Training in the Winter

Training, in the Winter

Its obvious that it is harder to train in the winter, than in the summer. The rain, the cold, and snow, can all render the best training spots temporarily un-trainable. Slippery surfaces, are a traceurs worst enemy. Another problem we face is it being too cold to move, or it being so cold you have to wear so much clothing it is impossible to move anyway! There are ways of getting round these dilemmas.

If you have just been turning home whenever you see grey clouds looming towards you, you may have been missing out. Winter is a chance to find new spots that you may not of found otherwise. The perspective that bad weather is impossible to train in, leaves you totally controlled by a completely uncontrollable factor. Weather often changes, and traceurs should adapt to this as they would obstacles. Training in the winter does require some adaptation, carrying on oblivious would be stupid and frankly dangerous. Training in the cold and the wet could be though of as a true test of your dedication to parkour.

Extremely low temperatures can hinder our performance. Exposure to these temperate can lead to hypothermia, or even frost bite. The body has no way of raising body temperature like it can lower body temperature by sweating, and raising blood to the surface. So warming up and staying warm is really important.

Warming Up
Warming up is really important in the winter, because cold muscles injure far more easily than when warmed up. I would suggest warming up inside to avoid standing around in the cold, where your body will cool down quickly of you are not exercising.

Staying Warm
Heat is produced as a bi product of using your muscles, but not enough to keep you warm in a t-shirt. Layers are important because air is a poor conductor of heat so makes it harder for heat to escape. By layering clothing, you can trap air in between them, so it will keep you warmer for longer. Up to 55% of body heat can be lost through your head, so it is important in severely low temperatures to wear a hood, or hat. A lot of body heat is lost from your hands and feet. Gloves and thick socks are recommended, but gloves may affect your grip, so it may be more practical to only wear them whilst not actually parkouring. Water and wind proof layers are good for external layers, to take away the wind chill. In very cold weather large amounts of fluid are lost through exhaled vapour, so staying hydrated is very important to support your body which is already working overtime to keep you warm.

Looking for Spots in the Winter
Water, can make almost every surface dangerous for traceurs, and there is alot of it in winter. It is important to remember that in the winter water takes longer to dry up, so even though it may have stopped raining, surfaces may still be damp. Be careful when it contact with any metal surfaces. Icy or even wet railings would be extremely dangerous to train on. Even running has dangers in the winter, so be extra aware of yourself, and your surroundings.

Multi-storey car parks can be useful in the winter, as they act as a shelter from snow and rain. But it is important to remember you are in a car park, with cars and you should respect the cars and drivers just as you would pedestrians.

With preparation, extra care and attention during winter training, it is possible to maintain a training regime throughout winter, and autumn. By learning to adapt and work with different conditions there is no reason your training should suffer from the current weather.