A change can be as good as a rest- by Jasper Blake

When considering training for any sport there is truth in the idea that a change can be as good as a rest. 

There is no question that changing your environment periodically is good for your mental state, which inevitably translates into more productive training.  Many people will migrate south for the odd week to soak up some sun and train in a different environment.  But what if you cannot spare the $1-$2k it’s going to cost for such an adventure? 

There is a simple solution.  Making a few small changes to your regular routine throughout the week can be as good as going on a camp or taking a rest.

Here are SEVEN simple ways you can spice up your winter training months.

1) Changing Pools

If you live in a larger city with more than one pool or aquatic center, try swimming at a different location once per week.  The pool may be the same size but the simple change in stimulus can be good for your motivation.  Light conditions, smells, temperature of the water, even the subtle difference in paint color on the bottom of the pool can be enough to freshen things up.

2) Change bikes

Winter training doesn’t always have to be on a computrainer or winterized bike.  Mountain biking is possible in many areas especially in the absence of snow.  But even with snow it’s possible to ride a fat tired mountain bike if you run tubeless tires with very low tire pressure.  The sound the tires make on hard packed snow is enough to jazz you up significantly

 3) Cross Train

The winter months are a perfect time to cross train.  Yes even in a sport like triathlon it is possible to cross train.  Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, even downhill skiing can benefit your fitness. 

 4) Try night activities

Winter days are short which can either be a source of doom and gloom or something you embrace.  Many winter sports areas provide lit venues for activities when it’s dark.  After a couple of hours on cross-country skis in the dark, hot chocolate tastes very good.

 5) Change Running Routes

Contrary to popular belief you don’t always have to run the same routes.  One of my favorite workouts during winter months is doing an urban adventure run.  I try and run on streets I have never been on.  The city you live in can be as new and exciting as the trails you run on in the summer.  You would be surprised how many new streets and subdivisions you can discover on a long run.

 6) Training Groups

You don’t always have to do bike trainer workouts in your garage by yourself.  Chances are there are dozens of other individuals in your area who are sitting in their garage at the same time by themselves.  Group trainer sessions can be a great way to get people together for an hour of good work.  Time flies when you are hammering it out with other people.

 7) Get in the weight room
A block of training in the weight room during the winter can be a good thing for many athletes.  Although it’s not for everyone, some basic strength and stability work often proves to be highly beneficial.  The weight room itself is often as new to endurance athletes as the type of training done in a weight room.  New incoming stimuli force us to be more alert and more engaged.  This often means we will get more out of the experience.


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