‘’I absolutely LOVE training in Winter! The colder…the darker…the better!!! I do my best training, as well as my best racing in Winter. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m a 38 year old female who overheats way too fast, or whether its due to my hate-hate relationship with the summer winds, but there is no doubt that I am able to dig deeper and push harder in the chilly winter mornings. An added bonus is that I can run under the radar, its so much more peaceful (less traffic and noise, as most people of are still struggling to get out of bed cos it’s so cold), which also equates into more beautiful birdlife along the lagoon, and bigger and louder crashing waves along the beach.
The rain does not really bother me (and Western Cape badly needs it), as long as I can already be running when it starts pouring (like I really have a say), but either way, come rain or shine I am gonna get my run in, so instead of using the weather as an excuse, I need to embrace it and use it to my advantage!
Don’t feel sorry for me when my alarm goes off at 03:20am to get to the pitch dark Stadium for my speedwork track session in single digit temperatures before work, but you can feel sorry for my 70 plus year old coach, standing on the bend with an umbrella in the one hand and Garmin watch in the other, shouting out my lap times. (P.S. There actually is an indoor cycle track available at the Stadium, but we never use it. We don’t fancy injuries from sprinting on concrete, nor the u-turn bends on the shortened track, and the worst for me…the way too bright artificial lighting.)
My hydration and recovery nutritional game plan remains pretty much the same, sipping on Keto Sports Nutrition Hydro-Plus before, during, after, 24/7, 365, always in reach.
My recovery ice baths tend to become more frequent in winter…let me elaborate…Ice Bath made fun = Body Boarding at Big Bay in my swimming costume (read: NO wetsuit). Besides the fact that I cannot really swim properly, so I keep my legs submerged instead for maximum freeze benefit. I find the experience more pleasant when the air and sea temperatures are closer together, and when the chill factor, compliments of the wind, is less prominent. Both these are ticked off in Winter. (I recently upgraded from a 2 piece to a long sleeve swimsuit so that I can last longer in the sea before my teeth start chattering.)
My training attire remains basically the same all year round, short shorts/ tights and colourful singlet, with the addition of arm warmers in Winter, and maybe gloves on the coldest mornings…but to be honest I almost always have glove-remorse half way through my runs when I take them off and have to carry them because they get too hot. Most important when I get home is to get into a hot shower asap before I catch a chill, or rather, before the chill catches me!’’