Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Perk: Winter Workouts

Note: Sorry about the wacky formatting, sometimes Blogger just chooses to do it's own thing despite our best efforts.

While it's not officially winter yet, it sure is starting to feel like it.  The colder temps combined with the sun setting earlier makes the couch so tempting.  However, we must persevere and find some motivation to keep up with our workouts.  So let's start with some good winter gear to keep the chill off.

We like to keep our winter running clothes in bright colors, it helps to ensure that we are seen at night (along with reflective pieces we also wear), and it also just brightens up the dark dreary days that come with the winter.  This cute half zip jacket comes in numerous colors, and is sure to help keep you warm.           
                                                                              Nike Pro Hyperwarm II Fitted Half Zip                                      

The North Face Women's Windwall 1 Vest
Also helpful in keeping you warm & visible, especially if it's not cold enough for multiple long sleeve layers, is a white vest. Another plus to wearing a fleece or goretex-type vest, is that most of them come with lots of pockets for storing gloves, your house key, a little money, fuel, cell phone, etc.  It still blows our minds that most running gear is made without pockets! 

Patagonia Women's Synchilla Vest


 When it starts to get really cold the full length pants come out.  If you're in the market for a new pair check out these running tights from Moving Comfort & Under Armour which include some reflective elements for nighttime running. 

Nike Cold Weather Reversible Headband    

Our ears are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures so a good headband that provides protection is a must.  This Nike one looks like it should do the trick, and it comes in several colors.     

Motivation can be extremely lacking in the winter months.  Registering for a spring race can be a great way to keep yourself going, even when the couch is so cozy and warm.  

M is about to begin her half marathon training.  After an injury benched her from the MCM, and sidelined her for much of the fall, she's concerned about building long mileage back into her workouts.  She wants to stay healthy and not overwhelm her body.  

In order to safely build running back into her routine, she uses the free 16-week Runners World SmartCoach training program.  It's easy to cater to  personal fitness levels, and the plan can be as long as 16 weeks, or as short as 10.  The plan has a short, medium, and long run each week, and adds an extra short run in to up mileage towards the middle-end of the plan.  Trainers are supposed to also add 2 to 3 cross training or yoga days and 1 rest day during non-run days.  Having used this plan many times before, M knows that it's a flexible plan and can easily be worked into a busy schedule, which she needs.

Another way to keep your motivation up is to change your workout routine entirely.  H is taking this approach.  After a fantastic race year, H is listening to her body and taking a break from racing and training.  Instead she plans to increase the number of boxing classes she takes a week to 3.  She takes class at LA Boxing, and swears it is the hardest group fitness class she has ever done (last night's workout had 100 jumping jacks, 100 jump squats, 100 crunches, and 100 burpees just for the warm-up).  In addition she also plans to potentially add a day of yoga a week to her routine to spice things up a bit.

How do you stay motivated when the temps are low and days are short?

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