working out in cold weather

  • vacyclist

    Posts: 162

    Jan 29, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    It's winter in central Virginia (among other places), I'm still out there riding the bike a couple of days a week if the roads aren't icy. It seems like when the temperatures are in the 30's(F) or lower (serious wind chill at 25MPH), I'm more "wasted" at the end of a given workout than when I do the same ride in warm weather. I've got proper cold-weather riding gear, I don't actually feel cold on the bike; it's just that it seems to take more energy.

    I've been more or less following the same diet & supplements that works well for me during the warm season, I'm wondering if I should make some modifications.

    Anyone else working out in the cold? Any thoughts as to how best to compensate for extreme temps in terms of diet?

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    Jan 29, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    hey man, va here also. I am interested to find out what you are wearing to battle the cold. I have tried riding but freeze to death. What you wearing to make it bearable?
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    Jan 29, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    Kudos to the cold weather rider. I just cant ride productively in the winter. For one- I sweat like crazy and I cant take the cold air on my wet body. In the past I have spent some serious nickels trying to find the right winter gear for my riding style to only discover I just cant ride in the cold months.

    Normally, I take Nov and Dec off completely from fitness. Yes, I am weak and like to enjoy the holidays without counting calories. So, when January rolls around I hit the treadmill like a crazy man. Some times two-a-days. By the time March rolls around I am in great shape- ready for warmer weather and the bicycle.

    Everyone is different. I hate rollers and stationary bikes, but love the treadmill during the winter. Just my two cents.
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    Jan 29, 2008 5:58 PM GMT
    Hi, I'm a runner and running here in the midwest in winter presents certain challenges--mostly the windchill. Last week we had windchills down to minus 35. The trick is layered athletic clothing, running into the wind so that you have it at your back on the way in. I will run at temps down to minus 20, but after that I head for the gym and use the treadmill. It's tedious running in place for 5 miles but at least I'm getting a workout and not just surviving if I was running outside. I bike too, but not in cold weather so I'm less familiar with adapting to cold riding. I assume much the same way as it is for a runner. For the most part, just use common sense and watch weather conditions. I'll use a treadmill (or if you are a cyclist spin inside) to avoid dangerous conditions. Last week a runner in Wisconsin suffered frostbite to his feet and had several toes amputated. Good luck, good riding, take care!
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    Jan 29, 2008 6:26 PM GMT
    I don't change my diet for the cold weather. If anything, I watch out for eating too many carbs or sugars during the winter. But if you are riding in the cold, some type of energy bar and being well hydrated are necessary. I really try hard to avoid changing my training schedule--running and lifting--because of the weather. It is very easy to slip into bad eating habits and/or to train less diligently and blame the cold for it.
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    Jan 30, 2008 12:26 AM GMT
    There are a couple reasons why you are going to be more "wasted" after you're done working out in the cold. I grew up in Minnesota and have lots of cold weather experience. This is my understanding, so I may be wrong.

    A) Your body has to work with the cold air more to heat it up while you're breathing and expends more energy just to keep warm.

    B) Cold air is generally thinner than Warm air and thus providing less oxygen to your body making it work harder.

    C) Cold air is also much dryer than the warm summer air and can trigger cold-weather asthma-type symptoms.

    D) Also make sure you do layer properly and avoid any clothing made of cotton because it will absorb moister rather than wicking it away. Generally you'll want to have a wicking layer close to you body, a thicker fleece/down warmth layer, covered up with a solid layer to protect from the wind. Wick, Warmth, Wind. Also make sure you keep dry.

    For more info google "Cold weather exercise" and "Cold Air Exercise"