Winter Workout Survival Guide

It’s the coldest season of the year in New England. Whether you’re embracing every exciting outdoors training opportunity the region has to offer, or you’re timidly training inside, these winter workout survival tips will help you make the most of the season.

Ken, Tina, Medena and Victoria doing Hill Repeats in the Boston Public Garden in Winter

Ken, Tina, Medena and Victoria doing Hill Repeats in the Boston Public Garden in Winter

  1. Stick to a training routine; at least weekly. You’re less likely to make excuses to skip a workout if it’s planned in your schedule.

  2. Make sure you’re hydrated. The cold weather can deceive you into thinking you’re not thirsty because you’re not sweating as much, when in fact you need to drink almost as much as before. If you’d drink 2 bottles of water for a 6 mile run in 80 F weather, you’ll need at least one bottle for 20 F.

  3. Know your body. Your immune system will be under more stress during the colder weather, so if you sense you’re coming down with a cold, it might be more beneficial for you to take the day off or substitute your track reps with something lighter

  4. Remember, it’s the triathlon off season! If you do end up missing a workout for weather related or health issues, it’s not the end of the world. This time of year is for getting stronger, not making yourself sick because you’re stressing about cramming everything in.

 
Dejan and Alex out for a run in the Fall, at Danehy Park, Boston, MA

Dejan and Alex out for a run in the Fall, at Danehy Park, Boston, MA

Essentials for your kit bag

  • Fleece head band or a thick hat: Crucial for biking and running; you’ll be much more comfortable if your ears and head are warm, and less vulnerable to the cold wind.
  • Gloves: These are so obvious, but it’s really important to make sure you’ve got a good pair for each sport. Your hands will get hot while running, so a thin pair in as low as 15 F/ -12 C will be fine. The same is not the case when you’re biking though. You’ll need serious, windproof and ideally waterproof gloves to keep your hands toasty.
  • Wool socks: For biking in as few degrees as you feel like braving. Start with wool socks, and build layers of DeFeet shoe covers to keep you warm. Don’t make the mistake of simply layering cotton socks; your feet will suffer severely if you haven’t left any room for blood flow.
  • Yak Trax: Invest in a pair of these so you don’t have to worry about slipping on black ice or running in snow.
  • Knee warmers: These will prevent your knees aching after a cold run outdoors, and enable your muscles to recover quicker.
  • Electrolytes drink: Don’t forget to drink before, during and after working out outdoors.
  • Bananas: Same as in the hot weather. Replenish that potassium and stop yourself from cramping during a tough workout.

Make the right, sensible decisions so you stay safe. It might be dangerously icy but not that cold; Only you know when you’ll benefit more from a spinning workout indoors rather than getting out on the bike. Stay warm and stay strong!

- Coach Medena 
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