There is no reason why you cannot train NOW, and with great effect too. Why turn lazy in the winter when it just makes it so much harder to come back to full fitness in the summer? Here are a few tips from our MiFitLife coaches Glen Gore and Jan van Rooyen to get you on your way when the winter blues are trying to get the better of you.
- Stay Indoors: Most of us have a gym membership of sorts. If not, we can easily compromise with some training at home. Save the weekends for training outdoors when you can wake up a little later and go ride/run when it has warmed up
- Keep the sessions short and sharp. For example, if you are a triathlete, hit the gym and do a quick 60-minute indoor triathlon at moderate to hard effort – 20 mins on the watt-bike/20 mins on the treadmills and then a quick dip in the pool to complete the session. Say 8-10 x 100m swim resting 5 secs after each one. Your workout coms to just over 60 minutes with the change overs and you have done a fantastic indoor session to start off the day
- Try some new routes on the weekends. Most of us are pretty stuck in our ways and we often follow the same routes be it running, cycling or mountain biking. Why not explore some new routes to keep you fresh and motivated? Even if it means getting in the car and driving to a venue. Winter is the ideal time to try something outside of your normal weekly routine
- Try a different sport. For example if you are a runner only, why not take up some cross country or have a go at Obstacle Course Racing events. A cyclist on the road can opt for a mountain bike event or vice versa. A change in sports and the “cross-training” approach will put a spring in your step during the colder months and prep you for a much better summer
- Try find some new races in other provinces to compete in. You need a small goal during winter to keep you ticking over and to motivate you to get up of bed and go train. Why not opt for a shorter race somewhere you might have never been before. This adds to the adventure and you will surely benefit from trying something new. Who knows, you might even surprise yourself.
- Watch your diet and don’t over-eat. We all tend to slow down with our metabolisms and eating more during the cold is something we all fall foul of occasionally. Although tough going, a strict diet approach during winter might set you up for the best summer of racing.
- Be thankful each and every morning that you CAN train. Try and remember those days when you were injured or sick and everyone else seemed to be training up a storm while you sat at home miserable. A positive approach each and every morning will make the winter seem like a fantastic time to go out and train
- Focus on improving strength. This way you can focus on base building and fitness when the time comes with increased strength and power. If you have never done a weight program before, try one. Lifting weights can do wonders for your performances and it definitely aids in preventing injuries all round during the summer season
- Work on running form and rhythm.
- Work on swimming form and technique with lots of stroke drills and lots of sessions counting strokes and improving stroke distance.
- Do lots of hiking. In mountains if possible, but for the Gauteng crowd, nature reserves are a good substitute.
- Do some reading and research. The more you know about your discipline the better. In summer, you will train much more with much less time for reading.
Good luck! There is not long to go now before summer is on its way, so use the winter training time wisely and you'll have a great summer racing season.