So now that winter is almost here, how do we keep up that motivation to keep all those fitness gains we made during the Spring, Summer, and Fall? Beach season is a long ways off, racing season has just concluded, and 2-3 months of short days and long nights. A summer body is made in the winter- whether that means becoming swim suit ready or race ready...here are a few tips to make sure you’re ready for when the temperature starts climbing again!
To "get" the most out of your winter training, here are 4 keys to consider:
1) Get better- use Winter as a time to build upon strengths and focus on weaknesses- for triathletes this could mean focusing on improving running or swimming technique, for runners this may include improving flexibility. If you’re neither, this may mean building some endurance or improving a strength regimen or developing a realistic meal plan.
2) Get stronger- this is a good chance to also hit the weight room. Remember, strength comes before speed. Also, this is where you prevent injuries, by doing the essential, stabilizing exercises- not just the fun plyometrics, HIIT circuits, and power lifts. Dedicate a few days a week to focus on getting strong in the gym.
3) Get organized- this is a time determine goals for next race season or year. Even if you're not looking to compete against others in races, you can always better yourself. Working with a coach can help you set realistic goals that still push you beyond your current capabilities. If you’re tackling fitness solo, set some specific, realistic goals to help you improve.
4) Get relaxed- last but not least, take some time off! "Unstring the bow" as the saying goes. Take a few weeks to decompress. After a long season (whether that's a dedicated race season or just following workouts and pushing yourself), your mind and body both need a break. Don't lose fitness, but take some time off from your normal routine. Maybe try some mountain biking, kayaking, or swimming. If you’re a gym addict, try some outdoor workouts. If you are a morning exerciser, try to do workout on your lunch break instead. Keep the fitness, but change things up. Enjoy the break from the routine- your mind and body will appreciate it!
So there you go. Four ways to “Get the most” out of your winter training. Whether you’re a hard-core triathlete, recreational runner, or simply looking to keep in shape, these will help guide your winter-month workout regimen.