The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The majority of the athletes that travel to these cold countries to compete in their sport are not used to a cold climate, and therefore it may be seen that they are at a disadvantage and will not excel. A lot of outdoor athletes would say it’s better to tough it out and train in the cold. They argue that it strengthens your immune system and provides vitamin D and fresh air. But even the bravest of winter warriors know the risks: The winter brings a greater chance of injury, bad weather, and less light. However, there are ways of training for the Winter Olympics that will allow the athletes to reach their optimum potential.
Beating the cold- climatize
It is a good idea, if possible, to arrive in the country you will be training and competing in earlier than you need to be there so that your body has time to adjust to the change in the climate. Research has shown that it takes around 2 weeks for your body to climatize to an extreme weather change, so if it is possible for you to do so then definitely spend some time allowing your body to adjust! However, of course, this is not always practical and realistic, especially for an athlete with a busy schedule, so the next step may be more suitable for you.
Definitely make sure that you equipped with clothing that is going to keep you warm in the coldest conditions- even if this means packing for the worst and not ending up wearing as many layers as you had previously planned. If you are cold, you are likely to be distracted which will prevent you from performing at your best- particularly if your sport requires a steady hand- you don’t want to be shaking like a leaf! You can find some great clothing and equipment for the cold weather at Snow Gaper.
This one could be linked to clothing, as there is clothing that is enhanced with technology, designed to maintain body temperature (mainly of athletes) to achieve peak performance. Research has found that increasing clothing insulation via electrical heating pads within a garment during a warm-up and immediately after a sprint has positive benefits on performance.
Work hard in the summer
Just because you are going to be competing in the Winter Olympics where it will be very cold, this is not to say you shouldn’t bother training hard in the summer! Although there is no way of knowing who will scoop up medals at the Winter Games it’s already pretty clear who won’t- those athletes who didn’t sweat buckets, hone their skills, and perfect new tricks long before, in the summer. When vacationers hit the summer beaches, winter athletes need to be hitting the gym! A medal at the Olympic Games in February is primarily won with work done in the summer.