Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter That Seems to Never End

A lot of us here in the United States are suffering through a record amount of cold and snow. Winter will end, I'm sure of that, it always has before. Till it does though all of us, especially my adult athlete friends need to keep our spirits up. We are all not acclimated to this like our brother and sister athletes in the northern states and Canada, but we can get through it and come out stronger.

Most of us had been training well before this last round of cold and snow so our muscles are strong and our endurance base solid. It takes about 3 weeks of inactivity to begin to lose a significant amount of fitness, so an occasional rest period if not over a week straight will probably do most of us good. It gives us a chance to heal the little nagging injuries and rest our bodies for the coming of spring and more intense training.

So just what does one need to do to keep from being totally out of shape by the time winter is over? For one thing we need to stay as active as possible and keep our schedules regular. If you normally get up at 5am (or whatever time is normal for you) to begin your day and get your miles in, keep getting up at 5am. Even if you can't get out and do your miles you need to keep your regular schedule so as soon as you can get out your ready. Getting in the habit of sleeping in will become a habit that you have to break later and that can be hard to do.

When you are snowed in or it's just to cold out, it's been in the teens here seemingly forever, you need to use the extra time you have, from not being out doing miles, to do other constructive things. Read a book or catch up on the magazines that interest you. Runner's world is a good one to keep up with the exercise world. Read one of the books that motivates, like John Bingham's "The courage to start", even if you have already read it before. Watch stuff on TV that is real world like the Discovery Channel, NOT reality TV junk.

If you create then now is a good time to catch up on that. If you sew, paint, write....... then do it, create something. We all have stuff we wish we had more time for, so now we have some extra time for it. Keeping our minds sharp is just as, or more so, important than keeping our bodies hard over the worst of winter. If we are mentally as well as physically rested we will be able to get back to hard training easier.

Keeping limber is important. Stretching and using your stick is important to keep your muscles feeling good. We don't want to start back training stiff as a board. That's especially important for us over fifties athletes. We tend to stiffen up with inactivity, so for us some type of stretching routine is very important.

I know we all want to growl at the weather but it's part of life and we have to sometimes just get through it. We will come out of it stronger.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda