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Surviving the snow and staying fit.

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This has been quite a winter and with the ground hog predicting six more weeks, what are athletes to do? Most runners are diehard athletes who don't shy away from rain, sleet, snow and frigid temperatures, but this year is challenging to the most addicted athlete.

With all of the cold weather technical gear available, exercising outdoors is not what it use to be. We no longer have to wear sweatshirts and heavy outerwear that gets soaked and weighs us down, but even the best tech layering available can't make minus degree windchill and 10 inches of snow pleasurable.

Tips for running in the winter mix:

  • As athletes there is nothing like the outdoors. If the snow is a bit deep and the road shoulders too icy, take it to the beach. If you're fortunate enough to live by the beach, sand is a great place to run. Often snow doesn't adhere to the sand like it does the road. There is no traffic to worry about and the ground is frozen but offers a flexible surface.
  • Miss hill training? Take it inside and use the stairs. Running stairs is a great endurance exercise. Take two at a time. Stop in a 5 story building and sneak into the stairwell. Run up and down a few times. You'll feel like you got a workout in!! Ask Sally Kalksma what stairs do for her.
  • Trainers are a great device to have. They aren't very expensive and you can use them on a road or trail bike. They also adapt to use with the ElliptiGO bike, which is the closest you'll get to running without the impact.
  • Then there is always the treadmill. Great way to do speed work is to turn up the speed and pace yourself. Treadmills offer a consistent pace and the option to add incline to your run.
  • Mix up your exercise regimen and try going to a local school gym and play hoops. Basketball incorporates jumping, speed and agility.
  • Join a cross-fits or spin class, and throw in some yoga to stretch your muscles and relax your mind.

With these winter tips there's no reason to be at the mercy of Mother Nature and hibernate the winter . See you in the spring and you'll feel fit and ready for racing season!

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