Team Further Faster Lady of the Long Distance Trail Jen Halliday gives us her top tips for keeping the fitness up when it is cold and dark...
1. Layers are your friend
We all know it’s cold out there – but as someone once told me, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! Layers are your friend. Keep in mind that your head/face, hands and feet are the most important parts to keep warm. Wear warm thick winter socks, gloves and either a beanie or Montane Chief (buff) – these are great as you can put a chief over your face like a balaclava if it gets really cold. Invest in some good gear, investment is the key– a good windbreaker ie Montane Featherlite, will literally be your most used item through the cold months. Layer up with Merino and you can strip layers away as you warm up.
2. Plan your training and DO IT
Have a monthly plan with what you are doing each day – what the activity is, how much you are doing and what time of day you are going to train. Then don’t deviate from the plan…..I find it’s easier to get my training over and done with in the morning, because if I have all day, I’ll talk myself out of it.
3. Join a group
Being part of a group commits you to set times, activities and makes you accountable!! (So it takes all the thinking out!) Whether it’s a multi-sport club like Complete Performance/Team CP, a local Couch to 5km group or a bunch of like-minded people that get together for a walk – it doesn’t matter. It’s a great way to make friends, exercise and actually be committed to winter activity.
4. Use small, local races to keep you focused
I always feel more focussed on my training if I have an event booked (and paid for!) and then I have a commitment to actually complete my training.Just Google local events like this page: https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/sports/events/new-zealand and get involved. It’s another way to meet awesome people and get to know your local area too. It’s also great to support the small local races when you can.
5. Get up in the hills!!!
Get up early and train in the local hills – a lot of the time you’ll find its 5-10 degrees warmer in the valleys of the hills, which is a welcome treat in the winter. Just remember to wear a good head torch, take your buddy and layer up, so you can peel layers off in the warmer temperatures.
See you out there…I’ll be warm but still maybe bleary eyed! (TIP #6, add coffee!!).