For some parts of Canada (sorry East Coast), winter and the cold, cold weather are on their way out. While many people have been brave enough to venture outside to keep fit, others preferred to migrate inside for the winter to continue their fitness training in the warmth. Whether you have been on your treadmill, elliptical or bike, the warm weather is returning to entice you to make the transition from the indoors back outside.
Although you might have been continuously training over these last 3-4 months, the transition from indoor training to outdoors might not be as easy as you might think. Here are some helpful tips to try and make that transition a lot more smooth:
- Start Slow – you might assume because you trained indoors all winter, your body is prepped to make the jump outdoors. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Your cardiovascular conditioning might be up to par and ready to go, but your body has a bit of catching up to do. The impact your joints experience when starting to run or bike on pavements again is much difference from the impact that is felt on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. Plan your workouts to start at a slower pace so that you don’t cause any issues for your joints or muscles.
- Transition Back to – That 5 km seemed super easy by your last day indoor on a flat surface, but don’t expect it to be as easy your first day outside! Different factors (ie. hills) or obstacles along the way could affect the pace with which you have been working out at for the past few months. Ease yourself back into that usual distance. Take your 5 km run which you have been doing indoors and slow your pace down, maybe just aiming for a 4 km run in the same time or introduce a 2 minute brisk walk half way through.
- Add in Functional Training – Doing a run or biking outside is great and very health beneficial, but should not be your only mode of exercise if you want to help improve your technique and performance. Adding in a strength training protocol will help make sure your joints are stabilized and will help with muscle imbalances. Try adding in some standing abduction or hamstring curls to help complement some of the muscle groups needed for your workout.
- Watch the conditions – By gauging the weather solely by looking out your window in the morning, you will find the sun can be very deceiving early in the season; and so is that puddle of water along your route. Be mindful the temperature outside still may drop below zero and the bottom of that puddle of water could still be frozen and icy. As all the snow continues to melt as well, many paths can be muddy and slippery, so be mindful of your footing or tire paths.
- Ensure proper footwear – The shoes you have been using for your indoor workouts may not be suitable for the terrain that you will be experiencing during your outdoor workouts. Having the proper shoes will help you avoid any future problems from developing such as shin splints. You can either visit your local running store, or book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to help determine which shoe is best for you and your workout needs.
- Love the company – working out in your basement, with your favorite TV show or movie playing on your screen can provide you with lots of entertainment and motivation while you workout. But once you make the transition outdoors, the bird you run by one day might not be there the next. Grab a friend or neighbor and pull them along for the ride! Use each other as motivation to keep running that extra mile and keep that pace up where you want it! PS. If you can’t run in a group, bring your favorite music group along to help you keep pace and stay motivated.
Need some more tips or help with transitioning? Book an appointment with:
Sport Physios Ron O’Hare or Laura Libby
Strength & Conditioning PT Mike Lenart
to help make your transition from inside back outside as smooth as possible.