Do you want to keep walking even when the temperature drops? All you need to do is dress appropriately and pay more attention to what you eat during your session. Long-distance walker Emmanuel Lassalle gives us his tips based on long hours spent training in all weather.
Even though the weather might not be great, that's no reason to put off a power walking session. Here are 4 essential points to keep you going during the winter!
3 layers to beat the cold
If you are sensitive to the cold, adding extra layers of breathable fabrics to keep your body dry will protect you from the cold as well as injury. Avoid cotton fabrics as these won't wick away perspiration and will mean that you get chilled.
Tips: I wear a base layer to keep the warmth in. On top of that I wear a long-sleeved zipped top to insulate me from the cold. I then put on a waterproof jacket to offer protection from the wind and bad weather (rain, snow).
It is important that these top two layers have a zip: you will be able to regulate your temperature if you get too warm.
Don't forget about your legs… and extremities
Bottoms: long sports tights are essential. In winter, your muscles are stiffer and so the risk of getting injured is increased. Tights will help you to keep in the warmth you generate as soon as you start warming up. For this reason I sometimes use heating gels, although they can never replace a good warm-up!
… and extremities
I never forget my hat, winter sports socks and gloves as this is where the cold really gets in, and 60% of your body heat is lost through your head! Wearing a fleecy buff around your neck and pulling it up to your nose will also help keep you healthy. Just remember to leave enough room for you to breathe!
Don't ignore your nutrition, as you will burn more calories
By walking in the cold, your body will consume more calories just to keep you warm. Avoid setting off on an empty stomach and take an energy bar or some dried fruit with you to replenish your energy.
And just because it's cold, that doesn't mean you should forget to stay hydrated! The cold accelerates dehydration. Every ¼ of an hour, drink small gulps of water or an energy drink that's either at room temperature or slightly warm if your stomach can be a bit dodgy.
Just like in a car, slow down if it's snowing or icy
If the snow has blanketed the road or the ground is slippery, slow down a bit to give yourself a better grip and avoid skidding. The Propulse 400 is perfect for this !
Stick to paths you know well or which are safe (parks), as the snow tends to smooth out any bumps on the ground and hide holes. I've paid the price, and I wouldn't want you to spend three weeks stuck at home with a sprained ankle!
If it carries on snowing, act like you would if you were walking at night: remember to take a head torch with you and wear a fluorescent jacket!