By: Taylor Reid
Winter Training tips:
Winter in Canada can be pretty harsh and make training a little harder. There is less light and we have to put on so much clothing to stay warm in our training sessions. I am going to go through a few tips that I use to stay motivated and fit through the winter.
Swimming really is not affected by the winter in Canada since all of our pools are indoors. The winter may be a good time to focus on your swimming a little more. That being said, triathletes still have to focus on all three sports, and open water swimming. I like to throw in a little bit of sitting in the pool. At the end of a workout I like to do 50m of swimming like I was in open water. So lifting your head every 3-4 strokes to see where you are going. Just like you do in the open water to work on that skill.
In the winter the trainer is your best friend. But sometimes those long bike rides just are not happening, so I like to do short hard repeats on the bike. To stay motivated it is really good to find a group to ride with, or even a spin class. The winter is a great time to do some single leg and work on skills.
Running can also be very hard to get in during the cold weather. It is key to remember that it takes a little time to layer up properly for the winter. I like to layer up with a t-shirt, long sleeved shirt and then a outer shell, with one to two pairs of tights. Also you can look into getting water resistance shoes so that your feet stay a little dryer. It is important to find the right area to run, with good trails or roads in the winter, and to be carful when the snow melts. Do not risk running on crazy cold or blizzardy days. Have a back up treadmill or take the day off.
It is very fun to try other winter sports that cross over a little, like Nordic Skiing or snowshoeing. Do not put yourself at risk of an injury, weigh the risk and rewards.
By: Kirsten Marchant
Making the most of your surroundings- and avoiding the over-packed gym
January is the worst time of year to be an athlete. Come January 1st the number of people at the gym at any one time seems to triple, if not quadruple. Suddenly you are faced with waiting around to use any of the cardio or weight equipment and a workout that would have taken an hour in December suddenly needs 90 minutes in order to complete. As a very impatient person, I wholly dislike this but have a few plans in place to minimize having to deal with all these ‘new years resolutioners.’ (yes that is a made-up word).
Step number one, which I hope to be effective and eliminate the need for any other changes, is to arrive at the gym by 7am. Given that I am using a university gym, I am hopeful that by arriving this early the gym will still be a fairly deserted place. If you are using a community gym, I would suggest using the gym sometime between 9 and 11am- probably lots of retired folks there, but I would think the majority of people are at work at those hours (but then again, I’m always surprised by how many people are not). Whatever you do, don’t try to use the gym between 4:30 and 8pm- that is definitely the most crowded time.
If you have no other choice than to go to the gym late afternoon/ early evening, I would suggest you arrive with a healthy dose of patience and a plan to modify your workout if you are in a time crunch. Doing more intense workouts can reap big benefits in less time.
Another option is to avoid the gym completely. Use your surroundings to help you get your workouts in (but dress appropriately if you are outside!). For example, finding a long set of stairs to run up and down can provide a great workout. Having done this recently I would suggest not going up and down for an hour straight your first time- it results in very very sore legs! ☹
There are also plenty of strength workouts that you can do in your own home (or at a park). Some suggestions include: lunges (forward/back/side), squats, burpees, planks (all variations), push ups, bench dips, and core work (many options).
But hold out hope- statistically almost half the people will be done with their resolutions before the end of January, and 80% will have quit by March. Personally I just have to wait until mid-term time (6 weeks) and everything gets back to normal.
Side-note: If you want your New Year’s resolution to stick you have to have a better reason for making a change than “it’s a new year.”
Our Tuesday/Thursday runs always happen, no matter the weather.
The outdoor workouts are Tuesday and Thursday nights at Robert F. Hall High School.
Meet at 5:15-25pm in the parking lot of Robert F. Hall and warmup starts at 5:30pm.
This will be a run workout (speedier based) after the 5:30-6pm warmup and drills.