How to Train in the Winter
It can be not-so-fun to train in the winter. Your skin is dry, your hands are freezing, and your muscles won’t warm up. We’ve teamed up with PowerBar to bring you some much-needed tips and guide points so that you can train in the winter. Team Elite athlete and American long distance Josh Cox has come up with the following:
- Pre-run warm-up and snack: Your muscles require more energy for a cold weather workout. You’ll need a good source of protein and carbs before, during and after. Pre-workout, I like to grab a PowerBar Performance Bar and during a long run, I rely on PowerGels. While you’re snacking, start stretching and moving. You’ll want your body to be nice and loose before you hit the outdoors. If you require a quick indoor treadmill warm-up, go for it. That will help get your body temperature up.
- Wear the right gear – Layers are everything! Start with a base of tight compression clothing to keep the blood moving. Throw some athletic clothing on top of that along with socks, gloves, head and neck gear to keep you warm. You can always take off layers mid-run but you can’t add them!
- Grab a friend: What better motivation than having someone right alongside you? If you’re going to be miserable, be miserable together! Jokes aside, I love running with a group especially during the winter. You’ll take turns pushing each other and having someone to meet will keep you accountable and on track with your fitness goals.
- Take that first step: Often times, the biggest roadblock to our fitness isn’t the elements, it’s our mindset. On my worst days, I just lace up the shoes and get out the door, “just run a mile” I’ll tell myself – once I’m out the door, it’s easy. The key to training, and life, is taking that first step. The first step is the best step; it’s where intent meets action. There is no such thing as luck when we’re developing our fitness, it’s a grind, it’s hard work, it’s getting out the door… and, it’s worth it. Like life, we get out what we put in.
- Have something to look forward to: Whether a warm bath or nice meal, have something to look forward to when you’re training session is over. This will help keep you motivated. It’s also important to always keep your goals in mind. At times, winter training can get rough but if you’re focused on an upcoming event you’ll be that much more motivated to get out the door.
- Proper recovery: Post-run nutrition is key. A nice massage never hurts either. Immediately after your run, get calories in via quality protein and carb sources. If you’re not ready for a big meal, grab a banana and have a protein shake or PowerBar ProteinPlus 20g Bar with some fruit… and something warm!
*Josh Cox is a 4-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, 3-time National Team Member and the American Record Holder in the 50k. In 2009 and 2011 his 50k were the fastest in the world.
I would say those are some pretty solid tips to training this winter. Before you get your drink game on tonight, do something that makes your body happy! Yoga, run, hike, lift–anything. Get moving and groovin’ so you can feel good going into the new year. And as always, stay hungry and fit!
*Question of the Day: What tips do you follow when training in the winteR?