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HOW TO TRAIN FOR YOUR SPRING MARATHON DURING THE WINTER MONTHS: WITH OUR AMBASSADORS!
OK … so I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true! – Winter miles, summer smiles.
We caught up with Running Bee Foundation and Community Ambassador Rhianna Parkinson, as she prepares for her first long distance triathlon event, at the legendary Challenge Roth triathlon in 2020. She gave us an insight into her preseason training, and threw in some excellent advice for keeping motivated, active, and fit, as the weather gets frosty!
I always recommend mixing things up a bit. It can get a bit de-motivating, pounding the streets in the rain, and too much of anything can get dull, so I like using the off season to try something new. You can challenge yourself, try something new, or simply focus on something you don’t have much time for in summer. Winter can be a great time to work on your strength training in the gym. For triathlon having a strong core in particular is a massive benefit, so a gym session is always valuable. Strength training can be great for motivation too, as your results are easily measurable (i.e lifting bigger weight ) at a time when you aren’t using races to measure your results.
I love a new challenge, and often you find they have a positive impact on your overall performance. Cyclocross is great for working on bike handling skills. Cross Country is an awesome aerobic challenge, and great for building leg strength.
Over winter, I love getting out early and making the most of the day light. Hiking is a great fat burning endurance workout, and I love getting out in nature! You can spend 3 or 4 hours hiking, and the time just flies by. The up hills are tough, but the views from the top are always worth it!
I also do a lot of long easy sessions in the pool, and on my bike, to build my endurance (remember winter miles summer smiles!). Getting the long swims in has really helped me bring my times down. I recently started fitting a regular (every couple of weeks) 5 km swim session in, and have now got my 70.3 swim time down to under 30 mins.
You can really benefit from shorter, more intense sessions too. Intervals on the turbo, or sprint sessions on the track can improve your speed and overall power really quickly, and again, being able to see quick results is great for off season motivation. If the weather is really awful, treadmills are also a great tool for getting good quality interval sessions in. Sprints in the pool can also be a great way to see your swim time come crashing down.
For me, its Roth at the moment, but it doesn’t have to be anything major. A goal is just something to aim at, and to keep you focused and motivated on those cold winter mornings. I also find having intermittent goals is really useful too especially if your ‘big race’ is a long way off. So, for example, you might be training for the 2020 New York Marathon, but having something smaller, coming up sooner, like the Tour of Tameside, can help to keep you focused, and give you a point in your season to measure your progress, and celebrate how far you’ve come!
Sometimes taking it easy for a while can be really invigorating. It gives you a chance to recover, unwind, and prepare mentally for the season ahead. Recently I’ve really reduced my training load and enjoyed reducing the pressure a bit. There’s loads of ways to enjoy family time and still stay active, especially around Christmas time! The Running Bee Foundation Jingle Bee Jog is just around the corner, and it’s not too late to enter!
If winter just really isn’t for you, you can always treat yourself to an overseas training camp. Lanzarote has a fantastic climate for training all year round and Club la Santa offer an amazing range of off season training camps that really help, both with your fitness and technique, and also with your motivation. The expert training, along with being surrounded by like minded, active people, can really give your off season training an extra boost. Overseas early season races can also be a great reward for a hard winter of focused training!
How do you keep active in the cold? If you have a winter training gem we’ve missed we’d love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below.
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