Winter training… It’s (usually) cold, gloomy, demotivating, and many strongly dislike it. Lucky for me, it’s currently 70 degrees on the Carolina Coast so I can’t complain! But for those up north, it’s a different story.
Many wonder what to do during the winter months, after they’ve taken some time off, and there is some new fat to burn from those holiday festivities. Many ask what I’m doing, and I’ll reply with, “a lot, but when I really look at it, I’m not doing a too much.”
To start, I have been running and going to the gym pretty often. While in the gym I do a lot of general strength work, balance work, functional movement, and sport-specific work. Then while running, I go “low and slow”. By that I mean running with a low heart rate and for most people, that means running really slow. Both strength and easy running allow for you to set a solid base so your body isn’t shocked when you increase the intensity later on in the season. It also allows you to become stronger, and it reduces the risk for injury once things intensify!
Paddle Low and Slow too
While paddling during in the winter, I’m also going “low and slow”. Following the same concept, I am setting a base for the work that follows later in the season. And while paddling, I stress trying to paddle perfect. Using big muscles, being efficient, and being smooth and relaxed are on the top of my mental list when it comes to my paddling sessions. I’ve been on the Paddle Monster program for about a month, and Coach Larry stresses this as well.
Ready for the close up
In addition to all of this, I try and record myself once every 1-2 weeks. Recording video of yourself allows you to truly see what you are doing right, and in most cases, what you’re doing wrong. We should all be focusing on technique, creating good habits, and paddling well, so we paddle better later in the season. Video will help you improve dramatically! And if you can throw a camera on your craft whenever you go out, that’s even better. Seeing yourself paddle is the best way to help improve technique.
Stop and smell the salt water
Of course I can’t forget to mention that in the winter we should take time to appreciate what is around us and those who are around us. It’s the holiday season and many of us are spending time with friends and family. Enjoy these moments and don’t think training should come before them. You’ll regret it later on when there are more important sessions that you can’t afford to miss. Enjoy the outdoors and where you’re running, paddling, or exercising. Explore, have fun, and seek out new adventures!
Get out there and have fun!