Training in the cold
Training in the cold
I've been back in The Netherlands for nearly a week now and it's
been a very cold week. When I left Melbourne it was nearly 40
degrees Celsius and as I touched down in The Netherlands it was 8
degrees below zero (at 6am) with snow everywhere. A big temperature
Of course it is beautiful coming back 'home' and seeing this
magical winter wonderland but for a cyclist it's not that great.
When training in the cold there are 2 basic and very obvious rules.
Stay warm and don't crash!
Rule number 1 means wearing lots of clothes. In the recent years
I have found what works for me to keep me warm. When the
temperatures drop below zero I usually wear a fairly thick
short-sleeve undershirt under a very warm full-body thermo suit and
warm socks. Over that I wear an extra pair of long knicks (without
shammy, I already have that in my thermo suit), a short sleeve team
jersey, a warm thermo jacket, a hat for under my helmet and a shawl
to cover my throat, chin and neck. I put tape on the holes in the
bottom of my shoes and cover them with very warm shoe covers and I
also wear 2 pairs of gloves. I do have to keep in mind what I am
planning on training that day because when I do lots of intervals I
have to wear a little bit less because I have to keep myself warm
but shouldn't start sweating too much. When you start sweating your
clothes get damp and you get extra cold so in that case less is
Rule number 2 is a little bit complicated. When I leave for my
training ride I seriously have to walk out of the street because
the street looks like a bobsleigh track of Olympic proportions.
Cars have been driving over the snow hardening it more and more.
After that the fluctuating temperatures (just above zero some days
to 10 below zero some nights) made the snow into a layer of ice. I
have seen people in the street falling over while walking so
there's no way I'll make it out of the street on two narrow tires.
All the main roads and even most bicycle paths have been cleared of
snow, mostly by putting lots of salt on the road, which is great
for your bike but at least saves you from crashing. Training is
possible when you stick to the main roads but it's still a bit
tricky when there's lots of wind because the wind blows the snow
from the side of the road onto the road. Sometimes there are some
sort of snow dunes on certain parts of the road and you can't be
too cautious so I usually go through them very slowly. The last
thing I want to do is crash and throw away all the good training I
have done since October.
I can't wait to go on team training camp to Mallorca next Sunday,
the weather should be a lot better there so I can start training