Caroline from Northern Bootcamp offers some ideas for staying strong (physically and mentally!) during the winter.
As the winter weather slowly arrives, this may have begun to have an impact on some of your training programs. The nights are getting darker and the mornings are taking longer to start. However, it’s the perfect time to reassess your training.
If you are someone who loves to train outdoors and really struggles with the thought of being in a gym, we will be looking into how to change that around and see what benefits we can get out of the winter season.
Lots of people who compete in triathlons, those who cycle a lot and those who like to run will use winter to focus on their strength training, which is usually done indoors. Winter is a really good time to start establishing a new structure for training instead of stopping altogether.
There are lots of different types of strength training. For those who are new to it, I would suggest starting with body training. For many people, body weight is enough especially at the beginning as it helps to establish a routine without too much muscle soreness, which could put some people off. Starting with just body weight alone can also help prevent injury or DOMS.
An initial recommendation would be to start with 10-12 reps of a particular exercise using only your body weight. This can include press-ups, tricep dips, squats, lunges and calf raises. You can start to increase the number of sets once you are confident you can complete all your reps with perfect form. Do not increase your sets until you can do this as bad form can lead to injury.
After this, you can start to slowly add weights. One option would be to continue to do the same exercises but with the added weight, while another would be to start to work on specific muscle groups using free weights or gym machines.
If you are put off by not being able to train outside during the winter or you don’t like the idea of training in a gym, reassessing and refocusing your training during the winter could help you through these dark nights. Try setting yourself a new goal for the winter season, whether that be lifting heavier weights or staying at your goal weight. The most important thing is that you feel strong, so that when spring comes back around you will be rearing to go and get back out there, and you won’t have lost your fitness over the winter.