How Outdoor Athletes Stay Fit through Winter

When winter inevitably comes, athletes need to continue training or risk losing progress

The best of the best are known for perseverance when the going gets tough. That mentality applies to roadblocks in training, disappointing competitions and it also applies to difficult conditions. [slideshow:81534]

It’s no secret that most people would choose to workout in warmer weather and it’s not hard to see why. But when winter inevitably comes, athletes need to continue training or risk losing all progress.

Many outdoor athletes that compete in the summer, though, simply can’t keep up the same type of training when the temperature drops. Whether it be physically impossible or mentally problematic, their training has to change. We asked those athletes how exactly their routine changes and what they do to stay fit through the winter.

Yoga and Foam Rolling

“I'm a huge triathlon fan and just completed my first (but not last) Ironman. I always compete in the warmer months. The winter months are a bit more challenging to do long outdoor cycles and runs, but they're the perfect time to get the body in shape,” said Ariane Hundt, a personal trainer and founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp in New York. “During extensive endurance exercise, the body typically loses muscle mass and with that imbalances and loss of strength can occur… adding yoga and foam rolling to the routine ensures I stay flexible and nimble, so that when spring comes and the longer endurances sessions ramp up again, my body can take the required pounding of the pavement, swimming in the pool and my legs can handle the hills I ride.”

Hundt also focuses on strength training and plyometric workouts in the winter.

Outdoor Trail Running

“As a Minnesotan, dealing with winter isn't optional—you've got to take it on, or you're looking at a long season of hiding indoors and suffering on the treadmill,” said Robyn Reed, a trail, snowshoe and ultramarathon runner. “My sport of choice is trail running, and it's a year-round activity. Winter trail running is a special experience. It's a chance to enjoy solitude and silence on the trails, a time when the winter animals venture out and are easy to spot, and an opportunity to turn off the stopwatch, stop measuring the miles and run by effort and the sound of your own breathing. Winter running lets you master the weather, instead of fearing it. And when spring rolls around and the trails are clear, it leaves you more powerful and confident in your stride than you were in November.”

8 Other Ways Outdoor Athletes Stay Fit through Winter

More Reading:
5 Tips for Winter Running
Fitness Tools to Help Move Your Workouts Indoors
The Newest Indoor Workouts for Fall and Winter