5 Tips from Sage Canaday on Staying in Running Shape this Winter
The Winter months comes with a mixed bag a feeling for a lot of us, especially during shoulder season when the weather doesn't cooperate. But take it from Sage Canaday, staying in shape during the Winter isn't as complicated as it may sound. Here's a few tips from the trail master himself.
1. Mix it up. Depending on where you live, winter weather conditions can change rapidly all the time. Instead of working against the weather, work with it! While some of you may not consider yourself a “multi-sport athlete,” there are always a wide variety of ways to challenge your cardiovascular system and skeletal muscular system. Activities like skiing (all forms), running, climbing in a gym or even riding a bike inside on a stationary trainer on really nasty days can break up the monotony of always doing the same activity. As a runner by trade, I’ve found myself thoroughly enjoying strapping on snowshoes and heading out into knee-deep snow when it dumps in the mountains. Taking some days off from your “main sport” and experimenting around with another activity in the winter months will keep you motivated, in shape, and refreshed!
2. Keep eating veggies and greens! With a general lack of local farmers markets in the winter months, it sometimes becomes all too easy to over indulge in the sweet treats of the holidays: pies, candy canes and cookies tend to replace a lot of those farmer’s market items. While those indulgences are totally necessary at times, it is also important to keep ingesting a wide-variety of antioxidants (and fruits and veggies are pretty ideal for that!).
3. Work on your weaknesses! For many runners the winter months are considered more “off-season” but that doesn’t mean you should hibernate and sleep on the couch all weekend (well, sometimes). As endurance athletes we get caught up in a lot of repetitive motions that can lead to overuse injuries if we aren’t constantly correcting our form and addressing muscle imbalances. Check out some yoga moves for strength and flexibility or develop a core routine involving planks.
4. Stay hydrated! Again, considering that the holidays are coming up, most of us are likely to be drinking a lot (maybe too much) of other fluids besides plain ol’ water. While hot cocoa and perhaps other “adult beverages” are also totally necessary in the dark, cold and gloomy days of winter (and at holiday/family gatherings), it is important to also stay hydrated. Often times because of colder temperatures and lack of sunshine it is all too easy to go outside and forget to drink during and after hours of hard physical activity. Hydrate up and stay healthy!
5. Have fun! Just because the daylight hours are shorter and it’s a bit colder out doesn’t mean that you can’t thoroughly enjoy training in the winter months (although it’s probably a lot easier if your main gig is skiing!) Set goals for the New Year, challenge yourself with new activities, and embrace the changing of the seasons!