Embracing Winter

Winter training inspiration by Silver Sage-O2fitness-athlete, Sian Turner-Crespo

For those of us living in regions that experience a real winter, November can signify the start of hours of slogging away indoors on a treadmill or trainer, or alternatively a period of exploring new outdoor sports and activities.  While there has to be a certain amount of sport-specific training through the dark and cold winter months, at the same time not everything has to be done indoors.  On this subject Julie of O2Fitness is very much in agreement.  Now we’re into January, with race season already feeling closer each day, my training schedule includes a few key specific trainer workouts each week, but there is a healthy variety of outdoor options sprinkled into my week still.  We at last have a cold and white winter here in the Sierra’s so I’ve been able to work on my cross country skiing abilities, both striding and skating, as part of winter training.  In addition, instead of hours on spinning on the trainer, warm ups have included an outdoor run before hitting the quality specific time on the trainer – something which a selection of my 4 huskies have been more than happy to join me on – the colder the better for them!

Outdoor running does not have to stop for snow, ice, dark, or cold, and this winter I’ve been fully embracing all conditions.  With spiked running shoes, or one of many possible traction devices that can hook to any shoe (Kahtoola microspikes, YakTrax, or full snowshoes – yes you can run in the right kind!), even the slickest of ice roads and trails are more than manageable.  Wear enough layers, cover your mouth and nose, and even single digit Fahrenheit temperatures are no problem when running.  I’ve even braved the dark this winter; with snow on the ground and even a sliver of moonlight, visibility isn’t a problem.  When there is no moon at all or cloud cover just grab a head-torch and/or blinky light for you or your dog, plus a dog or two makes you feel more than safe from mountain creatures for a pre-dawn or after-dusk run.  For added strength work, throw in some snow shoveling and firewood hauling/stacking to compliment indoor weights and gym-work soon becomes far less repetitive and practical at the same time!

If you miss your bike and the open roads and trails, even winter biking is now a possibility with many trail options now available for fat tire bikes.  I haven’t fully explored this option yet with my recent obsession with improving my skiing, but it’s there for if and when I need even more options!


The sun setting on an evening run.


Ski’s – my current favourite form of locomotion!


Rehydration the husky way.


Shoveling strength session


A head-torch lit night run with the whole pack.