Being from the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest, a large chunk of my training is in cold conditions. I have gained some experience training in the cold and have some tips for a successful winter training season. To be exact I have five tips for a successful winter training season.
If you live in a warm climate, I am jealous and there are only two tips for you: stay there and go run.
Don’t Fall Into The Holiday Trap: with Thanksgiving over, and the countdown to December holidays in full swing, people use this time of year as an excuse for omitting their training until after January 1st. Don’t do that. By starting your training early and powering through the holiday season, you will be able to build up some power and stamina.
Equip Yourself to Avoid Laziness: if you are training in a cold climate you have to be sure that you have all the needed clothing and equipment to be able to go out on your runs at any temperature. By having things like running jackets and warm pants, Buff hats, mittens and wool socks you will be able to whether any weather and avoid making the “It’s too cold” excuses.
Have A Back-up Plan: sometimes there are situations that are out of your hands and an outdoor workout is not an option. Always have a backup workout that can be done indoors. Whether its inclined intervals on the treadmill or cross-training with weights, you should be able to always have a good workout.
Be Seen at Night: this kind of goes hand-in-hand with equipping yourself for the weather but this is for the dark. During this time of year, you must be seen since it is dark at 5pm. I suggest getting the following to make sure you are visible: Headlamp, Reflective Buff, and Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips. The headlamp will help with seeing where you are running. The Buff will keep you warm. The Brilliant Reflective safety strips can be placed on all your running clothing and gear and you will be seen as a human rather than a cone.
Check Your Self: it is easy to fall into bad habits during this time of year. Anything from drinking too much hot apple cider (with a little extra somethin somethin) to eating too many holiday cookies will slow down your training. Make sure to find balance between the things you eat and drink.
So, there you go. It is as simple as waking up with a hangover January first. To find success this winter season, start training now, get the needed equipment (holiday gift list?), and have a workout and nutrition plan.
Let me know if you have your own tricks when it comes to winter training.
Keep the run on!