by Nicole Odell, NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness
5 WINTER TRAINING TIPS FOR ENDURANCE ATHLETES
It seems that winter hasn’t quite arrived yet, as here in Colorado it still seems like the end of summer as I write this! But no doubt winter will be here and we’ll get cold temperatures and snow. I will admit, I grew up in Florida, so I had to learn a new definition of winter once I left the sunshine state. If you do live in less winter-like part of the world, we’ll be thinking of coming to visit when the blizzards hit!
For those of us who live in the “cooler” parts of the world, here are my tips for dealing with the winter weather.
Pay attention to the weather. Don’t just look at the high and low temps or general chance of precipitation, but read the hourly forecasts (weather.gov is a good resource!) so you can see what’s likely to happen throughout the day and plan your training accordingly.
Get appropriate gear for cold and wet weather. Invest in quality gear that will last a long time. If you are in snowy or rainy climate, wind and waterproof outer layers are nice. A nice technical fabric underlayer is also a good idea. Your local running and cycling stores can help, or google “winter cycling gear” and “winter running gear.” There’s a saying “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” The same goes for equipment. You want to have things like winter appropriate bike tires (fat bike?) and traction devices for shoes. That said…
Safety First! If there is snow, ice, sand, gravel out on the roads, be extra cautious, and maybe stay inside if it is too much. If you are traveling to your workout destination, make sure you can get there safely. Know what you can handle and for which conditions you have gear. If you don’t feel safe, get some good tunes or videos going and knock out that workouts indoors.
Don’t forget to eat and drink. When it’s colder out, we often don’t feel thirsty or hungry. But if you’re doing a long or intense workout in the cold, you’ll still need to eat and drink. Use insulated bottles if there is a chance of your bottle freezing. Solutions (ie sports drinks) will freeze at lower temperatures than plain water. And pick nutritional items that won’t freeze or get more challenging to eat when cold.
Modify your workout. If you’re supposed to run today and ride tomorrow, but there is a good chance of “winter weather” tomorrow, swap days if you don’t want to ride indoors. It’s often easier to run outside in colder weather. If you can’t do what you want to do, try something different indoors with body weight strength training. Do stair sprints. Put on a yoga video. You can still get in some kind of workout, even if it’s not what is planned. Or just get out and play in the snow, go snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. Enjoy it!
Original blog post here