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In Canada, we are accustomed to long winters. As a society, we have adjusted fairly well by moving many of our sporting activities indoors. However, some people still have to do some or all of they’re training outside, or come up with a way to remain in shape during the winter months. Cyclists are relegated to stationary bikes, while runners tend to do their hard training on indoor tracks; however most runners choose to do their easy days outdoors.

For those looking to escape the recycled air of indoor facilities or the frigid cold, consider warm weather training. Most high performance athletes try to escape to warm weather training camps at least one or more times during the winter months. Warm weather training can benefit athletes psychologically. It also enables them to spend a period of time training consistently, with out having their workouts dictated by the weather.

Warm weather training brings about a welcome change from all the layers you have to wear when training outdoors, and from the early and dark days which are so characteristic of the winter months in Canada. Warm weather also exposes us to sunshine, and to a dose of natural vitamin D. Heading south also provides a change of scenery, allowing you to refocus and become rejuvenated for the upcoming season.

Benefits of Warm weather training:

  • Psychological – It can get the athlete motivated, refocused on their training and give rise to a period of consistent training without the distractions that come with daily life.
  • Vitamin D – The sun allows you to get a daily dose of natural vitamin D.
  • Reduced risk of injury – With warm weather the muscles are more pliable, reducing the risk of muscle strains and tears.

Warm weather training can have great psychological benefits. It can also allow athletes to train consistently without worrying about the cold, dark and sometimes icy winters. It is a way to get a jump on your training and competitive season.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Barrie Shepley’s warm-weather training camps. Active Living. January 2008;17(1):17.
2. Gage T. Baseball Was Designed To Be Played On Warm Summer Days. Baseball Digest. July 2005;64(5):88.
3. Keller M, Fredrickson B, Wager T, et al. A Warm Heart and a Clear Head. Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell). September 2005;16(9):724-731.
4. Longden B. Warm weather training. Athletics Coach. 1997 1996;30(4):8-9.
5. Lowes D. Training dilemma: altitude or warm-weather?. Athletics Weekly (Descartes Publishing Ltd.). June 18, 2009;:28-29.
6. Makin J. How much sun is enough for vitamin D?. ACHPER Active & Healthy Magazine. August 2012;19(2):8.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.