I've decided long ago that winter ain't easy for outdoor enthusiasts, unless your favorite pursuit is snow related, then happy days! Colder temperatures and reduced daylight hours is one way to reduce time spent out adventuring. So what to do with this extra time on our hands?! A perfect time to invest in more regular body maintenance to keep the body running smoothly!
An adequate warm up is beneficial for training and racing, but even more so during the cold winter months. A quick transition from the warm indoors to the harsh winter elements is not easy on your muscles or aerobic system. The cold air temperature can be a shock to the muscles and lungs so no doubt they will resist if you expect them to hammer out a solid effort without warning.
In order to get the most out of your session give the body some time to adjust and warm up.
- Begin wearing extra layers
- Carry out at least a 10 min warm up at easy pace, keep your focus on your technique
- If running spend time doing a dynamic stretching routine or practice some drills on the bike or in the kayak
- Now you should be prepared for the harder graft!
Oil the Machine
• Massage, rolling and stretching are great opportunities to give back to the body that serves you so well! Try tag on a quick but efficient stretching or rolling routine to the end of your training session. It always pays off to treat yourself to a sports massage every so often too.
- Pick 2-3 stretches or focus on one area of the body each evening
- Hold each stretches for at least 30seconds (ideally 1-2 minutes) and repeat 2-3 times on each side
- A weekly Pilates or Yoga class can provide a structured opportunity to keep tight bodies limber!
• Again with less daylight hours to play in, winter provides the option to set yourself up with a strength programme. There are so many options for strengthening and variety is key. Whether it is a home or gym based strength routine, attending a group class or trying out a weekly Pilates class.
- Try keep it sport specific, using exercises that target key muscle groups and replicate postures you need for your sport
- Focus on rehabbing that weak spot which has been nagging you for a while now!
- Remind yourself that branching out from your usual fitness routines will enhance your sporting pursuits and keep your body in balance!
So there you have it, a few suggestions to get you and your body through winter and out the other side ready for another summer of fun.