Winter Training Tips

HFE Tutor with student
Tutor with student

At this truly chilly time of year, it’s tempting to let clients head indoors to carry out their training. But what should you do if your niche is in outdoor training, bootcamps or endurance-style cardio training? Perhaps you train runners, triathletes or cyclists? Or maybe you don’t have access to gym or studio space. Clearly you can not let bad weather and sub-zero temperatures put a freeze on your income. So let’s look at how to keep your clients training even when they might prefer to hibernate!

Use the Light

It goes without saying, but safety has to come first and your duty of care towards clients is more important than ever at this time of year. So, schedule training sessions around the (ever changing) light conditions, sunrise and sunset hours.

Educate and Wrap-up

You’ll need to wear good quality kit at this time of year, and so will your client. Give a little added value by researching the best-value warm, reflective, quick-drying kit around, and pass this information on to clients. They’ll thank you for it, and probably spread the word about how you go the extra mile to keep them safe and warm.

Keep Moving

There’s no time for hanging around in this weather. Make recovery active (no matter how untrained your clients might be) and constantly come up with ways to keep your clients warm. If they realise that training in this weather isn’t as cold and uncomfortable as they feared it might be, they’ll be happier to train next week. And remember that you may need to adapt sessions quickly if clients become too cold.

Motivate and Encourage

Most clients will need lots of encouragement at this time of year: to turn up to sessions, to get out of the door, to keep going, and to come back next week. You’ll need plenty of motivating phrases and words of praise. But don’t just keep them for use throughout the session. Remember all those hours between sessions, too. If you’re in touch with your clients on Facebook or Twitter, post encouraging quotes to keep them fired up. Stay in touch on email, text or by phone to make sure they’re looking forward to your next session.

Dos and Don’ts for Outdoor Training

  • Do keep clients motivated, both during the session and between sessions by staying in touch
  • Don’t give the any reason to think training is impossible or unlikely in the cold
  • Do make sure your clients are dressed appropriately and have recovery food/drink as appropriate
  • Don’t underestimate how difficult it can be for some to adapt to temperature drops
  • Do keep the client warm and moving
  • Don’t forget to pay attention to signs of cold and discomfort, and adapt the session
  • Do make sure your clients know how amazing they are for training at this time of year!
  • Measure progress and performance so that they can see their efforts are worthwile


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