The off-season can be daunting. There are no races coming up that excite you and in OCR you’re left with building a strong aerobic base, if you’re smart. The high intensity running is on hold. It’s also winter in Canada, which leaves the human body craving calories and hibernation.
One tip is to get outside even in crappy weather. Find a reason to move your body or invite a friend to get outside with you on easy runs. Motion is lotion for the body and finding the couch for four months won’t help you reach your goals.
There are a lot of people that plan to get into the gym in the winter. If you can handle that atmosphere and excel at it, definitely go for it. Anything is better than doing nothing and starting over when the weather is nice. But if you find yourself static during the winter months, you should find something that works for you.
Remember, being outside is about making a connection with your DNA and I believe if you try it for a while, you’ll find a passion for it. The hardest part of training outdoors in the winter is getting into your car and getting out of it at your intended workout destination. When you get moving, you’ll find yourself warm and happy rather quickly. Doing it with friends is even better – find a bootcamp like the one I run in Ottawa (www.soldiersoffitnessottawa.com) and I don’t think you’ll regret it.
But here is the best part:
- If you train through the winter, you’re still making gains. If you aren’t, you’re losing gains.
- When spring hits, you’re already where you want to be – If you don’t train, you’re starting over.
- Training in the winter keeps your mind on nutrition – not training gives you an excuse to eat in excess and probably gain a few pounds of unwanted fat.
- Group training keeps you motivated and finding friends just like you – motivated self-starters.
The reality is that winter training isn’t for everyone. I think it should be, but it isn’t. There’s a level of comfort found in a gym indoors during cold weather that keeps people seeking that instead. If this is you, keep working on your gains and get outside when you’re comfortable with the outdoor weather again. Don’t give up on your training, especially heading into the Christmas holiday season.
Training may not be intense right now with loads of fun races upcoming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take pleasure in the simple things like a run in the snow, breathing in the crisp air and enjoying the look and sounds of winter.