It’s so cold……But I love it…

The weather is starting to turn frigid and Thanksgiving it is going be well below freezing for Turkey Trots in much of the northern latitudes of the US.

There is nothing more exhilarating than being outside in the cold, feeling the clear air and bright sun on your cheeks all while feeling toasty warm in your outfit. The key is of course how to stay toasty warm.

Here are some basic guidelines for exercising in the cold:

  1. Head – Much of your body heat is lost through the head, so a quick way to minimize the loss is through a head protection – Hat or balaclava on very cold days. If you are working hard & over heating, the quickest way to vent that heat is to rip off your hat & stuff it in your pocket. Bring a dry second hat for after workout so as you cool down, you can put it on and stay warm.
  2. Hands – Gloves always – As you cool, blood is drawn away from the periphery to warm the core. Your hands are quite sensitive to cooling, and don’t retain heat well. On very cold days with high wind, the risk of frost nip is high. Keep them covered even if you are shedding layers elsewhere. On the bike, gloves must be wind-proof.
  3. Base layers – A high quality base layer that is snug against the core of the body is essential. Never use cotton. There are many technical long sleeve garments for the cold, but basic camping long underwear tops are cheaper and quite serviceable for running as well. Still have & still use them after all these years.
  4. Tights – For the run, mid weight & for the bike windproof and heavier weight.
  5. Mid layer – Personally, I am a fan of fleece vests. They allow venting from the pits while focusing on retaining heat near the core. Keep the core warm and blood to the periphery. Unless you are running hard, I would wear a mid layer always even if it feels a bit hot. Too hot is uncomfortable. Too cold is miserable.
  6. Outerwear – Priority #1 is something windproof. From there, there are two considerations: 1) Outerwear for the run must allow substantial venting; and 2) Outerwear for the bike is best when it traps the heat more effectively.
  7. Shoes: It goes without saying running shoes are what you need to run. Your choice is based upon terrain and type of runner you are. For the bike, good quality fully windproof booties to cover your bike shoes will deliver good service until the temperatures drop below freezing. When it gets really cold, I wear a full cycling boot.
Coach Peter’s winter run kit
  • Castelli Skull Cap and/or Sugoi balaclava and/or Running Buff
  • Craft Base Layer or SwartWool base layer or REI camping base layer
  • Generic Fleece vest
  • Pearl Izumi – running jacket with detachable arms
  • Sugoi Midzero running tights
  • Coach Peter’s winter cycling kit
Coach Peter’s winter cycling kit
  • Castelli Skull Cap and/or Sugoi balaclava and/or Running Buff
  • Craft Base Layer or SwartWool base layer or REI camping base layer
  • Castelli Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey (Optional)
  • Castelli Pro Cycling Jacket
  • Showers Pass Crosspoint Wind Glove (late fall)
  • Pearl Izumi PRO AmFib lobster glove (winter)
  • Pearl Izumi Amfib Cycling Tights
  • Castelli Bib Shorts
  • Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB MTB Shoe Cover (late fall)
  • Lake MXZ 303 Winter Boot (winter)

Comment back with any suggestions you might have on fall/winter gear. Would love to hear your suggestions.

Keep running & riding. Go to spectacular places! Be like this Startline athlete and go above the snow line.

Photo Credit: Larry Rosa photographyStrong like bull camp 2018

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