Training outdoors can bring some much-needed variance to your training as well as being an excellent way to stay fit and active throughout the year. It’s free, easily accessible and can be done anywhere in the world, ideal for those of you who are short on time.
The arrival of the cold and frosty weather does not mean you have to escape indoors to the treadmill or spinning bikes. Keeping to the following simple tips will allow you to continue to enjoy exercising outdoors during the winter months.
- Dress Appropriately: A T-shirt and shorts is no longer adequate this time of year. Make sure to dress in multiple layers of light clothing ideally with wind resistance on the outermost player. Your body produces a lot of heat, so it is important to retain this heat during the early phases of your training routine but if necessary you can take off a layer to avoid any overheating. Also, remember to wear a hat and/or gloves. Again, this is to retain the heat which is often lost from our head and arms. Finally, take note of your footwear. If you feel there is a lot of surface water, you may have to substitute your shoes to something with more traction and support like trail shoes.
- Warm Up Well: Warm ups are always important, but even more so during cold weather. It will take your body longer to heat up and to mobilise your muscles and joints. So, make sure to allow yourself extra time before getting up to your running/cycling tempo. This will help reduce the risk of any muscular injuries.
- Nutrition and Hydration: It is very much the season where common colds and flus are rampant, especially if we spend too much time out in the mild temperatures. To help support our immune system we should look for a balanced, vitamin and mineral rich diet. As always, we should prioritize a diet which uses a wide range of fruit and vegetables to give us key vitamins and minerals. Another way of doing this is to increase the amount of red meat we eat as it will help provide our bodies with protein, vitamin A and E as well as zinc and iron. While, finally in cold weather we lose a lot of moisture and water to exercise. So it is important to remember to drink plenty of water in cold weather and not just warm weather!
Adding these easy tips to our preparation for and recovery from outdoor training will help reduce the risk of any setbacks that may occur this time of year. And remember to enjoy the process and the fresh air!