Updated: Mar 15
The weather has turned and our runs are telling us. Taking cue from this, it is time to move our workouts in other directions.
Summer is a good time to hit the water. Learn to swim if you don’t know how to, else it will always remain one of those things you wanted to learn but didn’t. Swimming is a great non-impact workout, perfect for an active recovery. It works as cross training along with your running.
Most importantly, it is the first leg of the triathlon which you may want to do someday and tick it off your bucket list!
I swam post my April races for 2 years (2016/2017) for a couple of months and built the base for learning freestyle last year.
Get on a bike:
Borrow someone’s bike and see if you enjoy it. Do ensure that it is the correct size. Again, this is great cross training and it works your quads and calves beautifully. With the increasing temperature, as running gets harder, biking remains slightly bearable. Ask a cyclist, due to your speed, as you bike down the road you will always feel some breeze.
Give your mind a break:
Training hard for prolonged periods of time can be stressful. So give your mind and body a break, learn something new and ease up on your primary sport. When learning new things, you start at the bottom rung and progress is quick. That can be extremely satisfying! Come season time, when you are ready to put on your gloves again, you will be back in the game, fresh and ready!
Do strength training:
The is one aspect of fitness which tends to get compromised as soon as the training volume picks up. So, cut down on your running and work on your core, glutes as well as upper body. This overall increased strength will help you race stronger.
I have joined a boot camp style class thrice a week. It is very demanding and is my main focus for these couple of months. Whilst doing weights in a gym you need to be aware you every movement and your form, whereas, while working out outdoors with your body weight or bands we tend to be less prone towards injury. The fact that this is outdoors, is its biggest plus point for me. Just by being in fresh air, with the blue sky in the morning, for 60 minutes is enough for your body to produce lots of good hormones, such as adrenaline, which wakes you up and makes you ready to face the day. Positivity and smiles fill the air and you go back home feeling refreshed.
No better way to start the day than by killing yourself!
As I stare at the tree above me for the hour long core workout I think of the the decades-old Japanese practice of forest walking. It encourages people to get outside and take a walk in nature not just for the mental health benefits but because it improves the immune system. "Trees shower (or bathe) themselves in an antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial compound called phytoncides," explains Ben Page, founder of Shinrin Yoku LA. "This is how trees combat disease. When humans inhale these phytoncides, it triggers the human body to produce a specialized white blood cell called NK cells, or Natural Killer cells." These NK cells then attack cancerous and tumorous growths in the body, improving immune strength
Outdoor exercise tends to be more strenuous than the indoor version. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle.
The same dynamic has been shown to apply to cycling, where wind drag can result in much greater energy demands during 25 km of outdoor cycling than the same distance on a stationary bike. That means if you have limited time and want to burn as many calories as possible, you should hit the road instead of the gym.
These days, before my bootcamp, I run for 30/40 minutes, super slow, as a warm up and swim on the other three days.
As we run/bike/swim/scamper/jump/crunch/squat/skip all through summer, the sun will be beating down hard on us.
Build your stock of vitamin D.
Let your sweat make you shine!
Savour the mangoes and then work them off!
Summer is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. – John Ruskin