If you live in a cold climate, it can be hard to keep up your training routine all year round--snowy roads and freezing temperatures make exercise far less fun, right at the moment that our favorite winter sports are ramping up. But can indoor training really help your winter sports performance? Since they train all year long on the best indoor exercise equipment in the world (we might be a little biased on that) we asked three of our Peloton instructors how their training works all winter.
If You’re Skiing & Snowboarding
“For skiing, you want to have strong legs, core, and cardiovascular system,” says Peloton Bike and Tread instructor Matt Wilpers. Matt recommends a training program of Power Zone cycling classes, running classes with a pre-run warmup, and legs and core strength classes. “My main concern is that it's colder and thus takes longer to warm your body up for a workout. Make sure you give yourself ample time to warm-up for every workout so that you don't injure yourself by pulling a muscle,” Matt says, noting that all of these classes will give you 10-15 minutes to fully warm up. Stretching and foam-rolling are also key for avoiding injury, and are available on the Peloton App as well. Peloton Tread instructor Olivia Amato notes that hydration can be a key concern because we don’t get as thirsty when it’s cold, so it’s easy to get dehydrated. Set a reminder and carry a reusable water bottle to make sure you’re getting enough water!
If You’re Skating or Sledding
Master Tread Instructor Rebecca Kennedy recommends taking Core Strength or Bootcamp classes specifically to work on rotation, anti-rotation, and trunk stability. “All winter sports require strong stability in our knees and require strong glutes to support that. When you're pushing off the ice side to side, you need to be able to have muscular endurance in a squat and hinge position which we focus on in all of our glutes & legs strength classes/bootcamps. Don’t be shy of the side shuffles on the Tread either!” Rebecca and Matt both recommend incorporating some HIIT workouts into your routine, too. “If your main event is more explosive like hockey, my HIIT Rides and Runs will help you build your endurance. When winter hits, you should be doing a lot of your fitness work on the ice and that includes high-intensity work...so that both your skills and fitness are sharp for hockey.” Rebecca notes another benefit, too--HIIT workouts are helpful in the winter to keep our serotonin and dopamine levels up when the sun starts to go down earlier. “That’s my favorite way to fight off fatigue, a rush of endorphins,” Rebecca says.
If You’re Active in the Summer
“The rule of training for most sports is to start general and work to specific over the course of the training year. So months out, start improving your general fitness that’s not necessarily sport specific,” says Matt. If your main sport is during the spring and summer, like triathlon, winter time should be a time to recharge, keep the intensity of your workouts low, and focus on building strength as well as your general fitness. “Bodyweight strength classes and bodyweight boot camps as work stabilization and balance are both really important being an athlete and playing sports,” says Olivia. “10-min Core classes are always time efficient and effective. Being an athlete, you need to have a strong core for optimal performance.” And one of your main, goals, of course, is to avoid injury. “We want to keep our muscles from getting injured while training and that typically happens because we don't warm up and cool down properly,” says Rebecca. Even if your training is lower intensity as you build towards races in the spring and summer, take the time to stretch to keep yourself healthy all year round.
Fall in love with your winter training! Learn how to make this season your favorite time to workout.