Cold Weather Workout Tips

Cold Weather Workout Tips

Embarking on a winter workout routine comes with its unique set of challenges, from chilly temperatures to darker mornings. Our team has compiled a set of practical tips to ensure that you not only brave the cold but also thrive in your winter workouts. From the essential fuel hacks to safety precautions, we've got you covered. 


Tip 1: Don't forget to fuel 

  • Getting out the door early in the dark can be challenging. However, a cup of coffee and an Energy Stroopwafel can be just the warm motivation you need to get up and start your day. Top your mug with an Energy Stroopwafel to warm it up and enjoy the softened, 150-calorie, pre-workout treat. GU Energy Gels, Energy Chews, and Energy Stroopwafels all contain carbohydrates, your body’s primary fuel during exercise. Fuel = warmth, and you can't start a fire without something to burn. 

Tip 2: Shine bright 

  • Keeping safety in mind is essential whether you're hitting the road in the early mornings or late afternoons in the winter. “See and Be Seen” is the winter motto. Though you may see that car, they might not notice you. Reflective clothing is especially crucial in the winter with shorter days and wet weather. Consider wearing reflective accessories and lights on the front and back of your body so you are covered no matter which side of the street you are on. A little extra weight from that headlamp is well worth getting home safe and not taking a spill over that pesky root or curb. 

Tip 3: Layer Up to get down 

  • Picking the right clothes for your activity can make a chilly workout a much more comfortable experience. When your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood out, your extremities are the last to get it, so keeping hands and feet warm can be challenging. Insulated gloves and headbands/ear warmers are must-haves. For the cyclist, windproof shoe covers are a great option. Packable jackets and vests make layering up (and down) quick and easy. 

Tip 4: Choosing the right gels 

  • Though we love our Salted Watermelon Energy Gel in the summer, sometimes it's not quite the craving we have on an icy morning. Our go-tos for cold weather Chocolate Outrage, Salted Caramel, and Espresso Love are GU staff's Energy Gel winter favorites. All GU Energy Gels contain amino acids, carbs (fuel!) and electrolytes in a 100-calorie pouch to make fueling easy peasy. Pro-tip: Soften up a cold Energy Gel by kneading it in your hand or keeping it in a pocket close to your body. 

Tipo 5: Take the time to warm up 

  • You may want to rush out and get the workout done, but warming up can make a massive difference in those first couple of miles. It's common to feel stiff or achy when you first get going in cold weather. Proper warm-ups will increase blood flow to muscles and help with flexibility. Make every mile enjoyable from beginning to end. We recommend doing a dynamic warm-up indoors so you aren’t rushing in the cold. 

Tip 6: Check the conditions 

  • Ice on the ground, puddles, or even worse, blustery wind!? A run or ride in the rain or snow may be epic (queue dramatic music in your headphones). Still, hypothermia and frostbite are real things to consider, along with your equipment choice. Check your waterproof, water-resistant, or wind-resistant ratings on your layers. More tread on your shoes will help keep you upright and stable. Consider the treadmill or trainer if you are unsure whether conditions are safe. 

Tip 7: Recover right 

  • Finally, how you recover will determine how you “bounce back” tomorrow. Pulling back up to the door or trailhead after a frigid workout is a sweet relief. Prep your gear bag with Roctane Protein Recovery Drink Mix so you have it waiting for you right when you finish. Two scoops of Chocolate Smoothie or Vanilla Bean pack 20g of protein to rebuild muscles, 230mg electrolytes to rehydrate, and 30g carbohydrates to replenish what you burned. Mix your into warm water, coffee, or hot cocoa for a more satisfying and well-earned treat. Wipe the mud off, toss a dry layer on, and check out those Strava stats with some protein so you can get back out there! 


With careful consideration of safety, gear, and recovery, you can make winter workouts a rewarding and enjoyable part of your year. Happy training!

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