Reasons to keep training in winter

As the weather gets colder and rain/snow come along, we all fight the same feeling. We tell ourselves that we want to go out for a run, but at the same time, we just…really want to stay inside. This is part of this time of year, and we know how it feels. But there are a lot of great, important reasons to keep training through the winter–from mental health, all the way through to not losing everything you’ve built during the warmer months. Let’s replace the reasons not to train with reasons to get out and get the job done. 

It’s common that after a bright summer of big running adventures, we start to lose focus or motivation. No worries, there are great ways to stay active (winter is an awesome season to train, actually) and the best part: we don’t actually need to do much to keep our fitness. We just need to be smart and efficient. 

We’ve designed a series of winter training plans for trail runners. They’ll keep you accountable and help you get on the door on those tough days. Check them out here.

Here’s why you should really keep training during the winter:

Don’t lose what you’ve built. If you had a nice,, active summer, you’re coming into the winter with a good fitness foundation. Keeping up that work and not losing what you’ve built is one of the biggest reasons to stick with it in the winter. 

Mental health. Short days, gray afternoons, and cold temps can affect your mood. For some of us, keeping up positive energy becomes harder in the winter–so making sure you stay active and consistent in your training by moving and exercising on a regular basis can be a game changer in how your body and mind perceive these seasons. 

It’s easier to start again in the spring. The more active you are during these slower, colder months, the easier it will be to get back at it when spring comes. You might be surprised to know that you don’t actually have to do much volume or intense workouts during fall and winter. Just some consistent, steady training will make a huge difference for next year. 

Strengthen your foundation. Winter training is a great opportunity to work on the basics–and running is a basic sport. Slowly building leg strength, stability, and core strength will build confidence and be great for your overall fitness. 

All cardio can benefit your running. You actually don’t have to run much in the winter–and if you’ve got another option (like indoor/outdoor biking, swimming, cross country skiing) we recommend you choose something that’s NOT running to focus on. Any type of cardio exercise you can do during the winter will help your running game during the rest of the year. 

Key considerations: 

Adaptability: Weather can be tricky and conditions can change very quickly in the fall/winter, so make sure you bring enough gear in case of cold, rain or even snow. Staying warm is key during your workouts, so make sure your gear matches the conditions. 

Be ready for chilly starts: Getting ready to go or starting the workout will be the hardest part of your training, we won’t lie. So stay focused, don’t get discouraged and start by wearing something that helps you stay warm. 

Rain can always show up:  This will depend on where you live, but in general it’s always a good idea to bring a rain jacket…just in case. 

Days are short, bring some light: from reflective elements on your own clothes to a headlamp, this will help you see and be seen. 

How to train: 

We’ve designed a series of winter training plans for trail runners. They’ll keep you accountable and help you get on the door on those tough days. Check them out here.

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