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What's your Winter Workout?

eebee's picture

I miss everybody already! It's only been a month since I skated in a group and it feels like forever. What is everybody doing to stave off lack-of-exercise inertia?

Since the Carolina Century I have only managed a 30 minute skate at the track at Bethesda Park (Gwinnett County) on what felt like the coldest day of the year, and a couple of really short jogs (10 and 20 minutes!). I also managed to try some squat thrust jumps (not sure of correct name) and some static lunges. I don't think it's a great idea for my knees to leap straight into Eddy-workshop type dryland plyometrics yet. 

I had about 3 weeks of no skating at all, and am almost cured of burnout. Even though the flab is beyond a joke, it's hard to want to even walk across the complex to the little gym room when it's near freezing point. I know I'm a cold-weather wimp; maybe that's the price I pay for habituating myself to skate 30 miles in over 90 degree weather every Saturday in summer. 

So what's everybody doing to fight inactivity? Are you doing what sounds like fun at the time or are you conscientiously following a periodization schedule? 


MikeB's picture

Winter = hockey time

I've picked up the pace on the ice. Besides the once per week league game, I've added some pickup times, sometimes referred to as "stick and puck" or "rat hockey." Ice skating is a good way to keep the skating muscles better tuned during the inline off-season, burns calories (read fat), and a cup of hot chocolate is only 50 feet away at the concession stand......nice.
skatey-mark's picture

hitting the weights this winter

This winter, I am determined to break my annual cycle of packing on 30 pounds during off-season. So far, I'm (only) up about 5 pounds from my low weight. Not bad, since it's usually 15 or 20 pounds by now! Inactivity + beer + thanksgiving + christmas == bigger mark. I'm still seeing the same personal trainer I've been seeing since January. Now that the skating season is over, we're concentrating on weight training to increase my muscle mass. That should bump up my metabolism and make it easier to stabilize my weight. I work out with him about 45 minutes, then do 30 minutes of cardio afterward. (Usually on the elliptical machine). That's 3 times per week. (Twice with the trainer, once on my own.) I try to get at least one "cardio only" day in there too on Saturday. If I'm feeling REALLY spunky (read: rarely) I'll do a cardio day on Thursday also. Sunday & Tuesday are always rest days. I get an occasional "workout" blowing the leaves in my yard too, which takes a good 2-3 hours each time I do them. Sometimes I'll do that instead of my normal cardio workout, sometimes I'll do it in addition to it. This is a big change from my past "winter workouts" which were strictly cardio. Things I've done in the past were slideboard workouts, rowing machine, or even "Dance Dance Revolution"... DDR is actually a *really* good workout. I'd do that for about 90 minutes. Sometimes I'd do a set of pushups between songs, just to mix it up a bit. I may add that in to my routine this winter too -- I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm purposely *not* skating over the winter so that I don't get burned out on it. There's an indoor speed practice in Raleigh a couple nights a week, which I've done in the past. But I'm going with the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" theory and depriving myself of skating for a few months. So hopefully once spring comes around, I'll be good & hungry to get back out on the road. - SM -

Winter Tires

Just like Mark, I refuse to put on winter tires and then go through the pain in the spring to get back in to the Formula 1 look. It is just too much hard work and depressing. I go to the gym 4 times a week and do stuff like spin, bootcamp, boxing or my own routine.  I do live in the perfect place for skiing, so I downhill and freestyle x-country (a little shorter x-country skis and you move from A – B in a skating motion), fast and lots of FUN.

I wish all off you a happy and very prosperous New Year

Stay fit


roadskater's picture

Cross country skiing skate ski style

It all sounds really great. I'm a slotful flabster, though. Still, I think XC would get me out to ski if we had weather for that. I'd like to try all varieties...backcountry maybe even with some camping, traditional classic long ski cross country, and skate skiing with shorter skis. I do not at all enjoy the gym, though perhaps I could enjoy certain gym activities were conditions right...like playing basketball with not too serious folk of similar skill. I'm doing OK but putting on pounds and finding it harder to eat right when not exercising. I'm learning a lot, though, and that's good. Soon enough, food intake will need better control, and exercise will be calling. I'm not sure if we'll try the polar bear skride or not on New Year's Day. Hmm. Don't know if we could finish even the shortest of distances!

+1 on the Hockey

Playing hockey, but here in the South (not enough rinks) that's two nights a week at most and sometimes zero nights during some weeks.Some night skates with APRR.org in Atlanta.Skating to work (approx. 11 miles, including some serious hills) when possible, probably only once every other week with the weather and the fact that it gets dark too soon.Mostly getting fat, though! The new job has LOTS of free food.-Tom
MikeB's picture

Amen on the Hockey brudda

Love the hockey.  Our local league just picked up the pace and we now have about 4 or 5 ex-pros playing, (none on my team....argh).  And since we've done away w/ the over 35 league, the new A league has some serious young speedsters too.  I've actually noticed in increase in cardio effort trying to keep up.

Maybe your new job could put raw veggies on the menu?  ;-)

roadskater's picture

Workouts Involving Dual Booting Vista and Ubuntu

Well the Carolina Century was designed to delay the post-A2A letdown at least for one year and it worked. However, the post RSNCC letdown did take place in terms of not skating. That's OK, though, as my frame usually needs a rest and some of my tendons likely need some time off. Unfortunately, I always eat worse when I don't skate (some of you will not believe I said that, as seeing me eat around a bunch of people is seeing me at my hyper eating best, and you'd simply not believe that I don't always ausgeschwinen like that (made up word yes for pig out). Anyway I was going pretty well on the no deep-fried no cheese except Tuesday night post skate antivampire (garlic and onions) pizza until post RSNCC, then I said, oh, sure I'll eat this once, that once, the other once, then do it all again. As for exercise, I'd say going back and forth to the car is most of it, maybe tutoring fourth graders burns a very few calories when taking them to the bus. Other than that, I'd say repetitions of body flops during sporadic couch or bed snoozing between readings of the many best ways of dual booting Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit server with some desktop features with a just in case remainder of Windows Vista 32-bit on a $214 dual core AMD-powered bargain demo computer are burning brain calories at least. Too many choices even if that's a great thing! So that's been my winter workout...eat bad when the food is free like is so often the case during the holidays...get even less sunlight when there's so little available...count the days until the days get longer again...hang on until my soul says yeah it's time to skate again!

Longer days

Time is up.... get of the couch... days started to get longer on December 21.


roadskater's picture

Yep December 21 is My Favorite Holiday

Yes I love December 21 since it's the shortest day and I know things will get better soon for outdoor skating (for wimpy sunlovers like me). When daylight savings comes back around that's another highlight! It also helps when all the holiday food is gone.
Bryan's picture

Riding to work helps

I ride 5.5 miles each way to work, and generally do it at as close to a sprint pace as I can manage. Lately that (plus grocery runs and other commuting) has been the entirety of my exercise. I think I skated thirty miles in November and twenty in December... shameful!

 I keep threatening myself with resuming the weight training I slacked off on two years ago, but so far that hasn't come true. Doing a New Year's Skate tonight, no real expectations of high mileage. Gotta start getting ready for Squiggy in a few months!

roadskater's picture

Commuting Seems a Great Way to Survive Winter

Yes it seems commuting is a great way to get in the exercise over the winter, once used to the cooler temps. In many cases the cooler temps are better I'm sure. It seldom is leisurely, from what I've heard from most. Maybe it's that work thing...going as late and getting away as fast as possible? :o) I think any exercise that is a regular part of almost every day, or every week day, must be a great thing. Glad to hear you are still skating some and hope to do that devel skate some time when you are around. There's always a reason to get out and check out routes for this year's Carolina Century or for anything else for that matter.
Bryan's picture

In many cases the cooler


In many cases the cooler temps are better I'm sure.


Oh HELL no!!!

I am so sick and freakin’ tired of wearing eleventy five articles of clothing just to go outside and play. It’s a miracle I don’t have three flavors of bubonic plague as frequently as I go from freezing to sweating these days. At this point I would actually pay Al Gore to fire up his Arctic SUV and get this damn globe warmed up again!

eebee's picture

We can burn library books to stay alive

Well I hear things are heating up in the Antarctic - there's a big shelf about to break off down there. Any day now the Earth's oceans will reach their desalination point and we'll all be clamoring to get in to Mexico...wait...huh? (I actually love that movie: The Day After Tomorrow).

I hear you on wearing five layers to go skate. Although I'm actually starting to enjoy skating in the bracing cold (I can hear Marianne up there in the frozen North laughing her butt off about now) and am glad I have an all-over even covering of fat. It's not fun when your feet are numb from the cold, though, after about 50 mins. I am acclimatizing to skating in the cold.  

Bryan's picture

I bought a pair of rain

I bought a pair of rain covers for my skates during last year’s 24 Hours Montreal affair. I’m having to wear them every day, as carbon fiber skates don’t offer a whole lot of insulation and my Shimano cycling shoes aren’t much better. The added hassle of putting those on just adds to the frustration of it all. I skated last night in [three pairs of] shorts just because I was so anxious to leave the house in shorts. At 52°F it was tolerable, but the ride home in the wee hours was kinda chilly.
eebee's picture

Good Idea!

Thanks for mentioning those boot rain-covers. I'll have to get some if they help keep the frosty air out.
roadskater's picture

Please do tell us more

Hey. I've been interested in various cycling shoe covers that might work for winter...mostly the neoprene ones with soles that can be cut to fit various shoe types. Could you tell us more about your rain covers? Interested in brand, style, good, bad, where bought, about how much...the who, what when, where, why, how, how much stuff, if you have time. Thanks!
skatey-mark's picture

look for "ice skate boot covers"

You have to remember there are skaters even crazier that only skate in the subzero temperatures...  Outdoor ice skaters...


So there are plenty of boot covers out there to keep the ol' tootsies warm.   A quick google search turned up several sites...  Here's one of them:




A lot of places even sell matching pom-poms and hair scrunchie thingies, for those that like to accessorize...  ;-)


- SM - 

skart's picture

Sugoi Resistor Booties

I use these: http://www.rei.com/pwr/product-reviews/Cycling/Gloves-Hats-and-Socks/Sho...


They fit great and since they have velcro tabs on the bottom, there is no need to cut them...

roadskater's picture

Thanks for the Recommendations

Ahh, yes. Thanks, skart. The use of addresses one of my reservations about the whole setup. Good find and thanks for the tip. Thanks also for the search find, skatey-mark. Skart, how was your skate last (?) weekend? I heard about it but got back under the covers and went back to sleep! This is why I resemble a bear post-hibernation when seen in public, of course. I'm glad your skating is going well.
skart's picture

Skating is good these days...

Ahh... It was a really nice but very cold skate a couple of weeks ago... It was 4 of us - Rad, Mark F., Kendra and I... My goal was to keep the intensity low and go for about 2 hours of skating so I turned back a bit earlier and ended up with about 30 miles and 13mph average... The rest of the crew went for about an hour longer and probably ended up doing 45-50-ish mile route... They were really pushing it hard at times :-)

The weather was sunny but very cold. It was probably one of the coldest skates I did (we started with temperatures around 25F) but I am glad I did it :-)

Below Zero

He you guys - look at the bright side - you get to inline skate in the winter - that alone is a big bonus.

Minus 15 C is my new cut off temperature for outdoor exercise exept walking. Last year is was minus 20, I must be getting just a little older. ;)  

Happy Winter Days!

roadskater's picture

Let's Just Admit That I'm a Wimp!

Yikes! That is a pretty brisk base temp. Well I have to say that right now I'm OK having some time off. I need to honor that, and I know there's be a day soon when it hits me that I absolutely must skate! Until then I look at the bike and trainer and wonder, can I stand it?
eebee's picture

Couldn't take it any longer...

I had to start skating again. Christmas and New Year almost did me in. I just checked back here and saw all the great responses to my question about Winter workouts! Good to hear from you all. Zoned out over a dollar store puzzle last weekend it finally hit me: a normal, functioning brain is within my grasp. All I need is a moderately vigorous workout each day for about an hour. I ran through the options but quickly dismissed all of the non-skating ones. Running hurts like hell and ruins my feet for when I want to skate. Walking hurts like hell and ruins my hips for when I want to skate. Cycling might work but I don't own a bike, and stationary bikes in gyms or little rooms are too claustrophobic. So I decided to stop being a wimp about the cold weather, and was able to go four-for-four from Sunday through Wednesday this week, at an hour a pop. Most days it was below fifty degrees but nothing many layers didn't fix. I chickened out today though as it would have been 30 degrees at skate time. I promised myself I'd go to the claustrophobic room later to ride the bike. It didn't happen. My brain will probably fail to fire on all four cylinders tomorrow as a result of that. My skating workouts for now are nothing more glamorous than endless windy circuits around a football field. First day back I barely achieved 9 miles, but by the fourth day I was up to 12. However, mileage is not the issue. All I want right now is clear-headedness.
roadskater's picture

Congrats and Keep it Up...Meanwhile...

I have to say I've been impressed at your extra efforts to go skating, and it definitely makes a difference to our brains, at least for some of us. I'm glad to hear you've taken to going to the park on the way home instead of going home first. I've always found it really hard to go back out! As for me, I've yet to go out skating as I usually take some time off anyway and the weather hasn't been very warm of late, plus the tutoring I'm doing is at the warmest part of the day. Those are my excuses. But I can feel the desire to skate building after a nice time off to heal the little aches and pains. With warm weather, though, like Tampa style winter warmth and sun, I'd be out there. Regarding brain function and exercise, I was just watching a show (while doing computer stuff) about Alzheimer's and tests that showed animals did better at their tasks (I think it was swimming mice) if they had plenty of exercise. There's also evidence that eating healthily helps. It is certain that we get a boost from those three or four or more hour inline skate trips. My fave is that trip on the Silver Comet Trail from Nickajack School to the Brushy Mountain Tunnel, a round trip of 62 miles. On the way back it seems things look brighter for all involved, even if there's physical pain or discomfort. But getting out at all day after day helps lots, too. Even 20 minutes a day most days of the week is great, but I notice you usually skate an hour at least and that's a great goal. To start off I need to set my sights very low, ha, so I have less chance to fail. It might hit 60 degrees today so I might give it a go. Not sure. The show I saw was... http://alzheimersfacingthefacts.org Here's another show on the subject and you can watch it all online free... http://www.pbs.org/theforgetting/watch/index.html Here's a page that helps recognize the signs of Alzheimer's... http://www.pbs.org/theforgetting/diagnosis/index.html
MikeB's picture

Keep those '09 resolutions

Can't believe it, but I'm still holding to some of my '09 resolutions: eating healthier, watching portions, and rising at 5.30am to head upstairs for daily workouts. We've got a lot of equipment and I try to touch on it all, except for the treadmill, where I side with eebee, too tough on the knees, ankles and hips. Revisit your resolutions, or get new ones started, use this forum for support as well as other networks, put pieces in place to better uphold your personal commitment(s). Then, around TdK time or sooner, you'll be ready for action. Baby steps. (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it).
eebee's picture

Forgot 'em already

Good job MikeB, on sticking to your New Year's Resolutions. Out of fear of failure I don't think I made any, other than vowing never to go on another diet as long as I live.

Way to make the most of your fitness equipment, though, and not have it all end up on Craigslist, Freecycle, or the landfill.

Bryan's picture

I don’t do

I don’t do ‘resolutions’ (apart from 72dpi) but I did set a firm goal of both skating and riding 3,000 miles this year. The bike portion will be easy, just my normal work and grocery riding covers that. But skating… let’s just say I haven’t averaged sixty miles per week yet this year. In fact I haven’t even skated sixty miles yet this year. That one’s gonna take some effort.
MikeB's picture

ahhh, but you do do, don'tchoo?

Maybe '09 will be the year we can get a skate or two in together in Wilm.  No news yet on the Beach Blast hockey tournament there, usually in August, but when more is known I'll drop you a line and maybe we can get 60 in.
roadskater's picture

Wilmington Wrightsville Beach Skating or Not Sounds Great

Yes the beach when warm sounds good to me. I love that Wrightsville Beach, and eating on the pier at the Oceanic has saved my life a time or too. I recall pineapple chicken salad and Coca-Cola in a warm breeze with sun on my face and salt in wind in my hair giving me a few good reasons to live one day at just the right time.
MikeB's picture

perhaps an RSN beach event?

Bryan mentioned the skating there is on good & flat pavement.  Something to think about.
Bryan's picture

True, but you want a

True, but you want a moderately undesirable evening to keep it free of slow moving obstacles. A day like today, with suddenly spring-like weather, and The Loop would just be 2.6 miles of rolling frustration. UNCW’s campus, however, is eminently skatable any time outside of daytime classroom hours (a fact which I plan to demonstrate later today).

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