Outdoor Winter Training: 4 Tips for Survival

Outdoor Winter Training: 4 Tips for Survival
Presented by Spartan Training®

Cold Weather Gear, Tactics and More

As temperatures plummet we often head into the off-season instead of heavy-duty training. Part of the reason is comfort. Part is survival. But let the obstacle of low temperatures and snow drive you forward in your training instead of inside. This is certainly one way to raise your exercising intensity. Tactics and cold weather gear will be your friend.

Here are a few simple things to keep on your checklist that will open the wilds of the outdoor winter environment to you. In this blog, we cover the 4 L's that will make this winter season training survivable, if not manageable.


We've talked about the virtues of long-distance workouts that go there and back. This is a workout for warmer months. When outside running or exercising in the winter, stick to repeating small loops over and over again. This allows you to keep a pile of gear handy and within reach as you pass every 5-15 minutes. When doing any kind of run or circuit, keep yourself rooted to one small lap around your house because you can keep a pile of winter gear (layers, lights and lids) nearby. Nothing is worse than being a good 30 minutes away from any of these when the temperature plunges on you. Keeping your workout laps near a house or vehicle will be safest and most likely lead to success.


Cold weather gear 101. As you run laps outdoors in the cold weather you can add or remove layers of clothing. Do this frequently instead of gritting your teeth and baring it start to finish.  Instead of one or two heavy layers, wear 4 to 5 lighter ones. As your workout increases in intensity and duration, you might start to find yourself warm. Take off a layer at a time, but keep them in reach to put back on as you start winding your workout down. Wool is a great layer for the winter because it stays relatively warm even if wet.


Daylight is scarce in the winter. Because of this, unless your schedule is completely open to training when it's convenient, you need to work with limited sun to light your way as there is to warm it. This winter a proper headlamp is worth its weight in gold. With bulky cloves and clumsy hands, the last thing you need is to be holding a flashlight. Increase your visibility, but most importantly, be visible to cars by having proper lighting on you at all times, morning and night.


Cold weather gear accessories: Speaking of headlamps, make sure that yours is resting on a nice thick hat. So much of your body is lost through your head. Cover it. Layer up. Get those ears. A balaclava and scarf can be a lifesaver on a cold day.

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