Dress For Success...Winter Training on the Bike
by Stu Downs, 1 August 2012
At this time of year you'll often have cold conditions at some point on your ride. Winter can introduce a mixture of temperatures while training, and at best this can be a nuisance - the situation can also be dangerous if not managed correctly.
So what to do?
The best approach is to dress for the cold, with the types of clothes that can also keep you cool if needed. So the ideal approach when starting a ride in the cold is to focus on layers. (I have up to six layers if departing in sub-zero temperatures).
This checklist will assist...
- Have somewhere to put surplus gear. If training use a small 'camel pack' type bag to store clothing (they are an ideal size). If it's a race use the 'drop bag' system at the start for gear that will keep you warm pre-race.
- Use clothing that can zip down the front for all but the initial layer.
- Multiple thin layers are best, with merino a great option for the initial layer.
- Use breathable clothing, and avoid cotton materials. (This will keep you dry).
- During the winter you also want to have gloves, a scarf, a woollen hat, and full length leggings for colder morning rides.
- Think 'Warm'. (Aiming to look 'Cool' may have you instead feeling 'Cold'!!).
To say that "Winter is cold" would miss the point. Winter is very cold at times, but conversely you'll have (relatively) warm afternoons. Dress for the conditions you expect to experience - this means completely understanding your training environment and how it may affect you.
Stu Downs is a New Zealand record-breaking endurance cyclist. cityfitness is a proud sponsor of Stu, who will be providing cityfitness members with more exclusive motivational and training tips each month. Keep your eyes peeled for more hot tips! Click here to follow Stu's blog.