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18 December 2020   |   Blog   |   

Winter Miles Summer Smiles – Stay Fit with Sports Travel International

Winter Top 10

Tips to Keep you clocking up miles in the cold!

The nights are long, the days are darker, and there is lots of rain and wind. Winter in the northern hemisphere can be tough, especially for lovers of the great outdoors, but it’s also an excellent time to train outside as well. As the saying goes; ‘winter miles; summer smiles’!

If you make sure you have the right clothing and equipment, wrap up warm, and adapt your training accordingly, then the winter training can be safe, effective, and, most importantly, fun.

To keep your training on the right tracks this winter, be sure to follow these top tips.

1.Wear the Right Clothing

Good footwear is essential for any running or cycling, but especially in wet or icy conditions. Make sure you have good grip on your shoes, and, if possible, ensure that they are waterproof. In colder climes, appropriate clothing is essential to manage the lower temperatures. Wear layers that are warm but breathable that can be added or removed easily. Make sure that you are easily visible in low light with Hi Viz clothing and lights.

Annecy MaXi-Race3

2. Prepare & Maintain your Clothing/Equipment 

Jackets, shoes, and important equipment can easily become wet, or suffer damage, in harsher conditions. You’ll need a bit of forward planning, to ensure that your favourite kit is clean and dry if you train with it regularly. Ensure your tyres have have good grip and consider investing in a couple of spares, just in case. Plan running and/or cycling routes around avoiding hazards such as a lack of lighting, leaves and debris, or ice and puddles.

3. Warm Up

Warming up is key all year round, but is even more significant in the winter. Warming up prepares the body for exercise and reduces the chance of injury. See our guide on effective warming up, if you are unsure of what to do. Equally, a thorough cool down is also advisable.

4. Take a common sense approach

We’re not going to risk assess every aspect of our lives, but when training in bad weather, be sensible. If you think there is a chance the weather might be dangerous, or you have been advised against going out by your local weather forecast, then please consider this in advance. If you fail to do so you could risk injury, or even causing yourself serious harm. Always check the forecast before heading out and avoid the worst of the weather.

5. Cross train

Winter is an excellent time of year to try something different. A change is just as good as a rest sometimes. Why not do some strength training at home or in the gym? Your muscles will thank you for it come summer.

Check out our blog on home based circuit training, for some ideas on how to mix it up!

6. Take it indoors

Apart from hitting the weights, you can also continue to run and cycle indoors as well. Get your turbo trainer or treadmill set up at home, and maybe try a race on Zwift, to make the indoor miles a bit less dull. If you don’t have Zwift, you could try interval training as a nice way to break up your runs. When training indoors, there’s no need to worry about it being dark, cold, icy or wet.

Check out our beginner’s guide to Zwift here

7. Do a virtual event

Virtual events are a great way to keep motivated. There were loads of really high profile virtual races held in 2020. London, Boston, New York, and even the quirky and unique Marathon du Medoc, all took to the virtual world in 2020. For cyclist, the Haute Route Watopia and even legendary Etape du Tour found a home on Zwift in 2020. We predict that virtual events are here to stay and we’ll see more in 2021 as well.

 

8. Try and get out during the day

If at all possible, try to get outside during daylight hours. In Ireland, it is hard to get enough Vitamin D from sunlight in winter. As well as eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, we should also try to get as much daylight on our skins as we can during the winter months. Maybe try to get outside during your work lunch break. You’ll be far more productive in the afternoon after some fresh air.

9. Sign up for an event

Having a goal in mind, such as an event, can be a wonderful motivational tool when the training gets tough. Looking forward to an event is ideal, as there is a set date and all your planning has an end goal. A lot of events are also set in warmer weather, or on wonderful holidays; giving you something positive to look forward to. Many events are already sold out for 2021, due to a lot of roll-over bookings from 2020, but there is still plenty available with Sports Travel International.

 FULL 2021 CYCLING CALENDAR 

 FULL 2021 RUNNING CALENDAR 

 FULL 2021 TRIATHLON CALENDAR

 FULL 2021 CYCLING HOSPITALITY CALENDAR

10. Look After Yourself and your Loved Ones; Follow the Current COVID-19 Guidance

Make sure that you eat a healthy and varied diet in winter, and try to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Cut down on alcohol, coffee and fizzy drinks if you can. Stay hydrated. Warm air blowing in the car plus central heating really dehydrate your skin, so you have to drink more water. Other drinks can be good too, such as herbal teas. The regulations for COVID-19 change frequently, and it is important to stay up to date with what you can and can’t do in your area. Check the current guidelines, before you head out and ensure you follow the guidance to keep yourself, and those around you safe and well.

Current COVID Guidance from gov.ie. 

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