12 Jul, 2017

Beat the Winter Brrrrr


When it is cold and dark outside, we runners can often come up with plenty of excuses to avoid training, so try these great training tips to find the motivation to get out of from under our duvets, beat the freeze and keep fit! – BY RAY ORCHISON, CERTIFIED COACH

The alarm goes off and you slowly open your eyes, all snug in your warm, toasty bed, and you recall the promise you made to yourself to get up early and run, but then the excuses start coming thick and fast for not heading out, and so the alarm is reset for another hour, maybe even two, the duvet is pulled all the way up and it’s back to sleep. A simple way to avoid this temptation is to put your alarm out of arm’s reach, so that you can’t simply lean over and hit snooze. When it goes off, you’ll have to get up to switch it off, and once you’re up, there’s less chance that you’re going to climb back into bed.

The toughest part of training in winter is getting out of bed, but once you’re up and out on the road, you soon realise that it’s actually not as bad, or as cold, as you thought. But if you really can’t bear the thought of heading out the door into the icy cold dark, there are other ways to keep your fitness levels ticking over in winter.

1 Hit the gym: Do a 10-15min easy warm-up on a spinning bike, the Stair Master or the elliptical trainer, all with low resistance gradually building up to a higher RPM. Next, head to the treadmill, set the elevation to 1.5% (to offset treadmill training being easier due to no wind resistance), and play around with various 10-20min sessions of quality:
• Run easy for 90 seconds, then hard for 60 seconds, repeating 6-10 times.
• Increase the pace and elevation to 4-5% for 60 seconds and then easy for 120
seconds, repeating 5-6 times to give you a great hill session.
• Do a tempo session of 5min easy and then increase the pace until you’re hitting
your 5 or 10k race pace and hold that for 10-15min, then easy for another 5min.

2 Join the class: Sign up for one of the group classes for spinning or aerobics. It’s far easier getting back to training when you know others will be slogging it out next to you.

3 Hit the indoor pool: Do a few swimming sessions, which are great for core muscle strength and building your cardiovascular system. The water temperature at most gyms is normally around 25 degrees – warmer than outside!

4 Skip the dark: There is no rule stating that to be a runner one has to train in the morning or evening. Why not slip out for a quick run during your lunch break?

5 Set yourself a goal: Identify a race in the next month or two, make it your goal and you’ll find all the motivation you need!

Ray Orchison

Ray Orchison

Journalist |

Running Coach


PUMA Reinvents Lacing with IGNITE NETFIT

19 July 2017 - Continuing in PUMA’s tradition of developing game-changing innovations, the global sports brand recently introduced NETFIT – a unique customisable lacing system that offers infinite per...

Race Calendar July 2017

18 July 2017 - South African runners are incredibly lucky to have the race calendar that they do, with so many great races constantly on the go. Although July does not have the great weather to accompany the grea...

Free Bins for Races that Runclean!

18 July 2017 - Get FREE BINS for Your Race with Modern Athlete’s #runclean campaign, brought to you by Garbie. As part of the #runclean campaign to promote no littering, we are providing FREE fold-up c...

MiWayLife Introduces World's First Lifestyle Policy for Athletes

13 July 2017 - The business of sports in South Africa continues to thrive, with growing numbers of ‘weekend warriors’ and professional athletes investing time and money into disciplines such as runnin...

Run, FatBoy, Run!

12 July 2017 - When Mark Joubert was dared to run the 2017 Comrades Marathon by his closest mates, they didn’t think he would do it, but he proved them very wrong. Of course, it helped greatly that he stood...

Triple Green at Last

12 July 2017 - Having been unable to complete the 2016 Comrades when aiming for her 30th (and final) medal, 1991 women’s winner Tilda Tearle returned in 2017 for another go at earning her Triple Green befor...

Paris or Bust

12 July 2017 - Nicky van der Westhuizen’s extraordinary journey to the 2017 Paris Marathon, via the Modern Athlete 9to5 Programme, is an inspiring story that defies medical and biomechanical logic. – ...

Couch Potato to Marathoner

12 July 2017 - I am a lazy person by nature. I once did a personality test and it revealed that my motto should be “Why stand when you can sit, and why sit when you can rather lie down?” And yet I bec...

A Bowl of Winter Goodness

12 July 2017 - In winter it’s important for athletes to eat healthily and keep warm while beating winter weight-gain! Just one bowl of these wholesome soups a day can give you energy and help you stick to y...

Flying Journo’s Epic Passion

12 July 2017 - Thanks to his expert reporting and incredible ‘hands-on’ coverage of events via radio, social media posts and videos, and through his incredible photography, Jeff Ayliffe has built a hu...

Zach Zeroes in on Record

12 July 2017 - Young Cape Town-based hand-cyclist Zach Legward wrote himself into the record books when he rode the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour 50km in early July. We heard about his story just before his incredib...

Laboratory suspension will not compromise testing - SAIDS

04 July 2017 - The fight against doping in sport will continue to be robust in spite of full accreditation again being withheld from the local laboratory which does testing, says the South African Institute for Drug...