 mile, maybe last January?

It definitely helped to have teammates to run this workout with – I definitely wouldn’t have gone this fast on my own. I still haven’t managed the self-portrait with my camera, but I wanted to show you what I run in during the winter: long spandex running tights, short sleeve dri-fit shirt, Nike zip-up hoodie (I wore the hood for my warm-up miles!), and mittens (not shown). My hands actually got a little too warm half-way through the run, but overall I maintained a pretty good temperature. Oh, and I wear my watch over the sleeve of my shirt. This way I can easily check my pace without having to push up my sleeve/move my mitten out of the way.

Winter Workout

My post-run “dinner” was eaten after 9pm (late!), so I wanted something that wasn’t too heavy. I don’t usually put banana in my oatmeal, but this was surprisingly tasty. And it was nice and warm – a necessity after my frigid workout!

  • 1/2 cup oats, milk, water
  • banana (cooked with the oats)
  • Tbs peanut butter

Banana Oatmeal

Last night I experimented in the kitchen and created a new recipe. After 24 hours of chilling in the fridge, it was time for a taste-test!

Oatmeal Apple Butter Bars

Oatmeal Apple-Butter Bars


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup low-sugar apple butter (or any other type of jam)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a food processor combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, butter, and sugar until a crumbly dough forms
  • Add the oatmeal and pulse once or twice until combined
  • Press 2/3 of the dough into a 8″ x 8″ pan and pack it down
  • Spread the apple butter over the crust and then sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, allow to cool completely, and then refrigerate or store in an air-tight container
  • Makes 12 bars

These bars are delicious with a dollop of greek yogurt on the side!

Oatmeal Apple Butter Bars

What time of day is best for working out? The New York Times discusses how your heart rate affects the efficacy of your workout.

Question: When do you prefer to exercise – morning or evening?

  • I won’t claim to be even 1/10,000 of the runner you are, but I went out today, too, and it was freezing. I pretty much wear my old rowing clothes out for days like today. Long-sleeve spandex shirts, pants, and my Asics running hat. The watch on the outside of the sleeve is smart. I just got a new watch to train with– it’s totally reshaping my workouts. Those bars look delicious. I’ve been woefully out of the blogging routine recently. Anyway, hopefully responding to your post will get me there. Keep up the great work!

  • You’re such a friggin’ trooper!

    One downside to being a barefoot runner is the amount of indoor running I do during this freezing weather!

    However, I do have asthma and running in the cold would definitely be a trigger for me so it’s probably a good thing.

    I’m in awe of your dedication though!

  • I definitely prefer morning running and evening classes/strength training. Is that strange??

  • I much prefer working out in the morning and getting all revved up for the day! Unfortunately that simply does NOT happen in the winter…except weekend mornings once it’s light out!

    I would love to join a running club though for cold winter nights when I need motivation.

    Those bars look so scrumptious!

  • I am a better evening runner 99% of the time. In the summer I morph into a morning runner though.

    We are both NY Times readers obviously – I linked to that article today as well! Wish you were going to be around for the Fun Run this weekend.

  • Those sound excellent, especially with a little peanut butter dolloped on top.
    I’m a morning runner thick and through.

  • Matt – I can only imagine how cold it is in Boston right now. Congrats on getting out for a run!

    Diana – have you always been a barefoot runner? Do you ever wear Vibram 5 Fingers or Nike Frees? I’m intrigued!

    Katherine – the NY Times article suggests that our muscles are stronger and warmer in the p.m., so it makes a lot of sense that you prefer evening strength training!

    Angharad – if you visit NYC, I’ll run with you in the cold 🙂

    Lindsey – I’m sad that I’m missing the fun run tomorrow! BUT I have an event in the works for next weekend. Maybe I can see some of you guys then!

  • Yikes that sounds like a COLD workout!! I am a morning runner…5:30am. I get out of bread, brush my teeth and go!

  • Jen

    Good thing you just posted about winter running since I’m going to be training for the 10 mile (eek!) cherry blossom this spring. I’m going to need all of the Megan tips I can get.

  • You would not believe how long ive been googling for something like this. Went through 9 pages of Google results and couldn’t find anything. One search on Bing. There you are!… Really gotta start using that more often

  • Commenting months after the fact, I know. But I’ve got to try out those oatmeal-apple butter bars, and thanks for tip about wearing my watch on the outside when it gets cold.