Training through winter

There is definitely a love hate relationship amongst all endurance athletes and winter training, either facing the freezing wind and cold air,  or the endless hours on the treadmill and smart trainer.

Especially now that races have lift for October and November so its time to start adding those needed volume blocks in our training for that all-important chronic training load to rise.

 

Here are some tips to survive those dreaded winter training sessions.

 

  • Add the layers, invest in quality over quantity. Rather have two warm quality sets of clothing then buying more cheaper imitations which don’t last or let the cold in while you out exercising.
  • Find breathable waterproof/wind proof clothing so you can face any weather for longer.
  • Winter Gloves, socks , ear buff and booties…A must! If my feet, ears and fingers are freezing I am turning home. Fact.
  • A great option if you have a smart trainer or treadmill at home, Use this before to warm up on there before you go out. This allows your central nervous to adequately warm up which will allow you to be warmer when you start and ease into your session.
  • Mix up your sessions, change your route, you don’t have to repeat the same workout or route day in day out. This will at least take the boredom and bring the spark back into going out.
  • Have someone you accountable too, a coach or a training partner. When you not accountable to complete a session or nobody is waiting for you it makes it a lot less chance you will change your mind and skip that sessions.
  • Change your training time if possible. If you need to shorten a session but this allows you to get out during the warmer parts of the day time, will least add some pleasant sunlight exercising over cold dark runs and rides.
  • Add more structure, simplify your session by taking some volume out and add in some intervals. These will at least warm you up for sure and allow you to spend less time focusing on that volume and winter elements.
  • Add some extra time working your core-strength. By adding a ball roller and theraband you can get whole body workout in your living room. Least with this you don’t need to go outside and adding these in will cute some volume down but the strength benefits will out way the shortened time.
  • Set measurable and achievable realistic training volume. If you know the weather is going to be awful, don’t set impossible hours, take the volume out and do less by splitting half indoors and the other make a “quicker” outdoor session after your indoor session.
  • Outline your goals, when you have goals in place you will stick closer to your plan and this in turn will keep you motivated to get those needed sessions in.
  • Focus on the “whole” and not the “some”, we tend to get all down and spiral our training when missing that session. Add an extra 10min for 6 days, this will give you that missed 1hr volume session that you thought you lost out on.
  • Eat properly, we always tend to forget this. Firstly this will keep you healthy and keep the bugs away. Secondly by losing 1kg you gain 4-5watts in power. When you get optimal with your weight in winter, this will allow you to be slimmer and go faster when Spring races arrive.

 

In conclusion it is easy to lose hope in winter, especially if you are struggling with your training. So set those goals, plan properly, dress warmly and keep healthy…This will keep you motivated to continue during the winter months, which will assist you in being ready for your races in September.

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