4 ways to use winter as a training tool

Most runners see winter as a barrier to their training. With the short days of the season, freezing temperatures and slippery conditions, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get out there and run the miles, but with the right mindset, winter running can be difficult. makes it an effective training tool.

6 ways to keep running while having fun this winter

Running in winter makes you stronger

When running in deep snow and slippery trails, you are forced to recruit smaller muscles and tendons that you rarely need during the warmer months. Out of necessity, you end up moving your body in different ways, doing things like high knees, hopping, jumping, balancing on one leg and even occasional side lunges … all the moves you would do in the gym to develop. your strength.

Running in conditions like this day in and day out builds a ton of aerobic and muscle strength, which will result in faster times in the spring and summer.

It forces you to work on your stride

Remember all those hops and jumps we talked about earlier? These movements not only make you stronger, but they also help you improve your stride. Much like trail running, winter conditions require you to run on a variety of surfaces that challenge your stride so that you develop your efficiency through different running patterns.

Slippery conditions also require you to increase your rate of rotation and think more carefully about how your feet touch the ground, which improves the overall efficiency of your stride while encouraging low-impact stride mechanics to reduce strain. risk of injury. Practicing them all winter will help you apply the same techniques in the summer to make you a stronger, faster, and more injury-resistant runner.

It makes you mentally stronger

Mental toughness is crucial if you want to be a good runner, and what better way to challenge your mental toughness than to embark on a cold and dark winter race? After battling cold, wind, snow and ice all winter, a hilly spring half marathon will seem like a snap (OK maybe not, but you’ll be able to tackle it mentally. better than you would otherwise).

He does a great aerobic base workout

winter run

It’s true that winter isn’t a great time to speedwork, especially if you don’t have access to an indoor facility or a treadmill. This, however, does not mean that it is not useful. Unless you have a spring goal race planned, winter is a great time to build up your aerobic base to prepare your body for sprint work when the weather warms up.

Is winter the best time to train in the hills?

If you are get ready for a spring goal race (Around the Bay and Boston runners, we’re looking at you), consider signing up for a gym membership or accessing an indoor track (if there’s one nearby) , in order to be able to do part of your speed sessions in better conditions.

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