Winter is here. For those who live in colder climates, the trainer, the treadmill, and a heated pool are friends. The shorter days mean waking up and coming home when it's dark outside. This can make it hard to stay motivated to get your workouts in, especially when the temperatures are below freezing.
I grew up in Philadelphia and I totally get it! Getting up before 6am and running in the cold is a challenge. But here I offer you some cold weather training tips to help you stay on track, get acclimated to the cold, and have some fun when working out in the winter months!
1. Get up early and get in your workouts. That's right- you are more likely to do it if it happens before your day gets started. GO TO BED on time so you are well rested. Turn off the TV by 10pm, set out your workout stuff so you aren't looking around for things in the dark.
2. Dress cozy and warm. If you are running outside, a thermal running jacket, hat, mittens (not gloves) and wool socks are best. Have all this stuff at the bottom of your bed so you know right where it is in the early hours.
3. For swimming, dress warm for the pool. Start the engine of the car with the heat on full blast while you drink your morning coffee. Hat, gloves, cozy leggings are all great for going outside early. Have you suit on underneath so you don't have to change in the chilly locker room. Don't get too caught up on getting in cold water. Pools are heated in the winter. Focus on the 3rd and 4th lap instead of the first 2. Mindset is everything.
4. For cycling, plastic wrap is a MUST. I usually put on socks, then plastic wrap, then another pair of socks to keep my toes toasty during cold weather rides. If you can find heated gloves I highly recommend these. I prefer MITTENS or LOBSTER GLOVES over fingered gloves for warmth. A nylon cycling hat is a must as well as heat escapes the head quickly. Invest in a gortex or warm weather cycling jacket with plenty of layers underneath.
5. Stay hydrated. Just because you are cold and not thirsty doesn't mean you don't need hydration. Your body burns a lot of calories trying to keep warm, more so than trying to keep cool, so be sure to hydrate the night before your workout and in the morning before you go out.
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your next winter workout.
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