BRRR!!!! (Photo credit: Zoomarun.com)
Living in the South I am usually blessed with warm (and often yukky, sticky humidity) weather. Over the last few years Houston’s climate has really begun to change.. we have had snow, ice, heatwaves, tornadoes, hurricanes etc etc. (You see my point).
In the summer it is usually blazing hot and people can’t hack the heat until later in the evening; where in normal parts of the country it would cool off – not in Houston! But we suck it up anyway and off we trot for a couple of loops at Memorial or Rice, or even THP if you’re further out like me.
So Houstonians and us wannabes (imports) have adjusted to this and embraced the sticky horrible heat and worked out regardless. What we are not accustomed to at all is the cold! It hits anything below 70 here and we start wearing scarves and boots, coats make their way out of the closet or storage (I’m not even kidding!).
So my friends (and I, yes, I too am guilty), moan about the weather “Oh it’s too cold to run”, “I can’t get out of bed because it’s freezing”, “There’s no way I can bike in this weather” and the like.
BUT…. YES, we can! The North of the Country, (Mason Dixon line if you want to be super specific/Yankee country if you’re a Texan) manage it! Some of the States for about 5/6 months a year. And let’s face it, they are so hardcore up there that even giant snow drifts and ice storms don’t phase them! Hats off to these heroes!
One of those heroes! (Photo credit: 4.bp.blogspot.com)
I am embracing the cold (obviously not at 4:15am when that pesky alarm goes off and I have to tiptoe across the tiled (who even invented tiled flooring!?!) FREEZING floor to slip on my running shoes or grab my kit bag and head out for that oh so important work out). I love that I can now work out for an extended amount of time without feeling like I’m going to burn in hell or spontaneously combust from heat exposure. Yes, it is unpleasant and downright miserable when you stop and that wind hits you, but take some layers for when you stop, and grab a towel to dry off and you will be golden.
I read a fantastic article on Runner’s World this morning about 10 hints and tips for running in the cold so I would definitely recommend that you read it too! (Particularly the part about how many layers to wear depending on the temperature! This is something we have NO idea about down here!).
My hints and tips are as follows:
1. Don’t over layer during the workout but take plenty for post run/workout! Change out of your damp clothing – you will only get colder otherwise.
2. Don’t linger outside post workout longer than is absolutely necessary! You don’t want to get sick.
3. Keep a towel to hand in your car to “dry off” afterwards – you will still sweat on these workouts.
4. Set your alarm across the room if it’s a morning workout. Once you’re up, you’re less likely to curl back up.
5. If it’s a morning workout have everything ready to go and some people have suggested even wearing workout kit to bed so you don’t have to freeze in the morning getting ready.
6. Safety is key! I’m an independent female who is still going to work out on my own but there’s a limit to where and when! I will happily got to the gym near my work at 5am, running at the park at the same time; not so much! Think about where you are; who is around at that time etc.
7. Wear fluorescent clothing or bands and take a flashlight/head torch. See and be seen!
8. Pack yourself a treat of hot coffee/chocolate or tea for the end! It’s great to focus on that to get you to the end of the workout.
9. Find some indoor classes you would be interested in taking if it’s “just too cold” outside
10. If you’re a gadget/gear geek or guru struggling to get out there get yourself a jar or money tin and put a set amount of money in each time you work out so that you can buy yourself something fabulous and shiny at the end of the winter and it will feel that much better because you earned it with those difficult get ups, cold slogs in the wind and the rain.
And if you’re struggling with motivation in the cold find alternatives, set yourself some personal challenges, sign up for a Spring event, get some friends on board for a competition, imagine yourself crossing the finish line of an event you were particularly pleased with; how did it feel? Rekindle that feeling! And if you’re still struggling reading my previous post about Motivation.
Please, make sure you warm up adequately pre and post workout! We don’t want any injuries!
What are your hints and tips for Winter Workouts?
Reply here or tweet @jrnytoironwoman.
Be safe out there!