Almost Time to Train – Staying Fit in Winter

I’m jumping in and getting this blogging party started for 2014.

First, have you registered yet? If not, you should go do that – I’ll wait.

Now that you’ve got that out of the way, (doesn’t it feel nice to know what you’re doing on June 7?) let’s talk winter running. Hand on my heart, I usually love it and there is no amount of snowfall that can stop me from getting my running shoes on and heading out. This season, though, is different.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running, just not anywhere near the mileage I’ve usually piled up at this point. I’m actually quite scared of not having a good base come mid-March when it becomes time to buckle down and start really training for our beloved half marathon.

If you didn’t already know, Whistler finally just received winter snowfall in the last 10 days. That’s right, mid-February and winter has arrived. We needed it, no doubt, but its arrival has put a damper on my running plans – I thought for sure I’d have a regular routine set by now and would be easily cruising through 10km runs. Negative.

For one, I have no running footwear. And by footwear, I mean YakTrax or whatever other anti-slip apparatus a runner straps to their feet for running on snow or ice. The ones I used last year and the year prior have seen better days and at this point I can’t bring myself to fork out the cash to purchase ones that I’ll likely not use that often past April.

For another, I have been sick. Twice. And it has left me very depleted. I’ve been working on building my health back up and restoring nutrients in my system. This means not putting a big “ask” of my body every other day and not going into further recovery mode when I’m already on a deficit.

So, what have I been doing?

1. Yoga – well, even this not so much because I’ve felt so weak and out of shape. When I feel good, I head in for a Yin class and restore further. It’s lovely, and I believe should be a regular part of any athlete’s routine – legs up the wall is a great way to implement some at-home restoration if you’re not one for the yoga studio.

2. Cross country skiing – I purchased a pass this season and being that I’m a super beginner, the ski conditions weren’t exactly attractive to me earlier than 10 days ago (I tried one day, fell hard onto hard-packed snow and deemed that enough until snow arrived). Now that we have snow, I am keenly into a morning cruise as soon as the trails open – two days ago I had the trails all to myself and the snow was steadily falling, it was beautiful.

3. Tobogganing – my almost three-year-old and I have been making almost daily trips over to a small hill just down from our house. Sure, on the surface that doesn’t sound like much of a workout but I believe when you pull 30lbs + of child up a hill multiple times over the course of an hour or more you’re working something!

I’m staying busy in the snow, hopefully not losing any more fitness than I have since being sick and getting myself into reasonable condition to resume base training in the next few weeks. March 20 is one month out (the start of the Whistler Half training clinic here in Whistler), and the anticipation of running season is giving me butterflies.

Hope to see you out there!

How are you keeping fit through the Winter season? Do you continue to run or do you hang up the running shoes for a few months? 

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