By: Mike Grafstein
Winter is a great time to maintain an "aerobic" base in the off season. This will compliment off season base strength training programs. It will allow you to maintain fitness levels, prevent injury and build up of body fat. You could also prepare for your soccer fitness. If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate enjoy the heat! You have other issues to concern yourself with.
If you live in a cold climate here are some tips to keep you warm while you maintain your soccer fitness.
You want to be coolly invigorated when you start your interval or fartlek run and toasty at the end. You must keep in mind that your body heat will move up 10-20 degrees F warmer than the current air temperature as you are five minutes into your interval run/jog. To reduce the effect of the chill factor plan your run so that you start into the wind and return with the wind at your back.
It is important that you are properly dressed for your soccer winter run/jog. Layering your clothing is the most important.
Your first layer/inner layer should contain a material called polypropylene. This layer is the one that lies against your skin. This material allows water vapor to pass through. This allows your skin to stay dry even if you are sweating. This lining may be a long sleeved turtleneck, or may have round necklines, and may be a short sleeved shirt or even a sports bra. The style you choose will depend on the weather.
Do Not Use Cotton As The Inner Layer because cotton holds moisture.
The middle layer is usually a thin turtleneck that is either all synthetic or part cotton/part synthetic material. Very often it will zip up allowing you to control the ventilation. It acts as additional space to trap heat.
The outer most layers protect you from the elements: wind, rain and snow. The outer layer you use is determined by how cold or wet are the elements. This outer layer may range from a vest or jacket to a complete suit depending on the weather condition of that day. The outer layers made from the following fabrics will suit you fine: Gore-Tex, Windstopper, DryRoad, Fleece and Microfiber.
You will lose approximately 40% of your heat through your head. Thus a hat made from wool is ideal. A mask that leaves slits for your eyes, nose and mouth is another option. For your hands you may wear light insulated gloves under mittens.
Wear two pairs of socks. A thin synthetic pair of socks with wool or part cotton pair over the top will help prevent frostbite. Do not forget to protect your neck. This may be done by wearing a scarf, turtleneck sweater or a jacket with a zip-up collar.
Also, on sunny days, sunglasses and sun block are advised because the rays of the sun reflect off the snow.
Finally it is beneficial to your fitness to run/jog in the winter. Keep these thoughts in mind:
1. Your run/jog should follow resistance training if you are working out with weights.
2. Take the time to be properly dressed for your outing.
3. Focus on keeping warm and dry.
4. Always protect your extremities.
5. Enjoy the outdoors.
Have fun with winter.
Mike Grafstein B.Ph.Ed, CAT(c),YCS, RMT
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Article Source: Outdoor Winter Soccer Fitness - How to Prepare For the Cold