by Linsey Corbin
I’m Linsey Corbin - Professional triathlete, 8-time IRONMAN Champion and proud Garneau-sponsored athlete. I live in the mountain town of Bend, in Oregon and am well-versed with training in winter conditions. I’d like to share some tips on how you can thrive during the winter months to set yourself up for a great spring season.
Without further ado, here are my DOs and DON’Ts to get yourself through these white snow storms, shorter days, and cooler temps.
1. Dress in layers. When training outside, the best dressed is the one who wears layers. This starts with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by a midweight layer and topped with a vest and/or jacket. Dressing in layers allows you to regulate temperatures as the weather fluctuates throughout the day.
2. Train with friends. Short days and lack of fitness can sometimes be unmotivating. Training with friends keeps things fun and keeps you accountable!
3. Pack extra snacks. Training in cold temps burns more calories, so pack extra snacks.
4. Strength train. Winter training sets you up for the race season. It’s one of the few times of the year where you can train uninterrupted and lay down week after week of consistent training. Strength training sets up the foundation for the season. From riding at a low cadence (big gear, no fear!) to hitting up the gym - strength training comes in many shapes and sizes; you can’t go wrong.
5. Wear reflective clothing. The days are short. If you are getting out early morning or late afternoon, wear reflective clothing so you can be seen and stay safe.
1. Worry about paces. Running on icy roads, dashing through the snow, riding through mud - it all slows you down. Have fun with it, train with the conditions, and don’t worry if your paces or effort feel a bit “off”.
2. Aimlessly ride the trainer. No need to burn yourself out with endless & aimless hours on the trainer (although, I do enjoy multiple trainer sessions a week). Make sure each session has a purpose and make it count.
3. Chase fitness. Wintertime is the time for P A T I E N C E. Don’t force your fitness, let your fitness come to you.
4. Underestimate the value of a good pair of gloves. Headwear and gloves are the ultimate temperature regulator. It is not uncommon for me to bring two pairs of gloves on a winter ride and swap them out as the temperatures rise and fall.
5. Take yourself too seriously. Training in the winter can be a ton of fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously. Opt for the road less traveled and try something new to you (cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking) and prepare to be humbled. Having that beginner's mindset keeps things fun and you get fit.