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Bring on the cold… (A members top tips for winter training)

It has been wet. It has been windy. No doubt, it’s going to get cold.

Sitting inside, looking out at the blustery freezingness, can make you think that it’s not really a day for outdoor exercise. I suggest you don’t let the weather put you off getting to class. Here are a few top tips for enjoying wet, windy and wild classes this autumn and winter.

  1. Warm ups are called warm ups for a reason.

At In2theWild, the instructors have you covered. Every session starts with a warm up. Usually, for me anyway, this is the toughest part of any class - psychologically - but once you are over the warm up and in your work zone, the temperature stops being a concern. Your body is amazing and will work with or against the weather as necessary, to get you warm. Wake up your arms, legs and core. Wake up your lungs and heart. By the time you are a few minutes in, you will be roasting, toasted from your own core outwards. Trust me.

2. Trust the Temperature

As you train through the winter, keep an eye on how you feel at different temperatures. In the summer, I train with a vest top. When the temperature gets to 10 degrees I change to a t-shirt. When it gets to about 2 degrees, I cave to long sleeves. If I ever venture to an early-morning class in the winter, I even resort to an extra layer; my body takes an extra wee while to warm up to my work zone, when it has been woken up before it was ready. At no point is a jacket required. Ever. A jacket will be cast aside after the first three minutes. You are better off wishing you had a jacket for the first 3 minutes than regretting bringing it for 57 minutes. Some of my clever training buddies have a good system: you wear a vest top AND a long sleeved top, to begin with. Then, once warm, you tie the long sleeved top around your waist. This is too annoying for me. I hate extraneous kit. I’d rather freeze than carry kit.

3. Love a glove.

I love having the right gloves for classes in the winter. When it is wet and cold, I use little fingerless gloves. They are good for saving the palms while doing press ups on gravel. If you use full fingered gloves, they just get soaking and you have to do a lot of squeezing out. However, when it’s more cold than wet, waterproof full gloves are great, meaning you can keep on with the burpees and bear crawls through the wet or frosty grass or mud.

4. Keep the Heid (warm)

Some people wear hats when the weather gets cold. This is probably very sensible. The trouble with hats is that, once you are roasting, having done a bunch of pressups and burpees, you won’t necessarily still want a hat on. You can perhaps wedge it somewhere about your person… but, it can be annoying to have a hat that you are trying not to lose while wishing you hadn’t brought it. My solution to this is, what the internet calls, “multifunction headwear” aka a “Buff”. This amazing invention is so simple yet utter genius, they get me very excited. A thin, soft tube of fabric – it can be worn in so many ways: as a hat, a balaclava, a snood, a scrunchie. (Also, some of them end up as skirts, bandages, wipes, hankies… you name it…) I generally wear it as a scarf/snood at the start of class, perhaps as a bandana-style mask if it’s cold, then I will turn it into some kind of a hat if my hair gets in my way. It usually ends up around my wrist by the end of class – but I rarely regret bringing one.

5.Heading Home

At the end of class, you might want a towel to sit on in the car and a warm hoodie for the drive home. If it is horizontal rain, you might want to have a dry top on standby so you don’t chitter all the way home. Peel off your kit straight to the washing machine and remember not to tumble dry your waterproof gloves!

The joy of training with In2theWild is that it is entirely suited to the Scottish weather. The classes are always varied – but the weather adds another element of variation that keeps the experiences fresh and the endorphins high. With other sports and activities, there is always the risk that things will be cancelled because of the weather – but In2theWild manages to keep going unless the weather is officially extreme. Get yourself kitted out for the coming winter and training will still be fun, whatever the weather.

Sandra McNicol (Rouken Glen Member)

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