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Training through the winter months is never easy but if done right, can build a strong foundation and set you up for a successful season ahead. In order to provide the best advice on how to tackle this tough season, we asked our ambassadors a series of questions on how they approach their training during the winter months.

Do you adjust your training over winter?

Amrit: Yes and no. Winter time for me is predominantly where I rebuild my fitness and essentially establish a high aerobic base. Fuelling wise, this remains near enough the same but I do take vitamin D supplements and multivitamins to keep the immune system strong, as it can get run down with the constant colder weather.

Do you struggle to stay motivated? If so, how do you overcome this?

Emily: I find the dark mornings, like most a bit de-motivating. It doesn’t stop me though! To overcome this I don’t recommend changing your goals but making smaller goals to achieve along the way. For example at the moment I’m really focusing on weekly mileage, making sure I hit a key distance each week.

Emily tying her shoes

How does your fuelling vary during the winter?

Lloyd: My fueling changes as my session volume increases. I could be running up to 100 miles a week + gym sessions so my carb intake increases massively. This can’t only be done through food as I’d feel like a balloon all the time so I have to find other fast release carb alternatives. I’ll take on gels insession or beta fuel with breakfast to ensure I get the energy I need. I also prioritise immediate recovery fuel as my body is under increased stress when training in harsher winter conditions.

Do you continue to train outside and if so, how do you cope in harsher conditions?

Jessie: Yes, I train outside but warm up indoors beforehand. I think it is important to remember that some sessions aren’t about times and so when the conditions are harsh, you layer up and just get it done. Those sessions are the ones that make you the strongest when racing in the Summer so this thought gets me through those tricky sessions in the cold, wind and rain.

How is your recovery affected and do you have any alternative methods?

Emily: I find I stiffen up a lot more during winter! I therefore take extra time to warm up (I find skipping helps with calf muscle activation) but also stretch a lot more after cooling off and in the mornings to start the day in the hope it helps keep me injury free.

Running man

What advice would you give to someone starting a new training goal next year? Is there anything they can be doing now to prepare?

Amrit: Depending on the distance, don’t be afraid of what you are taking on. Tackle each run, day by day. That will then become week by week and soon enough you’ll have a solid foundation built. Commit to your training – Getting yourself out the door is sometimes the hardest thing in winter so small wins like that, go a long way towards creating consistency and momentum. If you can do that each time and find a love for your training, you are honestly half way there and the results will eventually come.

Jessie: I would say that although it is good to have a long term goal to work towards, you also need to set short term goals to keep motivation levels up. Don’t rush things and remember to build things up gradually so spend some time preparing what your goals are and how you can get there sensibly in small steps. Eat well, sleep well and remember to factor in recovery time to see the real benefits of your training.

Lloyd: Put something down on paper. Map out what you want to achieve. Gain an understanding of all the elements involved in becoming that athlete and you will have the confidence to truly apply yourself. Figure out your time scales, intensities, kit needed, dietary requirements, there are so many things you need to consider. Become accountable. Find a training partner, join a club or community that will support you in your pursuit. Then all you’ve got to do is get out and do it.

three people running

Written By

The Performance Solutions Team