Winter Workouts

Winter is coming, which means the type of exercise you do might change. The bicycle may get hung up and the cross-country skis may come out.

It isn’t necessary though. Winter riding is getting more popular. We just need to adapt and be smart. I will still run and follow these ideas:

Stay comfortable

That doesn’t mean putting on the parka. It means dressing in layers. I sweat more in winter than in summer. It is essential to wear a wicking fabric as your first layer. Being cold is bad. Being wet and cold is worse. Dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it is.

Bring along an extra layer to wear in case you tire and get cold. I may bring as many as four layers with me. If I get too warm I can peel one off and tie it around my waist. After I finish my run I like to walk. Then I can just put the layer back on.

On my feet I wear good wicking socks. On my hands I wear light knit gloves. In extreme cold I wear a light face mask. As the weather gets warmer I use a ball cap. Hooded sweatshirts give versatility.

Stay hydrated

Just because it is cold doesn’t mean that you don’t drink water. Not hydrating can lead to cramps. A cramped calf can ruin a good run.

I have a small drink before I leave. On longer runs I have an 8 oz. hand flask. Sometimes I will put this in the pouch of my hooded sweatshirt. The insulation and the bounce prevent it from freezing.

We start training for the Green Bay Marathon the first week of January. It’s cold. They serve us heated Gatorade. When we come in nothing beats a warm bowl of soup.

Stay visible

In the summer I love my road bike ride once a week. In the winter that gets hung up in the garage, and the cross-country skis get pulled out of the attic. We have designated cross-country ski trails up here. They are nice. There is a certain joy in blazing a new trail through the woods. Get outside and enjoy. Don’t let winter stop you.