So Winter is here and now we feel like curling up in bed. Early starts are even less appealing and are more dangerous than they were in the summer. Long evening runs are the same. The darkness and the cold mean that to be seen we must wear lights, and that the roads can be icy and slippery. All-in-all it would appear that winter training in the UK is not the most enjoyable pursuit. So what can we do?
We want to get the hours in, and we want to do it safely. If we just grind away at our training either side of a 9-5 job then it will generally leave us feeling really degraded. We’ll get fatigued, mentally and physically and this means we’re not benefiting from the time we spend training.
If we adjust slightly to the weather and the conditions (we can’t control them so just roll with it) then we can still create efficient Winter Training plan. In some ways you can look forward to having a rest in the evenings. Cutting training back during the week so that it revolves around 90 minute gym session, indoors rather than long runs outside means that with a well-considered approach; we can work on specific fitness components which will contribute to us achieving our final objective. We are then more able to train our long-distance ability at the weekend, with an lie in and an early night as the light disappears and a full two days of training. The week then becomes a more relaxing time and we have achieved 2 things:
1) Specific training during the week, focusing on things like injury prevention, strength, power or high intensity training.
2) Full length training weekends which help us develop much better endurance than if those hours were spread out across the week rather than as a continuous session. Our body is now learning to work for prolonged sessions, much more than just a couple of hours at a time.
3) We feel more relaxed, not hating ourselves for missing an early morning session. This just makes us feel better anyway.
So enjoy the lie ins and the dark evenings. And make the most of the weekends instead. If you still aren’t convinced that Winter training can be enjoyed then learn this Norwegian word:
It kind of means cosy but it’s more applicable to the feeling of relief you get after you’ve been out in the elements and you suddenly step in to a warm, safe place. No stress, no demands, just the feeling that you can now relax, knowing that you are away from the elements.
Also, just think of all the skiing that is to be done. Get some touring skis and get your hours in whilst in the mountains earning some powder turns on the way back down.