It’s been easy for me to start training through winter thanks to our Charity Trek along Hadrian’s wall. It hasn’t been easy when we’ve been out there though.
It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s damp. All things you don’t want to experience when you are already fighting with yourself to get out of your bed and bounce.
It’s really important to take extra care of yourself over winter because it is easy to pick up an injury or find yourself running through a heavy cold. Neither of these a going to make the job of digging deep and motivating yourself any easier.
However, anyone who enjoys a morning jog will be well aware of the signs the seasons are changing, flowers are shooting out of the ground to deliver their first bloom, we aren’t getting home in pitch black anymore, finally we are seeing dawn break and although it’s still nippy around the ankles there is a lot less frost to bite at your bum. Spring is on its way!
It’s a really good time to get to grips with yourself and get your ar*e into gear.
If you’re like me and not very flexible, a sports massage session is a great place to start. The winter weather can take its toll on our joints and muscles, making recovery harder and everything feel more tense. For a brilliant boost and to feel like you are 3 stone lighter, due to the lack of tension, end this season with the mother of all massages. It can be quite uncomfortable but that is a good thing. The therapist will know how to target areas that are troublesome and will give you some great tips for after activity stretches and pressure points. You won’t believe what it’s like to walk out of an hour long session. Like getting the reset button pressed!
Addressing a few of your diet issues is also a great way to get Spring ready. Maybe you have focussed on warming comfort foods and heavy carbs. That’s ok! You’re a bloke, you need plenty of fuel and after staying committed to your fitness routine, why not enjoy a few potato heavy, meat rich dishes. My Dad Diet has worked amazingly and combined with exercise the weight (16kg) has come off and staying off.
Start to consider a slow change of habit and reduce the amount of negative carbs from your diet. Small steps, introducing more summer style food will make the transition easier. Pack up on lots of green leafy vegetables and grilled or poached chicken, get cracking with the eggs at breakfast time. Porridge may have been your staple after the 5am run, but with warmer mornings, why not reintroduce yourself to a energy boosting, light meal instead.
It’s also a good time to think about upping your hydration. With a rise in temperature we will start to sweat more but perhaps won’t notice it so dramatically now as we will in the summer. This can lead to thinking you are at your optimum hydration levels, when you are actually lacking. Boost the water and improve your sleep too!
Then give yourself a well earned pat on the back for keeping it going during the most difficult season of the year. You’ll be in great shape this summer and Ibiza will thank you, or Skegness beach :)