Ten winter training tips

Healthy Lifestyles Corner

GREENE COUNTY — Why do people who love the outdoors hibernate through the cold months as they wait for spring? Most of the time it’s because people just don’t think they can stay warm. As you continue to train for the April 14 “Spring Has Sprung” Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk, the following guidelines can help you get beyond the initial obstacles cold weather can present.

1. Use base-layer clothing made from fabrics that are designed to wick moisture away from your skin. This will keep you dry and warm for the duration of the workout.

2. Do not overdress. Though this may feel nice and comfortable at the beginning, you will sweat much more than you would otherwise, making your clothes wet. Wet Clothes = Cold Body. Generally speaking, if you feel slightly cool before starting your activity, you have dressed perfectly for the conditions.

3. Dress to your training plan. Hard workouts will require less clothing than easier workouts. If you are unsure how to dress, bring a shell jacket that can be used for your warm-up and cool-down, but can be easily taken off and stowed for the more difficult part of the workout.

4. Wear shades. In most cool or cold weather conditions, sport sunglasses will protect eyes from the bright sun reflecting off of the snow and prevent them from watering due to the cold or wind.

5. Keep it down. The down coat is king when it comes to cold environments and intermittent activities that involve stopping. A light-weight down coat is the perfect solution to keep you toasty during winter sports that incorporate periods of prolonged rest.

6. Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.

7. A good trail running shoe provides extra traction for slippery surfaces and many offer waterproof features that help keep your feet dry. In areas with deep snow, a pair of light gaiters will keep the snow out of your shoes.

8. H2O. One of the biggest challenges for training in cold temperatures is avoiding de-hydration. While it may feel unappealing, drinking regularly during these lower temperature workouts is just as necessary as in warmer weather. Filling water bottles with lukewarm fluids will help to prevent them from freezing or being too cold to drink comfortably.

9. Plan your route ahead of time. Use a loop course to avoid getting too far away from home in the event something was to go wrong during your activity.

10. Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.

The cold weather can bring a winter wonderland of training possibilities. With a little planning and knowledge, along with the right clothing, you will be amazed at how enjoyable the crisp air can feel. Almost as good as the well-deserved hot chocolate in front of a warm fire afterwards.

This Week’s 5K Training Tip -8 Weeks from Race Day:

You’re now 8 weeks from Race Day, April 14th. During this week of training, you should still be doing a combination of walking and jogging to continue to build your endurance and strength. On your chosen training days (3-5 days are recommended), start with a brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

– Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)

– Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)

– Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)

– Walk 400 yards (or 3 minutes)

Training Tip brought to you by www.coolrunning.com.

Be sure to check out next week’s article that will feature another helpful tip from Greene County Public Health. If you would like to register for the 5K scheduled for Saturday, April 14 at the Xenia YMCA, you can do so online at www.speedy-feet.com or print and mail a registration form with your payment by visiting www.gcph.info. For further questions, please call 937-374-5683 or email [email protected]

Column courtesy of Greene County Public Health, www.active.com and Fraser Quelch.

Healthy Lifestyles Corner