Winter Substitution

Take the title as you’d like. Personally I’d like to substitute the past couple of weeks of winter weather for a small tropical island with some steep paved roads….we can all dream.

Realistically speaking, with Covid here and restrictions due to travel, weather and jobs most of us need to be considering more realistic substitutions. What does Winnipeg or Manitoba offer that can easily be taken advantage of?

Given that we’re in the depth of a prairie winter we don’t need to worry about being really focused or specific in our training for triathlon. It’s still critical to be active regularly and to be training consistently, but this doesn’t mean you need to hit the pool four times a week, wear out your drive train racing on Zwift or set a new PB running on your treadmill.

Look around you! Look outside!

Over this past winter break, I swam, biked and ran….but I also skied (classic and skate), skated on the Oval and the Assiniboine River, Rode the Fatbike and strapped on snowshoes!

Cross Country Skiing is not only a great cardiovascular workout that hits all major muscle groups, but also has great crossover to all three triathlon sports: double poling for swim strokes, skate ski for bike pedaling and classic for a running stride.

Skating: Nordic Style: Long distances on the river trails or at the Cindy Klassen Oval. The skating motion mimics the cycling push up and really helps to develop strong glutes and quads. While hockey skates work fine, for a truly Nordic experience try Nordic Skates. Blades clip on to your skate ski boots, or strap on to a pair of winter boots. the long blades glide over the uneven surface of the river and promote long efficient glides.

We might not have any mountains to climb, but all of our river valleys are filled with fatbike trails for the winter. Venture along the Assiniboine, the Red or the Seine to find fatbike trails carved through the forests and even on the rivers themselves.

Given the amount of snow Winnipeg has received so far this year, it’s perfect for trying out a pair of snowshoes! Pick a river to walk on, a park to walk through, a trail that isn’t groomed or any area that looks wild!

So next time you’re feeling the winter blah, or would rather swallow razor blades before getting on the windtrainer or treadmill in the basement again, pick on of the above activities to get the same fitness benefits with a healthy dose of sunshine and some fresh air!!

(If you’re not sure where to do these activities or where to find some of the equipment referenced, drop me a line on the PPT chat and we’ll point you in the right direction!!).