Winter is the best time to workout outdoors. Seriously. Your body needs the vitamin D. Your soul needs the sunlight. Yes it takes that extra determination to make it out of the door, granted. But there is nothing like the delicious feeling of lying on cold snow after your body gets seriously hot from an intense workout. Its a bit like jumping in icy water after a sweat lodge or hot sauna, but better. Theres nothing like putting ourselves out of the way and embracing the rain, over coming our fears; and opening to what nature has to offer.

 

However that said, winter training IS different. For example, floor work is kept to a minimum, and we rewarm again before stretching, ab work is done standing. And it is important to be prepared. We have a saying in forest school: 'there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing' which definately applies to winter training. The following kit is recommended:

 

 

 

 

 

winter collage 2

Winter Training Kit List:

 

Rucsack or running vest: that you can run with. 15-35 litres recommended. Fastening at the front, like this one, which is 30 litre and fastens along the lower ribcage, or over the breast, or both, is an advantage.

 

Fleece Snood: ski muff or scarf, hat and gloves in mid winter. Fleece snoods are great to prevent too much cold air from entering your lungs whilst warming up. You can even make one out of an old fleece.

snoodcollage1

Water Bottle: that doesnt leak!

 

Layer Up: vest, long sleeve top and fleece/jumper/hoodie. Best to bring too many layers and remove than be cold. Think layers rather than bulk. Ski wear can work in mid winter, but so can waterproofs and 2 pairs of leggings. The thing is to have a flexible attitude, an open mind, and a rummage at the back of the wardrobe before hitting the shops. You probably have exactly what you need. That said, stay dry fabrics are unbeatable; and its worth investing in a thin, stay dry, thermal like the one above if nothing else.

 

Waterproof/mat/small picnic blanket: Carrying  thin, light, waterproofs in winter, even when its dry, gives you something to put on if it rains, or for the small amount of floor work that we do in winter.

 

Trainers and socks: Running shoe choice is a massive topic and a personal choice. However thick socks are recommended in winter regardless of if you are a minimalista or not. We do a tiny bit of barefoot running or dancing, but only in summer; and it's never mandatory.

 

Winter Tip: Dont be afraid to get a little bit muddy. There are countless studies that will tell you its good for you. And in years of working as a forest school leader and watching children roll in mud, cover their faces in it, make costumes from it, make mud pies, etc, I have yet to see a child get sick from it. I HAVE seen hundreds of children light up from letting go, and immersing themselves in nature. I believe this can happen for adults too. The key is train in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.