Winter Fitness Tips And Workouts
It’s snowing. It’s icy. It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s winter. But you shouldn’t let all of that slow you down.
Even in unfriendly running conditions, there’s proof that you can train incredibly hard inside and still blow past the competition.
In 2000, for example, Christine Clark, a pathologist and mother of two from Anchorage, Alaska, stunned the running world when she ran her way from relative obscurity to win the Olympic marathon trials. Then 37 years old, Clark would be the only woman marathon runner to represent the United States at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.
”Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d be here,” Clark told the New York Times. ”I think this gives a lot of women hope that they can be in their 30s and have a career and kids and do it all.”
Did we mention that most her training was on a treadmill?
For Clark, the weather, roads and cold made outside winter trials training an Alaskan pipe dream. So, she mostly stayed inside where she ran around 70 miles in six days each week, mostly on a treadmill.
In the meantime, Clark dodged runny noses, stiff air and, more seriously, she avoided hypothermia and frostbite. She also stayed away from unclear sidewalks, icy roads, and winter drivers, making a serious case for winter treadmill training.
Treadmill Training Tips
If you choose to train on your treadmill this winter, here are some tips:
1. Warm up and cool down.
Don’t forget to warm up. Allow your body to smoothly shift into its natural rhythm. This will set the pace for your entire run, and remember to cool down at the end to prevent strain.
2. Use an incline.
Set an incline at a minimum of 1 percent. This roughly simulates the resistance of an outdoor run. Adding additional incline can mimic hill training as well.
3. Listen to music or watch TV.
To listen to music or a podcast while running outside can be dangerous and watching TV would make you look like a crazy person, but not on a treadmill. Use music to set the mood for your workout or catch up on pop-culture or news on your run.
4. Pay attention to form.
Treadmill running can make or break your form. During your workout, remind yourself of these things: Don’t hold the bars, keep a moderate stride, don’t look at your feet, and land on the ball of your feet—not your heel.
If you’re doing it right, you might forget you’re getting a killer workout on a treadmill. But don’t forget to drink water, especially on long runs.
6. Mix it up.
Use the built-in training routines on your treadmill to keep things interesting. Run hills. Run sprints. Run intervals. Run long distance. Maybe even jog.
Why not try out these tips with a few workouts?
Train Like An Olympic Athlete With These Treadmill Workouts
These are the key workouts that helped Clark to run 26.2 miles in 80 degrees weather in 2 hours 33 minutes and 31 seconds, according to Runner’s World.
Workout 1: A 12- to 15-mile run at your marathon goal pace – for Clark, that meant 5 minutes 50 seconds per mile.
Workout 2: A tempo workout 20 seconds faster than your marathon goal pace.
Workout 3: An easier-paced long run of around 20 miles.
Even in perfect conditions, running is hard. When winter weather is unbearable, there are options to stay in great shape. Clark, for example, trained for the Olympics on a treadmill. So, although winter is coming, don’t let the cold slow you down.
Author: Jackson Murphy, Utah State University