Winter has much of Canada in its cold snowy grips, forcing many of us to train indoors. Although most people are keen to get back outside as soon as the weather improves, it can be difficult to transition from indoor to outdoor training. Here are some tips to ensure you enjoy a seamless, injury-free transition back outside as soon as the weather allows.
Switch Surfaces Gradually:
When you train indoors, your body gets accustomed to running on treadmills or harder indoor tracks. When you’re ready to move back to road or outdoor track running, slowly increase your number of outdoor workouts each week.  For example, if you currently run indoors on a treadmill three times per week, once the weather improves, run on the treadmill two times per week and once per week on the road or track. The following week run once inside and twice outside. This will allow your body the time it needs to readapt to the different surfaces.
Buy New Footwear
Most indoor training facilities require you wear clean footwear during the winter months so you don’t track in dirt and water. This can create a situation where you train inside in softer more flexible footwear then you normally use when you train outdoors or run on the road. Purchasing new footwear, when the weather improves, can help ease your transition to the different surfaces you will encounter outside.
Don’t Overlook Your Warm Up
Most people will take the time to warm up and stretch when they are in the cozy warm environment of the gym.  When you transition back to the outdoors make sure you stick to your stretching routine. As it is still cold outside, many people rush into their full activity instead of taking the time to properly warm up, which can cause injury to occur.
Dress Appropriately
When transitioning back outdoors, layer as needed, and do not under dress. Although the snow may have melted and the sun maybe out, it can still be cold and windy. Wearing layers will ensure you are comfortable whatever the weather and will keep you focused on the task at hand.
Pack a Drink
When you move outside, make sure you bring adequate hydration with you, whether it is water or a sports drink.  In gym facilities, water is readily available, but it can be tough to impossible to find when you are at a track complex or running along some trails.
By following these guidelines, you can help to prevent injuries and keep yourself on the path to success. If you have any questions about transitioning from indoor to outdoor workouts or foot health concerns, reach out to your local Pedorthist.
By Steve Stredulinsky, C. Ped (C), Edmonton, Alberta