Winter Training and Nutrition Tips



As we're sure you're well aware, those training runs take a bit more will power when the temperature dips and the wind kicks up. Add in icy and snowy surfaces and it's easily enough to make you stay inside where it's cozy and warm. Well here are a few tips to keep that training going year round! Especially for those of us in the northern or mountain states where we play hard all summer and tend to get complacent and add on a few pounds in the winter. It's always a good feeling when you can keep after it in the 'off season' and hit the summer fit and ready to go! Of course, we always take some off time to let our body recover and to keep the desire for training  stoked, but we certainly like to keep active year round.

I'll get the shameless plug out of the way first. Did you know that VFuel gels are the only gels that wont freeze up on you, or get too thick to use, when the temperature drops? Folks use our gel when it gets well below zero because it's the only gel you can still get out of a packet at those temps, which is pretty important when you need that ever important fuel.
In addition, our new Drink Mix stays liquid from the sloshing around in your bottle or bladder at the lower temperatures. If it does get down well below zero, just turn your bottle upside down in the bottle holder of your pack or waist belt, and the nozzle wont freeze up on you.

Obviously, do what works for you, but I like to start comfortable at the trail head. Yes, this means I'll be shedding layers pretty quickly. I shed until I can find that sweet spot where I feel comfortable or even on the cool side when I'm running. Weather can move in requiring more layers or you or your training partner could roll an ankle (or worse) and it's nice to have an extra layer or two to put on if you start getting colder. I'm usually a bit more cautious out there if I'm running cold and have all of my layers on. That doesn't leave any room for error and we all know that running in the high country demands a bit of caution and preparedness. 

Don't let the icy trails (or roads) deter you! Get some traction on your feet and get after it. I prefer MicroSpikes (Kahtoola), but I know many folks like YakTraks or a variety of other traction options. And if the snow is really piling up, strap on some snowshoes our get your skis tuned up! Both great ways to get the heart rate up in the winter months. 

Use Your Head
We aren't necessarily designed to survive in elements we routinely venture out into. So be smart about it. Know your limits and know what you need to stay safe and to be comfortable out there. This could mean hand warmers, extra layers, goggles, etc... And it could mean cutting your run short due to changing weather or other unforeseen circumstances. We want to be able to run again tomorrow, so it's simply not worth pushing too far beyond your abilities or your comfort zone when winter weather or conditions simply don't allow for it. Mother Nature, ultimately, has the final say!

Stay safe out there and enjoy the Winter!

Happy Trails,


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