Winter Training is Coming…

Winter Training is Coming…

📅November 18th, 2014, 20:45

Or maybe it’s already here, based on the last week or so of weather in central Oregon! Our co-owner Austin Baillie shares some of his thoughts on having a sense of humor while dealing with what are sometimes trying winter training conditions.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” My dad used to say this quote to me when I was younger, and I find it especially applicable this time of year. Temperatures are falling, along with snow in some parts (like here!), and there’s no denying that winter is definitely on the way.

This time of year results in many athletic injuries. Looking back, I’ve made lots of bad judgment calls in these wintry conditions that directly led to aches, pains, or full-blown setbacks. Fortunately, my previous “bad judgment” has led me to make wiser decisions when this time of year hits. Hopefully after reading this you’ll be able to skip straight ahead to making some “good judgments,” just as my dad used to remind me.

Cold temperatures take a toll on our muscles when we go outside to do normal activities like run, bike, ski, shovel, sprint to the bus, and the like. These cold temps make it much easier to strain muscles that would otherwise be fine doing these activities (hamstrings are especially finicky). Easy fixes to this problem include stretching out well before braving the outdoors, dressing in plenty of warm layers, giving an extra-enthusiastic nod to the idea of starting off easy, and doubling (or tripling!) your efforts when it comes to recovery.

If you happen to be lucky enough to live in an area that receives excess snow, you’ve got extra problems! Snow happens to be a real problem for a lot of muscles in our fragile bodies. Wanna go for a run? Better watch those hamstrings! Just finished your first day of skiing? Bet those quads are sore! What’s that? Your driveway was covered in a foot of snow and you had to shovel it out yourself? Your back and shoulders must be killing you!

If these activities make you cringe, moving to Maui might be your best bet. In lieu of that option, you better get your self in shape before you succumb to any of these maladies. How to do that, you ask? Hit the gym. Do lunges and squats. Take the steps to your office three at a time (don’t even look at that elevator)! Run on rocky, hilly, uneven trails to train your legs for the rigors of snow and ice. Lift (reasonably) heavy things and put them down…get creative! Jump on that balance board and challenge your proprioception. In short, mix up your workout routine often to make yourself harder than the conditions.  Just remember these exercises aren’t a substitute to properly preparing yourself before heading out into the cold and that your body needs even more TLC after trudging through harsh conditions! These elements are all essential for your winter injury prevention! Also, I’m compelled to point out that it’s in “good judgment” to recognize when the weather conditions are harder than you. If it’s 33 degrees outside with freezing rain and ankle-deep slush, there’s no shame in declaring Mother Nature the victor and sacrificing a bottle of Baileys in her name. Save those muscles to fight another day!

Hey, look on the bright side, it’s only November. The snow doesn’t really hit the fan for another month or so in most parts of the country. That gives you time…so strike now! You can still prepare yourself for (what may well be) the winter of our discontent. What that boils down to is this:

  • Stretch
  • Stay warm
  • Ease into outdoor activities
  • Exercise accordingly for winter activities NOW
  • Recovery, recovery, recovery!

Knowing this time of year wreaks havoc on the body, preparation and recovery need to be more highly emphasized! However, when conditions are especially nasty, it is important to simply exercise “good judgment” and let winter have its day. #youbetter