Dec. 12, 2016

It’s getting cold out, however winter is not a time to hide your bike in the garage and take a 3 month “off-season”.  These are key months to get in strength training, focus on your weakest discipline, and start building your base for next year.  Besides dusting off your indoor trainer there are plenty of things you can start to do to get ready for the months ahead.  

While the initial investment in clothing and some supplies might seem to be a bit of an overload, just know that higher quality clothing may last you several seasons and make or break your training experience.  It’s really only the first 10-20 minutes of your outdoor ride that your body tempo remains low.  After that, your body starts to warm up and you might even start sweating, so choose layers of clothing, and fabrics that breathe well.  

If you’ve decided to brave the cold and get outside on your bike for some cycling, consider a few tricks to help keep the heat in.  

• Wear rubber gloves underneath your regular thick riding gloves.  This will keep your body heat in and also block the wind.

• Get “HotHands” hand warmers and foot warmers.  An inexpensive investment can go a long way on a 3 hour ride.  They also make body warmers in a larger “pack” that you can put in your top to keep your core warm.

• Block the vents of your shoes with electrical tape.  Again, another tip to block the wind from getting into your toes.  

• Remember the obvious… Wool cycling socks, a head band over your ears, base layers, and a light windbreaker can go a long way.

Running can be easier but still feels awful when you just get started.  

• Remember to dress at the comfort level of about 20 degrees warmer.  It really only takes a few minutes to “warm-up”.  You don’t want to be over dressed and then over heated for the remainder of your run.

• Be seen!  Buy a mini light or some great new reflective gear to make it through the early mornings on the streets safely.

• Warm up your muscles before the run.  It takes a few minutes to get the body to get warmed up on the run, so start in home with some dynamic stretches to get those muscles primed.

• Attack the wind by putting Ruby’s Lube, an All-Natural Anti-Chaffe balm, on your nose and cheeks to prevent them from getting chapped.

Opt for indoor training.  If the weather conditions are simply too awful to handle you’re gonna have to make a trip to the gym or buckle up for a good ride on your trainer.  

• Give yourself a good interval workout instead of just logging away boring hours.  This will cut down on the time needed to spend on the trainer, and give you the same quality.

• Start up a new playlist or get into a show on Netflix.  For some of you, this might be a long winter.

Of course the most important thing is to find motivation.  If you can find that solid mindset of training through these few chilly months, just think of how strong your season can be!  The winter can be dreadful for training, but you can figure out your best way to beat the blues.

WRITTEN BY

KARLEEN DIRMANTAS

TRIATHLON COACH

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