With the arrival of January 3rd came the realisation that the holiday period was finally over, the last turkey leg had been eaten and the remaining party poppers pulled. The cold, dark, wet and extremely blustery New Year had begun with a bang as I sat in my office chair thinking where did it all go? Pre-Christmas clothing favourites of brightly coloured slim fitting shirts paired with tailored single pleat trousers had been replaced by an array of plain black slacks coupled with double fronted elasticated pants to accommodate a slight festive spread.
Getting Back to Training
However, things couldֶe been much worse and with the comparatively mild seasonal weather I was able to stick to a fairly modest training schedule, with the exception of a couple of days lost through my annual bout of խan fluծ If only I could be as focused on keeping my hands away from the assorted sweet tins which adorned my home!
Taking to the streets holds its own magic at this time of year, the opportunity to gather thoughts and remove oneself from the hustle and bustle of family life. To look back and appreciate the unforgettable experiences youֶe shared over the past week(s). The quiet dimly lit streets providing a mysterious backdrop to the hopes, plans and goals for the upcoming year.
The streets are not bound by specific time constraints unlike your local gym, the tarmac welcomes you with open arms at any time of the day or night like a long lost child. The changing terrain, the constant directional considerations help to keep the mind focused unlike any treadmill allowing ownership and a sense that exercise can be fun and need not be boring or mundane. The outside does not care if you have a hole in your sock, the world is not looking for a glamour model to clamber down the road, this is about you and the decision to improve your own well-being.
Վo more excusesՠՎo more buts or maybesծ We all know the benefits of exercise so why not make 2012 your yearʜn
What to Wear
Dressing appropriately is the key to enjoyable and comfortable outdoor training. The technical elements incorporated into the latest sports clothing help ensure maximum benefit and results. Moisture wicking fabrics not only help to retain heat keeping your muscles supple and flexible but they ensure that excess wetness is removed from the skin keeping it relatively dry. Sports specific training attire will also offer a more tailored fit ensuring freedom of movement and the ability to layer more easily whilst keeping overall weight down.
As a guide you should look to wear clothing that makes you feel cool when you first step out of the door but will gradually help the body acclimatise once you begin exercise and feel comfortable after about 10-15 minutes.
ŉRunning Tights – McDavid hDc Cold Wear Thermal Pants
ŉBase Layer – McDavid hDc Cold Wear Long Sleeve Shirt
ŉGloves – 1000 Mile Ultimate Runner’s Gloves
+ optional extra Ultimate Performance Runner’s Ear Warmer
As above but consider wearing a second top layer (vest or t-shirt) and a second bottom layer (tracksuit running pants).
You may like to add a wind resistant jacket and an Ultimate Performance Ultimate Runners Hat.
As a rule athletes who tend to train during the winter months place less emphasis on the need to keep well hydrated and a reduced desire to drink increases the chances of dehydration and / or muscle fatigue related injury. The risks are exactly as during the hot sticky summer months and we would recommend drinking small amounts approximately every 15 minutes. Sports drinks are the preferred option as they replace essential minerals and provide carbohydrate energy but water would suffice.
Benefits – Good News!
Exercising in the cold will increase your calorific burn as your body strives to warm itself up helping to create a more productive, efficient sessionɮ Studies have also shown that as the nights draw to an early close the amount of serotonin produced by the brain begins to drop, by engaging in a cardio workout you will produce more of a feel good factor which is a far more effective way of treating the winter blues when compared with prescriptive drugs. And, as if that wasnִ enough to get you in the mood scientific research backs what most of us athletes already know, staying active during this cold period is your best defence against seasonal flu by boosting your immune system!
And remember, Ղe Safe!ծ