eriAthlinks Ignited is a group of influential athletes who represent the Athlinks brand on the web and at the starting line. Follow our Ambassadors as they share their journey and encourage athletes from everywhere to join, compete and connect on the Athlinks network.

We asked our team of ambassadors how they’re handling the doldrums of the offseason. Whether battling the cold, focusing on nutrition, or switching it up, we take a look at how Athlinks Ignited is prepping for the race season.

What are you focusing on most this winter? 

When its winter time, I focus more on getting a PR due to the cold weather. Usually, when I train hard in January to April and get “faster” I always have a good running year. I focus a lot of my form and speed. When summer races come in I’m already trained and ready to go. – Jason Tolentino

Right now I’m focusing on losing weight so it will be easier to move my body. I call winter “fluffy season” and it’s still winter, but the new year lets me reset things a bit and focus on upcoming races. – Ericka Zujovic

I’m currently braving the cold in  NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania. It’s difficult to be consistent on the road. I’m trying to keep the training going by switching up the weight training and “resting” my mind and body with lots of hot power yoga. – Sara Gold

I am continuing to run, but without any speedwork. I’m hitting the trails which is a good changeup.  I view trail running almost like a weightlifting workout. It strengthens your feet and legs as you use different muscles on the ever-changing terrain. – Keith Marshall

This winter as in the past few years, I focus on doing indoor triathlons. I have 5 scheduled which allows me to stay consistent in training though focusing on shorter distances and improving my speed. I’m excited that I have an indoor championship race planned this year. – Fredricka Holloway

I am really focusing on consistency. I truly believe that consistent mileage and work leads to future success. That is the most important aspect of my winter training. – Dalton Atchinson

2018 training is off to a great start, I’m currently averaging about 145ks per week running at the moment. Short term focus is a 24hr track event I’m training for in March, I’m hoping to run between 200 & 220ks for it. I have a 6hr event in 3 weeks time which I’m using as a training run, it will give me the opportunity to try both my pace & nutrition. – Matt Archer

Are you trying anything new? Like a gym, or specific core work, or switching up your diet? Possibly even a winter sport?

I dedicate a lot of time on trails in the winter since they are softer surface and usually more manageable to run on than the roads when the conditions get icy/snowy.  It also lets me prepare mentally for the season ahead and enjoy some scenery.  It’s a nice change of pace for me. – Nicholas Klastava

I have committed to daily foam rolling, push-ups, planks, and squats, with no days off. The only diet change is consciously eating MORE, which sounds a little counter-intuitive this time of year but trying to reduce the fatigue that comes from not enough nutrition. – Marissa DeMercurio

I’m incorporating swimming and biking into my training several times per week in addition to my current mileage. I plan to do my first triathlon this summer and you can never start too early, right? I also see the benefits of incorporating low/zero impact activities into my regiment. Drew Hartman

I try to experiment more with nutrition, to see what works and what doesn’t. Now’s the time for that! I also try to work on supplemental strength through functional training, mostly core and single leg drills. I think trying fun classes at the gym or bootcamps are great ways to identify weaknesses and bring some fun in the training routine. Swimming is a great way to stay fit in the winter too. – Jasmin Welter

Though I’ve never been a fan of the treadmill, I really enjoy cycling indoors.  Virtual rides like Zwift or Trainer Road are great tools and make those trainer rides fly by.  – Kara Bonneau

What advice would you give to your fellow athletes to make powering through these months more manageable

Remember your why! I know these months are hard but remember why you are doing it. Envision crossing those finish lines and think about it before, during, and after every training day. – Joe Pepe

Focus on an area of improvement and lay the groundwork during the winter months.This is the time that we can be more focused on the details and pour over the data and metrics of our training and look for opportunities to improve. – Jeri Villarreal

Cross train: do you enjoy swimming? Playing in a work inter-mural dodgeball league? Does your gym offer yoga or strength training classes? Switch up your “regular” training routine… and turn the winter blahs… into major gains. – Phil Pinti

Don’t be afraid of the cold!  I tend to lose motivation if I limit my workouts to the indoors.  My advice is to bundle up and get out there for a long run or workout at least once a week.  You will be proud of yourself for enduring the conditions and your legs and lungs will thank you for the freedom. – Alex Millström

I know it sounds cheesy, but I just think of how lucky I am to wake up every morning and get to do something I love. Many people go through life without finding any kind of passion, and I am so grateful I have the ability to get up and run that I never take it for granted. Getting up well before the sun and heading out the door when it’s cold and windy can be daunting, but it’s better than the alternative – not running. I’m lucky I get to run. – Kelly Leighton

Without being outside in that beautiful sunlight it can be easier to get down and not as motivated. I have found that listening to motivational speakers while working out has helped me stay focused on my goals! My main piece of advice is to figure out what your weakness is/was and work on that until it is no longer a weakness. When race season hits that is usually not much room for major improvement if you have a full race schedule. – Brandon Mills

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