Photo: Syda Productions / Shutterstock
The spring days have their merits: mild temperatures, a common energy, and a positive start to the season. But Training for spring races (d. H. Despite cold weather week after week, if you live in the north, and with a limited number of hours for daylight runs)? That can be daunting.
And it's an adaptation no matter where you live. "Winter is everywhere," says Michael McGrane, the treadmill of the Boston Athletic Association. "Even if you are in Florida, training can be difficult if you are not used to temperatures of 50 degrees."
However, there are some benefits to getting along from colder days with long runs and hillside sprints. Here are seven of them ̵
They will build up mental tenacity.
"When you run in difficult conditions, you feel pretty bad," says Amanda Nurse, an elite runner and Adidas run coach. "Some of my most memorable runs were those where I had icicles for the eyelashes, needed Yaktrax in my sneakers and wore all the warm layers I owned, some of my teammates even wore goggles."
As a result, build trust, which is the key to feeling prepared on race day. Looking back on these tough days, you can also be motivated by a race (you know, when you feel your legs, lungs and heart and wonder why you signed up again for it). "You can think back to all those hard days of training where you did not just risk the road, but also the weather – and you realize you can handle it," says Angela Rubin, Precision Running Lab's director at Equinox Chestnut Hill. "Mental strength is one of the biggest components of the race."
The winter can provide ideal running pace.
So they are afraid of ice, snow and wind. Well, you know: "The racing conditions in winter and spring can sometimes be better than summer, so it's easy for us to forget how humid and hot summer is," says McGrane. In winter, you can not deal with allergies or high temperatures, both of which can slow down. (See also: The Surprising Benefits of Training in the Rain)
"When you start exceeding 60 or 65 degrees, the overall performance will subside," says McGrane. They tend to become drained and lose important electrolytes, which can lead to cramping and fatigue.
Therefore, cold conditions may actually be preferable. "Forty degrees is a great temperature for a race because you often heat up a lot during the race," Sister Nurse says. Best of all, you can control your temperature by layering and digging the layers during the run, she says.
You will be looking forward to treadmills.
Yes, you read that right. On days when you can not stand the thought of being outside, you'll see a treadmill as a break (and when can you say that ?!). "The treadmill gives you the ability to set a speed you want to run with and the height you want to train on," says Nurse Nurse. Treadmill lessons – like Barrys Bootcamp or Equinox & # 39; s Precision Running Lab – are also great ways to work on speed or hills in a (warm!) Group setting. Rubin says, "A scene change is always good, especially on those days with a negative degree." (See also: 8 treadmill mistakes you make)
Training helps a long winter to feel shorter.
When winter is your worst favorite season, you are not alone. However, if you choose a workout plan that will keep you busy from January to April, you can avoid short days, freezing temperatures and cloudy skies. "Winter passes faster when you count down the weeks to a race," says McGrane. "I run Boston every year, and every year I joke that it's my way of surviving the winter months."
You will build a stronger body.
"Your body needs a lot of energy to warm up. Air breathe when you exercise," says Rubin. If you run on uneven surfaces or on snow-covered rocky ground, your muscles also need to attack more, she notes. In fact, a study from the University of Michigan found that moving on rough terrain requires 28 percent more energy than on a flat surface. "If you walk on the winter terrain, you can activate your core even more to keep you stable," explains Rubin. "If you try to keep your shape and not slip or fall, your core will be powered up to stabilize you."
You will meet new friends …
Pro Tip: Do not make your long runs alone. "The camaraderie you feel during winter training is incredible," says Sister Nurse. "If you train in bad conditions (especially snow and ice!), The runners really get together, praise each other and work together to do it in all weathers." To find a running group near you, first check out special runs or sports shops and training studios, which often take place on weekends.
"Running with a group can lead to lasting friendships – especially on long journeys – and you really get to know someone," says Sister. A big part of the success in a race is also the commitment to training – and if you have friends or teammates who can count on you to show up, you have more incentive to be there because you do not want to let them down! (See also: The Benefits of Joining a Running Group – Even If You're Not Trying to Put a PR)
… or some time you need alone.
"Warm weather brings all runners and crowds out," says Kelly Whittaker, a 20-time marathon runner and instructor at B / SPOKE, an indoor cycling studio in Boston. However, if you are jogging on a cold, crispy day, you can have the road or path to yourself and enjoy the scenery more relaxed. "There is nothing better than walking past snowy terrain." Search for a Zen factor in a natural environment. Studies at Stanford University have shown that staying in the outdoors (and that's not the streets of the city) calms the brain, relaxing areas associated with a mental illness rather than a busy environment.