Hibernation mode is an easy escape from winter’s uninviting weather forecast, and it often comes complete with a mindset that slows down your sweat schedule. But what if we said that these next few months could be your favorite for fitting in that winter workout? From what to wear to how to recover, we got the expert advice from Peloton Tread instructors Becs Gentry and Rebecca Kennedy on how they throw the heat on winter workouts to make this season one of their favorite times to train.
Invest in Warmth
Getting outside for a winter workout will seem more doable when you’ve got the gear to get you there, but how exactly do you dress for performance and comfort? Becs always goes for layers that keep her warm, safe and dry at the same time. “Invest in tech fabrics that are designed to keep you dry from all the elements–sweat, rain or snow–but also warm,” says Becs. “Thermal layers are ideal for this because they’re breathable so they dry off at the same time as locking in heat.” Maintaining an optimal body temperature will fluctuate throughout your workout, so make it easy to alter your outfit. “Start with the most on and end with the most on,” says Becs, “and as you warm up into your session take off as many pieces as you need to maintain a sensible body temperature. Just remember to pop them back on when you’re cooling down!” Becs’ favorite running pieces are those that help with heat but can always fit into a pocket once she’s warm enough. “Hats, gloves, neck warmers and even some vests are so important and can be easily tucked away mid-run, and don’t forget high socks to cover your ankles–they give off a lot of energy, especially in women, so get them covered up in cold temps!”
HIIT the De-stress Button
During a hectic holiday season, Rebecca loves to handle stress and anxiety with a workout. “Whether I’m taking it easy with a low impact workout on days when I feel sluggish, or boosting my energy levels with HIIT, exercise is hands down the best way I feel better in the colder months,” says Rebecca. And don’t forget the sweet stuff–the recovery! Take advantage of all the different ways to recharge your mind and body in the winter, especially those that add some extra warmth. “Infrared saunas are my go-to in the winter,” she says. “They provide a hit of dopamine, an increase in your serotonin levels and they heat your body from the inside out with incredible detoxifying benefits.” So research the nearest sauna in your city and reward yourself with a visit first, then thank Rebecca later.
Eyes on That Spring Prize
One of the best parts of staying consistent in the winter is being able to make a strong entrance in to the spring. So during the winter season, it’s very important to keep your eye on the prize, whatever that is for you. If signing up for a race sounds fun, commit now and be ready for it once the next season hits. “For most runners it is the big spring marathons that get us through winter training,” explains Becs. “Personally, I think about the Boston Marathon this year and the foul weather the runners experienced,” she says. “Some of the top runners in the world dropped out and others trucked on to that finish line in strength and defiance.” The moral of the story is to be ready for anything, and tackling some of the most inclement weather during the winter can do just that. “I always want to be prepared, so I train no matter what the skies say,” Becs says.
Embrace Your Environment
We usually equate appreciation for the outdoors during the spring, summer and fall months but if you take a look around, there’s a lot to be seen this season. “Winter days can be some of the most beautiful of the year,” says Becs. “The low sun always casts a stunning light on the world so use outdoor runs or workouts as a way to appreciate all that’s around you.” And if you live in a city that’s constantly busy, use the early morning hours to take your run to the clear and quiet streets. “As the weather gets colder, I appreciate the city even more because the streets empty out and I can enjoy the stillness and soak up the meditative qualities of my run,” says Rebecca. So wherever your run takes you that day, remember to just sweat and focus on what matters most. As Becs says, “breathe it all in and enjoy that vitamin D.”
And if the outdoors are not optimal for training safely? We’ll meet you on the Tread. “In order to maximize safety, I do the majority of my speed work indoors on the Peloton Tread,” says Becs, “I love using Interval and HIIT classes to work on increasing my power or a long run if I need to get my miles in.” And even though there may be some days where you can’t access the great outdoors, Becs believes there are benefits to using both environments. “Being indoors from start to finish also gives me the chance to warm up properly and cool down afterward in a nice warm place straight away.” So what are you waiting for? With all these options, your winter training party is only getting started.
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