Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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10 Winter Training Tips

Spring races are challenging to prepare for when Winter lingers and impacts your training. And there is only so much treadmill time we can take, right? Even in the worst of external conditions, there is a way to continue training and be ready to PR early in the season. Whether they seem like no-brainers or not, these are all products that Amazon thinks you’ll Trust me, though when I say they have all been tried and tested and found to be critical to successful Winter training.

1. Layer Up

We’ve all heard about layering, nothing new here. Except try this next time layer based on what you intend to remove once you get too warm potentially. I often run with my long sleeve shirt OVER my jacket. That’s right, so I take the shirt off when I get too hot, and I still have wind protection. This means I don’t have to remove all of my layers to wear it.

2. Keep it Flowing

A major challenge is keeping water from freezing. Try wearing your hydration vest or belt under your outer layer. The head from your body that gets reflected will keep your bottles and hose from freezing up, even in the coldest temps.

3. Mmm, Real Food

Trying to eat a gel packet in sub-freezing temps is equivalent to eating 3-year-old glue; tasty but not overly palatable. Winter is the best time to help your body learn to eat real food while running (yes, it is possible). Carry along foods that aren’t overly dry and can be processed quickly. I prefer dehydrated mangos and rolled-up tortillas with Nutella inside. But the options are endless and all yummy.

4. Traction

Slipping, especially around traffic, can persuade anyone to head for the Treadmill. Purchase some traction devices; they will keep you on your feet and give you the confidence to run at your average pace. Some great companies include; Hillsound, Yaktrax, Kahtoola, and StabilIcers. Purchase the brand and model that best fits your running style, and you’ll be grateful you have them.

5. Toasty Toes

Contrary to popular belief, you can run in the Winter without your feet freezing. Most people think this has something to do with shoes and Gortex, but the truth is that it has mostly to do with socks. Forget cotton and purchase something that keeps the wetness away from your feet. Great brands include DryMax, Icebreakers, and Injinji.

6. Blood Flow

Outside of socks, the number one reason for cold feet is a lack of blood flow. When your feet are jammed into your shoes, and your toes aren’t allowed to move, the blood is constricted and can’t circulate through your digits. Luckily, you are already on the right website to find the perfect pair of shoes for Winter running. It doesn’t matter which model you try; Altra Zero Drop shoes will allow your toes to move and stay warm.

7. Turtleneck

It’s common knowledge that the number one place for heat loss is your head, followed closely by your hands. But what many people don’t realize is the importance of keeping your neck warm. And I mean all of it. Wearing a hood or getting a neck gaiter will keep an immense heat in. Neck gaiters also all you to pull up over your chin and cover up that gap between your beanie and jacket.

8. Sign Up

One of the most complex parts of Winter running is staying motivated. Signing up for an event and shelling out money helps motivate us to get out the door on the cold wintery mornings. But don’t just sign up; hang some kind of reminder of the race around the house to keep it fresh on your mind. If you can’t forget it, you can more easily stay focused on the goal.

9. The Fallback

Unexpected weather changes, friends bailing, and alarm clocks mysteriously not going off all contribute to the lack of training we incur during the Winter. Even if they involve cross-training, having backup workouts can keep you on track to meet your running goals. Bike trainers, power yoga, pilates, and swimming are great ways to stay in shape when you can’t head outside and need a break from the hamster wheel.

10. The “T” Word

If all else fails, do it, run on the . . . . oh, it’s so hard to say . . . the . . . . Treadmill. Some people love it, and that’s great! For others, it’s as horrible a thought as having your fingernails removed with a couple of spoons. But as long as your end goal, that one thing that keeps you motivated to train, stays fresh on your mind, you will do whatever it takes to get there, even if that means running on the Treadmill.

There are tactics to do it without wanting to punch yourself in the face, but those would be an article. Knowing it’s a good backup and being willing to do it is essential.

I have a pretty big race coming up at the end of March. To be ready, I’ve had to be focused on my training and committed to getting out there in some of the worst conditions and at crazy times of day or night.

But I feel ready, and with only a couple of weeks left of training before my taper, I know I have done what it takes to allow me to reach my goal. And I have used every one of these 10 items to keep me in top physical shape and ready to run far. Hopefully, they will work for you too.

The founder and CEO at ThriveVerge, The Verge, and Thrive Revolution. He launched Thriveverge in 2016, a leading behavior change technology, business, media, and entertainment company with the mission of ending the collective delusion that burning out is the price we have to pay for success.


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