Don't be one them soft lads who stop training just because its cold.
As the nights creep in, levels of a feel-good chemical in your brain fall, leaving you staring down a winter of discontent. But research at Duke University in the US found that cardio work will not only up the serotonin in your skull, but that it is four times more effective at reducing symptoms of depression compared with antidepressants .
Rocky knew that training in the cold leads to increased toughness, and now the Balboa Conjecture has been confirmed by science. US Army researchers recently gathered results of marathons from the past few years. They found that male winners were, on average, only 1.7% slower than the course record when the temperature was between 1-10C, and that times fell dramatically as the temperature got hotter. They concluded that the ideal marathon temperature is a less than 5C.
You know how cold weather gets you gasping? That’s a good thing. Running in shiversome conditions trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Research from Northern Arizona University found that after regular cold workouts, you add 29% to your running speed.
The ice edge From Sweden, where they know a thing or two about exercising in the cold, comes the unfortunately named ‘fartlek’ workout. After a 10-minute warm-up jog, sprint for 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery jog. Do this three times, then reduce your recovery jogs by 15 seconds each time until you are sprinting for 30 and jogging for 15. Jog for ten minutes to warm down. Running in temperatures that dip to near freezing is the perfect springboard to building higher fitness next year.