Post originally featured on Waterfi.com
The winter forecast can definitely put a damper on running or riding outside! Don’t get me wrong, I am fully prepared to train outside, all year long – Find all the layers I can pile on (and still be able to move) to get through those cold miles! In my 15 years of running, I have run through blizzards, and trudged on when the thermometer read 2 degrees. But sometimes the icy roads and potential frostbite force me inside for my workouts. Not to mention that when I have to run before the sun comes up, all the reflective gear, flashing lights and headlamps in the world don’t seem to make me as visible as I’d like to be!
That’s where I draw the line and head to the pool, get on the treadmill, or put my bike on the trainer. Not really ideal training environments, but it gets me ready for the warmer days ahead… and that triathlon I have in 8 weeks!
And I have proof that those indoor workouts, well, WORK! I looked back at my training log from 2013, the last time I did this particular triathlon… 90% of my workouts were indoors. And it was the fastest Olympic distance triathlon I’ve ever pulled off! So what was I doing that made those indoor workouts so successful? A lot of this…
And some other creative games! Here are some of the workouts that keep me sane (and fit) when I am stuck indoors!
Sometimes there are plenty of characters to entertain me while I run on the dreadmill at the local Y. I honestly watched some dude push a weight sled back and forth for 30 minutes today. Dramatically I might add ☺
But sometimes everyone sleeps in and I am the lone runner. That’s when it’s time to pick a card, any card!
They are easy to make. You just need 4 or 5 index cards – The more colorful the better I always say! On each card, write one of these words
WALK. EASY. HILLS. SPRINT. RUN.
Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Then pull out a card (quick, before you lose interest!) and do what the card says for 3 to 4 minutes. Or for the duration of one song on your iPod Shuffle!
If the card says HILLS then increase the incline on the treadmill. If you pull the RUN card, run slower than SPRINT, but faster than your Easy/conversation pace.
Keep the cards in a ziplock bag on the treadmill shelf to limit their exposure to sweat and water ☺ And you can make the cards work for the pool, trainer, stationary bike, or elliptical machine too. If you’re on the bike, and you pick HILLS, just increase the resistance. For pool workouts, make a few extra cards with words like
PULL BUOY. KICK BOARD. BACKSTROKE. FREESTYLE.
For extra motivation (because who doesn’t need that?!) write something inspirational on the other side of each card. Something that you can focus on while you do what the card says for 4 minutes or so. And I promise it won’t be the longest 240 seconds of your life ☺
The next time the forecast calls for unpleasant weather, grab your Fit cards! The unpredictability and variety of using the cards just might make the dreadmill a lot less, well… dreadful!