Saturday, February 12, 2011

Keeping Soccer Fit in the Winter: The du Nord Instructional Post

News flash: it’s freakin’ cold outside. Unless you live in Florida, very southern Texas, or California the cold has reached out and touched you in an uncomfortable place so far this winter.

That’s why I (Graham Fox), have teamed up with the esteemed Jared Montz to bring you the first, and possibly the last, du Nord fitness post.

That’s right you pansy, I’m going to whip you into shape in the winter and Jared is going to help.

Running Outdoor in the Winter
Let’s get this straight, you think it’s too cold to run outside? Unless you live next door to Bruce where the average temperate is -35, you’re going to be just fine. That is, if you follow a few of my recommendations and learn to run through cold, ice and snow. Don’t let all those fine summer soccer playing muscles go to waste, tone them up by running a few times a week.

Remember, there is an internal fire glowing within you. It’s sitting there just waiting to keep you warm. When you run outside in the cold, the fire turns up and warms your body. After the first mile you won’t be able to tell the difference between running in 5 degree weather and 60.
The key to any winter outdoor activity is dressing correctly to take advantage of your internal fire. There’s a fine balance between wearing too much and not wearing enough.

Wear too much, and you’ll sweat so much inside your layers that eventually you’ll be totally covered in sweat, the sweat will freeze, and you’ll turn into one super cold ice marshmallow with miles to go before you make it home.

Wear too little, and no matter how hard or fast you run, the internal fire won’t be able to keep you warm enough.

Proper Cold Weather Attire: The Essentials
  1. A running hat: Protecting your head is essential. Stop that heat from escaping. Get a nice lightweight running hat with extra protection around your ears.

  2. Gloves: Unfortunately, your internal fire does a sucky job of keeping your finger tips cold. A pair of running gloves with a tiny bit of insulation is all you need to keep your fingers warm. PRO TIP: Fingers still cold? While your glove is still on, move your fingers out of the fingers of the glove and make a fist inside the gloves. Your fingers will warm up in no time.

  3. Dri-fit long or short sleeve shirt: No cotton clothing allowed. The name of the game is getting rid of excess sweat as quickly as possible.

  4. A lightweight coat: The key to buying a winter running coat is finding one that allow moisture to escape while keep heat in. The last thing you want is a coat that’s soaked in sweat. You should be able to find a decent coat at Dicks for fewer than 30 bucks that keeps the heat in and lets moisture escape.

  5. WOOL SOCKS: If you don’t listen to anything else I have to say, listen to this. Cotton socks will give you frost bite. That first slushy puddle you step in will soak your cotton socks and keep them at 0 degrees for the remainder of your run. Step in the same slush pool while wear wool socks and in two minutes your feet will once again by toasty and warm. Experience always warm feet. Go to TJ Maxx and search through the hiking sock section to get something cheep, lightweight, and efficient.

  6. Screwed Shoes: What’s that you say? I should drive #8 ½ inch Sheet Metal Screws into my shoes? Damn right you should. What would you prefer, slipping and falling on your ass or running across slick ice covered streets and sidewalks with confidence? For less than 4 dollars you can experience all the traction of a 60 – 80 dollar ice shoe kit with none of the breakage. Best of all, the holes these screw create are so small they basically fill themselves back in when you take them out. Learn more here: Screwing your Shoes.

  7. Shorts with Pockets: You’re going to get too hot at some point, and then you’re going to want some place to put your gloves and hat.

Proper Cold Weather Attire: Extras
  1. Running Tights: If it’s really cold and the wind is whipping around like crazy, you’ll be glad you sprung for a nice pair of running tights. True, this can be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment, but when you start running below 0 you’re going to want it.

  2. Breath Mask: Again, an item not completely necessary but great for really cold weather running, a breath mask directs your breath downwards and is especially nice if you wear glasses. If you have lungs that hate the cold get yourself a breath mask.

Now go, run. You won’t be cold after the first mile.

Keeping Your Soccer Touch in the Winter
Cardio is only part of the proper soccer winter workouts. That’s why I’ve enlisted the help of Jared Montz, online instructor extraordinar to give ya’ll a lesson on some indoor soccer work.

Take it away Jared!

From the comfort of your own living room, you can keep your soccer touch sharp and get in a nice indoor workout.

I’ll leave you with some Bloody Beat Roots

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Anonymous Joe the curmudgeon said...

Very nice.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Jared Montz said...

Thanks for asking me to do an Online Soccer Academy training video for DuNord Graham! It was fun!

Great post by the way about cold weather running. I picked up a few pointers for my Chicago runs during the holiday season when I am in town visiting!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Fordprefect said...

I prefer the Brucio method of staying in footy shape in the winter.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Nice article Graham.

I trailrun during winters in Colorado- instead of shoe screws, consider Yaktrax- about $20, but a great investment.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Graham said...

Great point Tom, I know that some trail runners love Yaktraks and they work great, but at the same time I've seen a lot of them get utterly destroyed on super steep downhills with rocks jutting out. I'll give them a try someday!

10:01 PM  

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