Preparation for Cold Weather

I’ve started thinking about training once the weather gets cold since it will be happening soon. Since I haven’t trained in cold weather yet, I would like the advice of those who have. I’m mainly concerned about doing it safely. Being injured right now, I am really trying to avoid anything else happening. My questions:

1-What is the lowest temperature that it is possible to SAFELY perform speed work in and also get an effective training session?

2-What clothing is best? I was thinking about getting some Under Armour Cold Gear, anything better?

3-Warm-up. What is the best approach? Something like this?- Getting sufficiently warm by jogging or jump roping. For stretching, make sure to get ROM to NORMAL levels, not beyond. How about warming up inside? I feel that warming up inside is better.

4-Between sprints-Is there any reason why, if there is enough time between sprints to make it worthwhile, going inside wouldn’t be a good idea? If not, or with shorter time between reps, how should I stay warm(if it is an issue)?

45 and above just layer up. I have a t-shirt, thick sweatshirt, thick sweatpants (or even really loose jeans). I also put on a beanie :slight_smile: . Walk in between reps. Warmup for atleast 20 minutes. But if it gets really cold you have to go indoors.

I use ski tights and sweaters underneath. It doesn’t get under 30º F here in Buenos Aires, so I’ve never had to cancel a session. Training around 40-50 during two or three months hasn’t been a problem, only problem is that you might not be as fast or have the same ROM during sprinting with all the clothes on… What I do make sure is that everything moves along like clockwork, any time standing and you’ll get cold and begin to risk injury. In particular during the warmup … you might never warm up if you’re the type that likes to take it easy and take your time during stretching, etc.

I have done 2 seasons of training in cold weather and here are the best tips I can give you based on what I do. My coldest workout conditions so far are 9F with a wind chill of -2F and I basically just did it to see what my body could take.

  1. Warm-up outside to get used to the weather, temperature changes when working out aren’t an advantage.

  2. Clothes: I usually wear 2 pairs of underarmor gear to tolerate up to 20F, if below 20F I usually wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt on top of that

  3. Wear a face mask (thermal or hunting type), running 25mph into 20*F air makes it seem like your ears and nose are suddenly gone. Protect the extremities with a little more care.

  4. Wear spikes when working on curves or starts. Even if there is no precipitation, ice crystals will usually form on the track due to the humidity alone.

  5. Wear gloves and socks that are thermal. This will work well unless you happen to be training on a slight bit of snow, then once your toes get wet, it’s hard to continue working out.

  6. Do many accelerations rather than SLD warmup. I notice in extreme cold jogging does not warm me up because it doesnt really get a ful range of motion in the stride, plus, when it’s that cold outside I try to limit exposure to the cold. Sometimes I’ll ride a bike or jog to the track (1mile) to get warmed up. But like I said efficient time. Once I’m out there for 20 minutes Im numb and can pretend im actually in hawaii:)

Hope this helps!

Good point about adapting to conditions. I also warm up and stay outside during the whole workout, taking clothes on and off during and in between runs.

Thanks for the advice! I was going to warm-up inside, but now I will do it outside. I will also get some good socks.

A problem I have had in the past when doing other things outside is never really getting warmed up outside. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t doing everything continously. For the running to warm up, I have sometimes done some 100m runs at a little below tempo pace to warm up and unless there is some reason not to, I think I’m going to do that as part of the warm-up.

With luck, I will only have to train in below freezing temperatures a couple times. Going inside isn’t really an option, as of right now. I haven’t been able to find an indoor track besides one of the “tracks” that goes around a basketball court(actually 2).

One more question: It seems that there are 2 kinds of Under Armour Cold Gear and there is the Reebok cold weather stuff. Is one kind better or they all the same?

One kind of Under Armour is on this page(first 4 on left): under armour 1

Another here: under armour 2

Reebok here(first 2): reebok

Sprint, they all look good to me. They are all the same price so I wouldn’t be too concerned with what brand, I’d be more concerned with the layers. Last year was quite a cold winter here in NY, so I know exactly what you mean for preparation. I find once im out in the cold I’m ok in about 20-30min. Like I said face mask, gloves(forgot to mention last time), Ear covering/head covering, wool socks. Those would rank high on my “to get” list before Christmas…lol Say, what do you think about sporting the wool socks over long tights for indoors…you think I’ll score style points?

Just make sure the socks are knee high and bright purple. :stuck_out_tongue: And a face mask.

Ok, so I’m going to get Under Armour stuff, some good socks, and maaaybe a face mask. I’m still not sure how I’d feel running around with a face mask. Maybe if I was alone, which I won’t be. I can just use some gloves and hat that I have around the house.