How to Train in the Cold

We explore the physiological effects of training in the cold, from muscle damage to the increased caloric demands and how to stay warm.

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fat biking in the snow

This podcast covers the physiological effects of training in the cold, from muscle damage to the increased caloric demands. We also discuss tips and tricks to set up your bike, stay warm, and even keep your bottles from freezing.

And if it’s just too darn cold, we explain the best way to balance time indoors on the trainer with outdoor rides. We speak with Dr. Stephen Cheung, Dr. Iñigo San Millan, Trek-Segafredo pro rider Kiel Reijnen, and former cyclocross champion Tim Johnson.

Episode Transcript

 

00:00

Welcome to Fast Talk the velonews podcast and everything you need to know to write a press.

 

Chris Case  00:11

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Fast Talk. I am managing editor Chris case. here along with my esteemed colleague and co host, Coach Trevor Connor.

 

00:23

ver

 

Chris Case  00:24

it is cold outside, it is officially winter. If you live anywhere in the US, particularly in New England right now, boy, do we have the perfect podcast for you. You might be looking out your window as we speak and seeing the Arctic conditions out there, wondering how am I going to train in this? Well, this podcast is going to help. Fortunately, Trevor and I are a couple guys who hail from the northeast, and have spent many hours battling the cold to ride our bikes. We’re going to share our experiences and knowledge training during the frigid months to help you improve training in the cold for yourself. In fact, you know, one of us may not have the best sense of when to stay inside and keep warm in the hint here is that he’s Canadian. And he talks a little bit funny. So today, we’ll tackle the following topics. How does training in the cold affects your body? And is there anything you need to do differently to prepare will offer a lot of tips and tricks on how to set up your gear? What to do out on the road when the thermometer is reading in the single digits and how to eat and drink. It’s all about the whiskey in fact, Hmm, maybe now. Finally, when it just gets too cold, or too dark, or too icy outside we’ll address alternative workouts, including the right balance of trainer time to still have you ready for that first race in March. So those are the things we will tackle. But we won’t tackle in this episode is how to dress warmly. We’ve done that in a previous episode of the podcast, episode seven. So please refer back to that episode for more details on how to dress warmly. There’s a lot of different opinions out there on what works and what doesn’t. So we’ve interviewed a host of guests to give you all the angles. Those guests include. First we have Steven Chung, a great friend of the Fast Talk podcast, science writer for Pez cycling, who recently published the book cycling science, and he’s also worked with the exert training system. We’ll also hear from Dr. And ego Simon Alon, another great friend of the Fast Talk podcast, and resident genius at the University of Colorado sports medicine and Performance Center. We’ll also hear from former professional roadie Tim Johnson, probably best known for his cyclocross antics. He’s a three time national champion in the discipline. But maybe he should really be known for being married to Linda set a lovely Canadian. Finally, we’ll hear from trek segafredo Pro kill Ryan, who spent much time training in Colorado and Washington state when he’s not living the highlife in Sicily, or Majorca, or all those other lovely sunny places that professionals get to train in. Everyone has different opinions about how to deal with the cold and our guests are really no exception. You’ll hear some conflicting opinions between what we say and what they have to say. All we suggest is that you go out and try these things for yourself and see what works best for you. With that, stay warm and let’s make you fast.

 

Chris Case  03:59

Well, it’s still good to put all our rides up on Strava health IQ is a life insurance company that specializes in healthy, active people like cyclists and runners. They’re able to give us favorable rates for life insurance, and they have a special website just for us Fast Talk listeners. www dot health iq.com slash Fast Talk where listeners of the show can go to get a free quote. While you’re there, submit race results screen grabs of your Strava or mapmyrun account or other proof that you are indeed a regular cyclist and you’ll get a better quote.

 

Chris Case  04:38

Well, here we are. I am sitting in Connecticut. Trevor is up in snowbound Toronto. This is one of our first podcast where we’re in separate locations. I’ve traveled here back to my parents home where I grew up for the holiday break. It has been approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit as a high during the day, which to me is pretty damn cold. So I pray Bobby there, I bet I bet it’s been a little bit colder in, in that place they call Toronto

 

Trevor Connor  05:13

this week, I think our warmest day has been 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s been below zero multiple Dave.

 

Chris Case  05:19

So you have a lot of practical experience writing in the cold. And you’re a scientist. So, man, we really we’ve nailed it on this one, we’ve got the expert of writing in the cold, both from the practical point of view and from the nerdy, geeky Trevor Connor, I’m a scientist, let’s get making fast point of view.

 

Trevor Connor  05:41

We’ve also got the insanity piece that I did a couple weeks ago, I did three rides in a row that were all five hours when it was below zero Fahrenheit.

 

Chris Case  05:52

Man, you say, you know, you know what kind of, I don’t know, it’s not torture, it’s not necessarily damaging. But that that that is tough.

 

Trevor Connor  06:00

I’m not tough. I’m gonna go more with insane, but boy, we are going to be talking from experience in this podcast today. Maybe maybe on the website for this podcast, we’ll put we have some pictures from that training camp. And you can just see in the pictures how cold it is. I don’t know how but you can see in the air that it is just cold.

 

Chris Case  06:22

The lens of the camera was cracking. That’s probably why or there was frost whore on on all the metal surfaces. All right, well, we’re gonna take all of our personal experience training in the cold to cold places. So let’s let’s turn to the science first driver, tell us what the science tells us about training in cold weather.

 

Trevor Connor  06:44

We did a podcast about a year ago on the importance of dressing warm. And we did go pretty deep into some of the science of why it’s important to keep your muscles warm. So I’m just gonna expand a little bit on that. And one of the things that I want to start with is this, this really interesting study that a read for this podcast, it’s a from 2016, and journal I’ve never heard of called bone joint research, where they use mouse muscle to see the effects of the temperature of the muscle on whether you get any sort of tearing. And the gist of the study was they found that 32 degrees Celsius was a breaking point for muscle damage. So meaning that once the muscle temperature was 32 degrees Celsius or below, they saw a much greater degree of tearing in the muscle. Well, that’s not very cold. No, that’s not very cool. As a matter of fact, your muscle can hit that temperature in ambient temperatures. And actually, what was surprising is they found there was no difference between the muscle when the muscle was at 32 degrees or 17 degrees. Really this 32 degrees was it was a breaking point.

 

Chris Case  07:58

Sorry, you said you said 32 degrees Celsius, I think Did you mean that? Yeah,

 

Trevor Connor  08:03

so I’m not talking about the air temperature, I’m talking about the temperature of the tissue, the muscle tissue. Gotcha. So and sorry, for people no Fahrenheit, body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius. So 32 is a little below normal body temperature, but not a lot. 17 degrees is obviously below and if your core got down to 17 degrees Celsius, I think that’s the point where you’re at risk of dying,

 

Chris Case  08:25

he she as a Canadian, you should probably know that by heart,

 

Trevor Connor  08:28

probably should that just good winter weather. The other thing that they saw on this study was that that you did have increased tearing, but only under heavy strain. So under light strain, the colder temperature of the muscle didn’t produce greater tearing of the muscle tissue. So again, if you think about that, on the bike, you can do a lot of damage. If you go hard, even when your muscles cold, you’re not going to do a ton of damage if you’re going easier. But what was significant, again, that you pointed out Chris’s, it’s 32 degrees, which is just below body temperature, that’s really relevant because when you’re talking about the muscles in your leg, like your hamstrings, your quads or your calves, that’s considered peripheral tissue. When it’s cold outside, when your body gets cold, it’s going to vassal constrict your periphery, and keep the blood supply deep inside your body to protect the temperature of your core. So your core will never really change temperature very much. But peripheral muscles can actually change temperatures quite dramatically and quite rapidly. You go out in the cold, the your muscles can get down to around 2025 degrees Celsius, and then you’re in that range of now you’re going to do some damage, you could potentially do some tearing of the muscles. So that’s really important to know, you really need to protect that muscle tissue. What was interesting and so we’ll hear in a minute from Dr. Steven Chung, who actually wrote a whole book On the effects of environmental extreme on exercise and on our physiology, he was involved in some nasty studies where they basically put him in a cold room for a couple hours, to get his core temperature down to get the muscle temperature down and see the effects. So he just sat there shivering for a couple hours, it’s not a lot of fun. But one of the studies where he was both a researcher and a subject, what they found was, again, your body’s gonna protect the core. So it’s going to let the periphery it’s going to let your hands your feet, your your leg muscles get cold first. But they found that if you warmed the core if or if you did a better job of keeping the core warm by exercise, or bundling up a lot more, that was as effective as keeping at keeping your hands warm, as if you warm or heated gloves. So if the core is kept warm, it’s the body doesn’t feel this huge need to protect the core, it’s going to allow more blood supply to the periphery, so to your leg muscles to your feet to your hands, which is going to keep them warmer. So you want to bundle up when it’s cold outside. And yes, you know, everybody talks about you want to wear big fit gloves, and you want to have big thick socks and booties. But you also want to do a lot to try to protect that core. Because if it’s protected, it’s going to allow more heat to go to the periphery.

 

Chris Case  11:22

Yeah, personally, I try to err on the side of too warm rather than too cold. Because if you’re too cold, or you’re not protecting the core enough, it seems like you never get warm and your periphery gets even colder and stays that way. Whereas the the opposite is true. If you’re, if you can keep the core very warm through layering and things like that. If you need to vent, that’s great. But if you don’t have the warmth there to begin with, you’re going to suffer.

 

Trevor Connor  11:49

Yeah. So this is been my constant soapbox, and any athlete who I’ve coached knows that this is where I get grouchy. And I certainly soapbox that podcast a little bit on clothing. But if anybody ever asked me what differentiates amateur riders from pros, it’s that when it is even just a little nippy outside pros bundle up, they’ve got the head warmer on they’ve got gloves on, they’ve got full leg warmers, they’ve got the jacket on, even if it’s 50 degrees outside, where amateur riders for some reason they are, they just have this fanaticism about, I don’t want to overheat. It’s better to underdress. And I’ve seen times where it’s below freezing out and guys are knee warmers, and it kills me err on the side of overdressing. If you overdress you’re a little bit uncomfortable, if you under duress, that’s the point that I was trying to make with these studies, you are causing muscle tear, and you’re doing damage. Before we continue with our thoughts on the science of training in the cold, let’s hear from Dr. nucleosome, Milan, head of the cu sports medicine Performance Center, who has some additional thoughts on how the cold weather affects you physiologically,

 

Chris Case  12:59

this training in the cold have a different metabolic effect. So for example, do we burn more fat or more carbohydrates when training in the cold?

 

13:09

Yeah, that’s a good question. So the cold, it prompts increase metabolic task on the body. Right? So you start you know, the, the metabolic rate is gonna increase and you’re gonna be usually burning more both fats and carbohydrates in the cold.

 

Chris Case  13:28

So how does one judge how much more they need to consume? Given low temperatures? Is there any easy way are any easy formula for knowing what to do?

 

13:41

I don’t think so. I don’t think that doing that in the cold. There’s like a formula to do that. I mean, we can do that in the laboratory. And we can see how many for example, calories per hour an athlete consumes or grams per minute of carbohydrates or fat. And we can give a more more personalized nutrition for training. But that said, that happens in the laboratory. When it’s out there in the cold, you know, we might be a little off. But that’s what I would suggest is that you can start with a general recommendations, and then just play it out by what what was the response to the call this, you know, of an athlete tends to bunk more than what they used to do, you know, in regular weather, under cold conditions that we can recommend to really increase more the caloric intake in this asset. And we can do that by different means, you know, we can say, Okay, let’s try to do 20 grams per hour more of carbohydrates, or, you know, or 200 calories more per hour and see how it goes. That might take care of it. Maybe not, and if it not, okay, let’s try to have maybe 30 grams per hour more of carbohydrates, and 250 calories more an hour, for example, right? So it’s about finding the balance,

 

Chris Case  14:55

right through trial and error. It sounds like is the best Yeah, we’ve got at this point.

 

15:00

Yeah, it’s starting by maybe more a scientific point that you can get from the laboratory. Right? And then just like more trial and error outside,

 

Chris Case  15:07

what about damage? Does this training in the cold caused more damage to our bodies? And and and therefore, would it require more recovery time?

 

15:17

Yeah, that’s a good question. I think that since you some more tasking on your body, it’s going to require more recovery time. So there’s no question that five hours training in the cold, it’s more tasking than five hours training with 60 degrees. So it’s going to cause more damage, and therefore is going to cause a higher need for recovery and nutrition as well. Both carbohydrates and proteins. And that’s another thing that that we see that many people might get over trained, easier by training too much in the cold. So that’s why it’s important to watch that throughout the season. I mean, throughout the winter months, to make sure you have proper recovery and proper nutrition. However, on the flip side of that, and the positive side of datas, like you don’t have the addition usually at the competition, if you’re a roadie Mm hmm. Right, because you’re not going to be competing. And therefore there’s nothing like the competition, there’s no, there’s no stressor as the competition. Right, it’s very difficult to replicate that while training. And the competition is a high stress or so you don’t have that in those months, you know, that. Yeah, just that overtraining is not gonna be like a big deal for many athletes in the winter. You know, what happens is like one day, they start competing, that’s for like, multiple things starting to come together against you. That’s it, you know, if you’re being stressed, or that training, the winter has been testing and you, you start building up, building up building up, and it might show in the spring, it might not necessarily show in the winter, it might show in the spring.

 

Trevor Connor  16:59

Okay, let’s get back to a few more points that we had about the science of training in the cold. Some other things to know about the science is as you adapt to the cold, you get a blunting of sympathetic nervous system activation and an increase in parasympathetic. So basically, it’s gonna bring your heart rate down. So if you train by heart rate ranges target a little lower if you’re spending a lot of time out in the cold than what you would during the summer. Another thing to know about, unfortunately, doing a warm up, so this was again, going back to the to that study, doing a big warm up doesn’t really do that much to heat up your core. So really, one of their conclusions was, you want to protect your muscles, you have to do with clothing, just to emphasize that point. A few other things to know about the effects of training and the cold. One is you can tend to fatigue faster, because your body is now doing a double duty of trying to keep the body heated and trying to exercise. So you’re going to get some shivering, you’re going to get some what’s called a non shivering thermogenesis, which is just your body trying to find ways to produce more heat. In order to produce heat, it has to expend energy. So you can fatigue a little faster. And also to produce that thermogenesis you burn a lot of carbohydrates. So you do actually when you’re training in the cold, need to make sure you are replenishing those carbohydrates because once your glycogen is depleted, you’re so your body’s store of of carbohydrates is depleted. They’ve shown that you’re more susceptible to hypothermia. And it’s tough because you’re bundled up, you’re wearing gloves, you don’t want to stop and you tend not to eat out on those cold rides, when you should actually be really careful about making sure you’re eating enough or you’re going to fatigue yourself. Our response to the cold is is highly individual some people are remarkably tolerant of it other people really can’t handle it very well. So it’s important to know which you are it does make research difficult because research is always the averages and you have some people that get absolutely killed by the cold you have other people who can walk out in a T shirt when it’s negative 10 out and feel fine. So they’re going to kind of all average one another out

 

Chris Case  19:16

how much of that is is a is a mental thing. Do you think the some

 

Trevor Connor  19:19

of it is mental but there really are people who can’t tolerate it as much the the greater surface area you have to volume, the less tolerant you are have cold and heat so children can’t handle the cold as much. And they’ve also shown that the elderly can’t hold handle the cold as much. Men and women of adult age tend to be about the same. So but you do have some variants a little skinny guy with not a lot of body fat is going to have a harder time in the cold and needs to bundle up more.

 

Chris Case  19:54

Yeah, and then in terms of the mental aspect, I think if you know you’re going to have to do this Think you do adapt you you embrace it maybe is maybe that’s too strong a word, but wrapping your head around the fact that you’re going to go out in these conditions does take some mental fortitude, and it helps to be positive, for sure.

 

Trevor Connor  20:14

Yeah, that I would agree with it. And that tends to be my approach, I go out in the first 10 minutes, I’m always man, I got to turn around, I’m not gonna get through an hour of this. And you just have to find ways to distract yourself. You just have to kind of accept that it feels miserable. And then it kind of turns around, I have gone out for five hour rides in absolutely frigid. Like we’re talking negative 20 degree weather. And that first hour is miserable. But if you can get through it and tolerate it, I’ve often found those last couple hours of the ride are actually really enjoyable, and you barely notice the cold at all.

 

20:50

That’s because your brain is frozen. That’s part of it.

 

Trevor Connor  20:53

I still remember one ride, I went to Estes Park in Colorado, which is up at 8000 feet, it was negative 15 Fahrenheit. I knew I’d have a descent out of Estes Park, so I brought a full face bags for the descent. But by the time I got there, I’m like, I actually feel fine. You know, feels like it’s warmed up a lot, even though my Garmin showing the exact same temperature. So I don’t get that. But boy, this is fine. So I didn’t put the face back on, rode back home and went that wasn’t so bad. When inside started working. And about half an hour later, I was practically on the ground ready to scream. But it happened was my face account completely numb.

 

Chris Case  21:32

Yeah, it’s that tingling sensation, that burning that you get in your fingers sometimes when they get too cold, and then they start heating up. And that’s that’s actually the most painful part is the warming up again, and you experienced that on your face?

 

Trevor Connor  21:47

Yeah, no, having that on your face isn’t a lot of fun. The other one that I love when you go out and it’s really cool and you come home is you take a shower, and you take a really hot shower, and you have hot water hitting your head. By the time it gets to your feet, it’s frozen. So

 

Chris Case  22:03

the stories we can tell. And we will tell In fact, don’t do anything Trevor does display, especially when it comes to writing in the cold. Don’t do a 3000 vertical feet descent in negative 15 degree weather, I think most people would actually understand that.

 

Trevor Connor  22:19

So I’m actually gonna argue with that a bit because I actually am a cold wimp. So I would say I have figured out a fair number of things to allow you to tolerate the cold, which we will definitely go into. And that’s really what’s going to be the theme of this podcast, which is it is all in how you prepare for the ride. You’d be amazed what temperatures you can handle and actually handle comfortably. If you prepare yourself correctly, if you do not prepare yourself correctly, it can be 50 degrees out and be the most miserable route to your life.

 

Chris Case  22:52

Yeah, the preparation is your is your is your best friend when it comes to these circumstances. And if you cross country ski or downhill ski or do other things, you know what it’s like to do activities in the cold and you can bring those principles over to to writing and they all apply and preparation goes a long way and making it much more enjoyable. So, Trevor, we keep talking about writing outside, but there’s so many ways to have enjoyable rides inside. Would you have people take away from this podcast as as pertains to the ratio of time spent outside versus inside? What types of rides should they do inside versus outside.

 

Trevor Connor  23:38

So the gist of this and we’ll talk a little bit about how to deal with the trainer later. But just my philosophy on this I think anybody who spends 1215 hours per week inside on the trainer, you’re you’re hurting yourself. I think trainers can be mentally damaging they can really cook you mentally. I think anything over three hours on a trainer, you’ve hit a point where you’re you’re doing more damage than good. But that being said, there is a lot of good work you can do inside what I’ll say is the high intensity stuff you know, we talked before about it’s only when you’re putting a high strain on the muscles that they’re more susceptible to damage. So high intensity interval type work. That’s a perfect candidate for do it inside. Do it on the trainer, get it done, get off the bike. So I do all my interval work in the winter on the trainer. But it’s never more than an hour and a half. The long ride on the other hand, you know the issue is in the winters when you want to be getting that endurance work and doing a four or five hour ride on the trainer to me is just death. Some people can tolerate it for most people. No, I don’t think it’s beneficial. So that’s the sort of ride where even if it’s cold outside, you’re better off if you can handle it. Get outside and do that out on the roads. And I think basically Chris what what what we should be doing with the rest of the public Guess is just giving advice on how you do that.

 

Chris Case  25:03

Is there anything you can say to how much is too much when it comes to interval work in in these months, obviously, everybody season is organized differently. And they’re, they’re hitting different points of their training blocks at different times. But maybe the natural tendency nowadays is for everybody to get on and do a swift session. More often than not, because it’s cold outside, it’s more fun than riding with people comparing that to a five hour slog through really cool temperatures and hours of dressing and undressing?

 

Trevor Connor  25:39

Well, I think you’re getting into one of the big debates right now. And there’s certainly some people out there are gonna argue me tooth with me tooth and nail, there is a real popularity to let’s do a lot of interval work in the winter. And then when it gets warm outside, I’ll do my endurance work. And I personally think why this whole concept of reverse periodization is become a big buzz phrase. We talked about reverse periodization in a podcast last year. And I looked for research on it. And I only found one study that mentioned it. So I think it’s kind of a popularized concept. But there really isn’t a ton of science behind it. And I don’t think there’s a ton of people out there who are really doing it and this belief that it’s do lots and lots and lots of intensity in the in the winter, and then do your endurance work during the season. Know, from the definitions, I have found a reverse periodization. That’s not what it is. And the unfortunate thing is, again, you’re getting my opinion, from what I’ve seen in the science, from experience from talking to a lot of coaches, a lot of top level athletes, it just doesn’t work. This whole concept of going just slam yourself hard day in day out all winter on the trainer to compensate for that volume, and you’re going to end up in the same place. It just doesn’t work. which is unfortunate. I wish it did.

 

Chris Case  27:00

Yeah. And the other thing is, maybe maybe this isn’t entirely true. But you think, oh, I’ll do my intervals. Now. When it gets nicer out, I’ll do my volume. But then the racing season star hurts and the volume falls away. And you end up doing what is essentially more interval training through either racing or group rides or things like that. So you actually never get the base that you thought you were going to

 

Trevor Connor  27:25

write. And this is maybe we cover this in more depth than in another podcast. But the some of the short explanations when you are doing that base work and really hitting your aerobic systems, they are very slow to adapt. So basically high intensity work and slow endurance work. Both produce adaptations through the master regulators as PG c one alpha. But they they influence PG c one alpha through different pathways. High Intensity work can produce less gains in the long run, but produces its gains very rapidly. It takes about six weeks to really max that out. The slower endurance work takes months to years, but can produce much, much bigger gains. So if you’re if you’re spending the winter doing a ton of high intensity, you’re going to quickly max out what sort of gains you can produce. And then right when you’re getting into the race season, you’re going to start trying to work energy systems that take months and months and months to develop. And that just by the time you start to see any big gains, you’re reaching the end of your race season. So it just unfortunately doesn’t work out. You need a long time to work that base endurance system. It takes a relatively short time to bring around that top end to race ready. That’s just the way our physiology works. It just doesn’t work unfortunately, well with the weather. Dr. Steven Chung actually wrote a whole book called Advanced environmental exercise physiology, and it has a chapter on exercising in the cold. So here’s a lot to say both about the effects of cold weather on our bodies and suggestions of how to train in the cold. Like me, he lives in the Great White north. So let’s hear what he has to say.

 

29:07

There is some evidence that your use of fats versus carbohydrates change a bit in the cold and in the cold you tend to be at any set wattage compared to being in the heat you tend to be using a little bit more carbohydrate and that may be a a deliberate choice by the body or it may be forced on it by the fact that you are a little bit cold and you are shivering so if you are shivering it primarily relies on carbohydrates. So overall, yes, you tend to use a little bit more carbohydrates in the cold compared to the heat so you want to make sure you are fueling properly as a result. You still need to make sure if you are doing long efforts out outdoors in the cold that you still are taking In fuel, because you’ll be using more carbohydrates in terms of muscle damage, I would say no, if you’re wearing the right amount of clothing, then your muscles themselves are really near the same temperature as if they were in, in a hot environment. So I don’t see it as necessarily being more damaging on your body that way.

 

Trevor Connor  30:25

Any other thoughts, suggestions in terms of in terms of training in the cold?

 

30:31

Well, I guess surprisingly, the a little bit of cold isn’t going to hurt you. And the classic study on the optimal temperature, looking at the effect of different environmental temperatures on exercise performance was done by my postdoc supervisor, Ron Monae in Scotland. And it was led by Stuart Galloway. And what they did was comparing right to exhaustion at zero degrees, 10 degrees 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. Now, if I just asked you, you would probably guess that, well, 20 degrees is probably the optimal temperature, which is

 

Trevor Connor  31:15

70 degrees for Americans.

 

31:17

Right. But actually, that’s not the case, the there was almost an inverted U shape where the optimal temperature for the longest exercise was at 10 degrees, and zero degrees and 20 degrees had about the same impairment. And then there was a further impairment at 30 degrees. So you know, what we think of as room temperature, and yeah, this is pretty comfortable. And it’s actually there’s already heat stress. So, so in a sense, don’t fear the cold, but also be aware of it and, and dress appropriately.

 

Trevor Connor  31:52

Does training in cold weather, have any sort of effects on your body that you wouldn’t experience in other weather, and especially Is there anything you should be careful and aware of,

 

32:06

I generally think of training when it’s cold as more training and less heat rather than something completely different from that. The main thing is you are losing a lot more heat to the environment, because the temperature around you is so much colder than your body. The main challenge, I think, for most people is the wind chill is and also their fingers and their feet. I know, personally, my hands hate being in the cold. And if my hands are cold, then the rest of me just go south with it. So I tend to wear really thick gloves much thicker than what my club mates would be on any winter ride. And I find that it’s really critical, I find, you still lose a lot of heat and water through your breathing because you are breathing in very cold and dry air, and your lungs can’t handle it. So your body is adding heat adding water, and then it’s breathing it back out. And so you’re losing a lot of heat, a lot of water, so you still have to make sure you are aware of hydration. And you have to be careful about about if you have exercise induced asthma, a lot of times, breathing cold air can be a trigger for it. So you need to keep that in mind too. Whether you you wear a boss or a or a scarf to cover over your mouth so that you’re slowing down to breathing a little bit allowing you to humidify that air a bit more, I find that is really useful. And the other challenge with training and decoders, there is no more The leaves have fallen. So a lot of times if you are out on the open road, you are facing a lot more win than usual because there’s no real tree cover or anything like that. So this is a great time to get off the road. And to be if you have a fat bike to be hitting the trails and or studded tires, because you’re in the woods a little bit more there’s not as much when kind of hitting us so you’re not gonna be as cold. The other question is do you want to do your intervals indoors on the trainer and then do kind of long steady rides in the outside in the cold or do you want to do the reverse do your longer rides on the trainer and then do heart intervals in the end outs outdoors. I guess it really somewhat depends on the location if it’s safe first of all to to be going at fast speeds. If I can just be doing this short, hard ride you know outdoors. I would probably prefer to doing that, but then there’s also a place for again, if you have a fat bike and you just go out with your buddies for a few hours of casual riding in the woods, that can be a great way to have endurance rides to.

 

Trevor Connor  35:11

Alright, let’s get back to our suggestions.

 

Chris Case  35:15

So that brings us to getting outside because eventually it has to happen unless you really are one of those people that can tolerate the really long rides on the trainer inside and I don’t know too many people back. And let’s move on to talking about the equipment, the the methods, to the madness of riding outside, when it gets really cold.

 

Trevor Connor  35:36

When you’re dealing with equipment, and you’re getting yourself ready for that ride. Here’s the key thing to remember, most of what cools you down Is Windchill, as cold as it is outside. Actually, believe it or not zero degrees Fahrenheit, if you’re bundled up is really manageable until you’re going 20 miles an hour. And I don’t have the tables in front of me. But what that brings the perceptual temperature down to you is just numbers you don’t want to hear. So what that means is when you are out training on a cold day speed is your enemy, the slower you can go and put out the same wattage, the happier you’re gonna be. So don’t take your race bike out in the winter. As matter of fact, I always recommend to people, if you have it in the budget, have a winter bike and slow that bike down, put fenders on it. I use a cross bike on really cold days, I ride the knobby tires and bring the tire pressure down. So all this just slows the bike. I have several athletes up in Toronto who own Fat Tire bikes. And on the really cold days, they go out there putting out some pretty good power, and they’re going nine miles an hour, and they’re actually quite comfortable. So basically the winter bike, you want it to be slow, you want it to be heavy, you want it to be crappy, because there’s salt and junk on the road, you don’t want any expensive gear on it. You want it to be bomb proof and you want it to be safe. So also make sure you have lights on it because you never know when the weather is going to get bad and daylight isn’t as long in the winter. Again, I talked about put thick tires on if you are writing smooth tires, like regular road tires, don’t get the really expensive hundred dollar race tires, get the super thick $10 garden hose tires that can handle it. And then on top of that gets some Mr. toughies or something like Mr. toughies and put them inside the tire. This is just a liner that goes inside. I know other people that take just an old tire, cut the top part off of it and put it inside of the liner. Basically, you want to make sure that that tire is both slow and will never get a flat.

 

Chris Case  37:53

You don’t want it Yeah, you don’t want to be standing on the side of the road, changing a tire or a tube out when it’s that cold your fingers might not even work so it might be extremely hard for you to change the to about Mr. toughies are a good thing. There are many modern tires training tires out there with that are bomb proof without the need for Mr. toughies. Certainly a lot of people are probably running tubeless setups. In that case, just lowering the pressure is a good thing more traction on slippery surfaces, slowing you down a bit little more comfortable for the long haul. And honestly, riding mountain bikes and cross bikes in the woods where maybe you’re protected from winds you’re going slower, just have to be cognizant of the the powers that you’re putting out. So you’re not essentially turning it into a high intensity ride by crushing it up the little inclines or accelerating up little hills as you would on some single track. And if it’s a snowy place, Fat Tire bikes are, in my opinion a bit silly unless there’s a lot of snow and then they turn into really fun machines to carve on snowy trails and explore places that you wouldn’t otherwise explore.

 

Trevor Connor  39:09

But the trick here is be happy going slow. When it is cold outside, the slower you are going, the warmer you are going to be. The other strong suggestion I have if you are even doing part of your time outside in the winter, so daylight is an issue in the winter. Just remember that you it’s easy to get stuck in the dark. And when you if there’s snow on the sides of the road, you’re dealing with bad conditions. That’s not when you want to be outside in the dark with cars and not be visible. So if you are keeping a winter bike or even if you’re using your race bike in the winter, put lights on it and just leave them on. So if you have that day where you get caught outside, you have a good tail light that you can turn on

 

Chris Case  39:51

in terms of clothing. We’ve touched upon a few things here but we won’t get into get into too much more detail. Trevor and His former co host Kaylee frets recorded episode seven on dressing warmly. So check out that podcast for all the tips and tricks on dressing warmly for your winter rides.

 

Trevor Connor  40:17

Yeah, for a few episodes, now you’ve been hearing to science geeks try to banter about something called health IQ. And this is where you discover that we are not professional disc jockeys, we just play them on Fast Talk. But this health IQ product, we actually think this is a really cool thing. And it’s why we’ve said that we’ll bring it on to Fast Talk, because this actually differentiates people like you who are active, you ride your bikes, you go for runs, you do a lot of sports, and you are generally healthier people. So for you, they offer life insurance at a cheaper rate, it’s really easy to you just go over to www dot health iq.com slash Fast Talk, upload or submit race results screen grabs of Strava map my run account any other way that you can show that you’re active and healthy. And you get a better quote, it’s as simple as that.

 

Chris Case  41:22

Let’s go back to something you said earlier in the podcast about the sort of the extra caloric expenditure of writing in the cold. What do you mean specifically there, and what should people be eating on rides that is convenient and packs of calories that they want during rides like this.

 

Trevor Connor  41:39

So I bet I’ve never found a perfect solution to this. But what we said earlier on the podcast is you can burn more carbohydrates in the cold because your body’s trying to keep itself warm, and it’s going to upregulate what’s called thermogenesis, just ways of producing heat which require expending energy, so you can burn through your body’s carbohydrate stores a little bit quicker when you’re training in the cold. So making sure you are getting sufficient carbohydrates when you’re out on these cold weather rides is important. And it’s tough because nobody wants to take a glove off and reach for food. So whatever food you have a Be careful about picking something that can freeze. Try and eat a Clif Bar when it’s zero degrees out is tough. Try to have something that’s easy to access. So frankly, when I’m out in a five hour ride, and really cold weather, I pack a bunch of candy in my pockets because it doesn’t freeze you can chew it. So for example, something like Swedish Fish.

 

42:40

And always when the Swedish Fish.

 

Trevor Connor  42:43

There are so many uses for Swedish Fish when it comes to a bike ride. But they are great on a cold weather day or something like that some sort of kind of gummy candy, easy to reach, easy to relatively easy to to easy to get out of your pockets, and you’re going to replenish those carbohydrates. So be careful,

 

Chris Case  43:03

it’s hard to fit the it’s hard to fit the entire Clif Bar in your mouth to try to melt it before biting into it. So you can cut them before you go out onto the ride. So they’re smaller so that you could pop them in a little piece of it into your mouth, warm it up so that it is something you can chew and digest. But that takes some forethought, if you have a jacket with internal pockets, but something where it’s getting a little bit of your body wants to keep it from freezing. That’s a great option if you have that. But yeah, it’s tricky to find foods that won’t freeze I tend to eat more what you would maybe call regular food on winter rides. So less of the the true performance oriented nutrition products, but just regular food that is less prone to freezing. And it’s not as big a deal in terms of digestion. And being easy on the stomach. When you’re writing slower and longer.

 

Trevor Connor  44:01

I think you hit the two operative things when you’re picking your food, pick food that doesn’t freeze or you can still eat if it does freeze a little bit. And anything that you can do beforehand when you’re sitting inside in your nice warm kitchen to prepare the food do that. So as you said if you’re cutting it into small pieces so that it’s easier to reach and get in your mouth. Better to do that when you’re inside than when you’re sitting outside in the freezing cold trying to bite off a piece of this bar.

 

Chris Case  44:30

Yeah, don’t break your teeth. Don’t do

 

Trevor Connor  44:33

that either. So another way to obviously get the calories is with drink mixes. But now we have a really big issue of water bottles freeze. One tip that I have for you that took me a little bit to figure out is take two water bottles with you fill one up, leave the other empty. So the one that’s full, that’s the one you drink at the start of the ride hopefully get through before it’s frozen. Then when you’re halfway through the ride You stop at a gas station and you get some sort of nice warm liquid and you have some fluid for the rest of the ride. If you fill up both water bottles at the start of the ride, by the time you get to the second one, it is a popsicle.

 

Chris Case  45:11

There are also bottles that have a bit of insulation to them that obviously in the summer, they’re meant to keep them cool for longer. And in the winter. They’re meant to keep them from free housing. I don’t personally have much experience with them, Trevor, do you have any experience with

 

Trevor Connor  45:25

they work to a degree, but they’re not. They’re not a panacea by any stretch of the imagination. So this is actually a good time to bring in some tips from Kiel reinen, who lives grew up somewhere pretty rainy and cold. And he actually had a really creative solution for dealing with frozen water bottles. So let’s hear from him.

 

45:46

Am I allowed to swear on this podcast?

 

Trevor Connor  45:48

Absolutely, we can bleep

 

45:50

our cup. That’s my recommendation. I think, I think training in the, in the cold, there’s a threshold and addressing appropriately, you can you can kind of fudge that that limit a little bit, when it’s when it’s that cold out because you really probably do burn it more. And because it’s cold, you’re less likely to eat or drink. And you know, maybe that is really the bigger problem, it’s less physiological, or it’s less of a physiology physiological reaction to the cold than it is a physiological reaction to the fact that you’re not eating and drinking because of the cold. But I think there’s definitely a tendency to talk about cold like, it’s like, it’s just this big kind of limiting factor for for a lot of people. And I think there is, even if it’s just mental, there’s definitely a lot of adaption that can happen. Like I noticed, when I go away to train camp for a week consistently and come back home, it feels colder than when I left. And that’s not really true. Like it I just got soft, because I was in warmer weather for a week. So you know, I don’t know if there’s some physiological stuff that happens underneath there to kind of help get you more efficient in the in the colder weather or if it’s just mental but but definitely I noticed a change if I leave colder weather and go to warmer weather and come back. The other thing I do think is when I when I train in colder weather regularly, my body does does some different things. Like I definitely store a little bit more fat. But I also feel more robust. So I feel more durable. It’s kind of a trade off. And cold weather is not the worst thing in the world. little rain never anybody snow maybe ice maybe if you crash, but I it’s got to be pretty, pretty cold if I’m not gonna God sad, I did arrive with house in Colorado when I was there for a couple days before camp and I think the computer was redone a few degrees Celsius below zero. And we kind of we just got talking and kept climbing and sort of forgot what we were doing. And we got up to eight and a half thousand feet or something before we realized that it was gonna be pretty cool on the way down. It was cold. But you know, you get home get warm, get a good hot mailing in its builds character at least. But I do think we do ourselves a disservice if we just avoid cold weather entirely. It’s it’s part of the racing like I know, you know, when it’s wet and rainy and close to freezing out here and I’m out riding I was reminded myself that might as well training it because you’re gonna have to race it at some point. And if you you know, all you do is train and seven reasons son, you’re just your body’s not gonna be ready for it when it’s time to race in it.

 

Trevor Connor  48:48

So what are some of your suggestions for dealing with

 

48:52

whiskey in your bottle of whiskey in your water bottles, helps them from freezing keeps you warm. I do believe in keeping the core warm. And I think there’s definitely some temperatures where it’s really hard to keep your extremities toasty. And so I usually default to just making sure my my chest and core are nice and warm and kind of rely on that I also I also use the good old if you’re cold, right harder theory that seems to work especially around here. You know, it also depends on the terrain like I know in Boulder, even when the temperatures were warmer, I would get a lot colder because you have you know half hour long distance and you know you’re not exercising at that point and you’re just going down with a Windchill of negative 20. That’s that’s hard to stay warm here. The downhills are 30 seconds so you can really keep a nice tempo to stay warm up to

 

Trevor Connor  49:44

so on the really cold days actually stick to the flat earth so you can just keep pedaling.

 

49:49

Yeah, yeah. Facial Hair helps to long hair. Also, big fan of the human hair like a hat got it.

 

Trevor Connor  49:58

What about if you have a big Your volume week and it’s cold and snowy outside and it’s looking like you’re not gonna be able to ride outside. What do you adjust the week? Or do you sit on the train? Yeah,

 

50:11

I don’t like to fight Mother Earth, she’s a lot more powerful than we are. So let her have her day and puts that Bat Out sit on the trainer for six hours. That’s crazy. I mean, maybe when I was 18, but I’m not that dumb anymore. You know, everybody does this at a high levels, little OCD and gets gets their work in. But yeah, to be reasonable to. If you see it, it’s a really nice week, next week, and it’s miserable this week, just switch it up, you’re still gonna get it in one way or the other.

 

Trevor Connor  50:41

Okay, any other cold weather advice,

 

50:44

ride across bike, I basically train most of winter on on a cross bike with like, if you’re lazy about pumping up your tires to there’s another mile an hour you lose. And when you’re going slower, stay warmer. So I definitely like to ride a slower bike.

 

Trevor Connor  51:01

So there’s three other tips that I’ve learned from experience, one is on a really cold day, as is masochistic as this sounds, don’t go inside, stay outside for the entire ride. Because that first 30 to 60 minutes of the ride is the most miserable part, I find after about 45 minutes to an hour, your body starts to adjust, you stop noticing the cold as much. And and the ride I’m not going to say is pleasant, but it’s more enjoyable. If you go inside and warm up, then you have to go through that unpleasant hour again. So get through that unpleasant hour to where you’re not noticing the cold as much and then just stay outside, don’t go inside until you are done. Second strong recommendation is pick your roots where you are always near civilization. Because if it is freezing outside and you get that flat tire and something goes wrong with your bike, your hands might be too cold to actually do something about it. So you need to be able to get to a gas station or somewhere where you can get inside. And the last suggestion on a really cold day avoid descending stick to the flatter roots. I frankly would rather be on a flat route when it’s zero degrees Fahrenheit out, then do a big 40 minute mountain descent when it’s 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Chris Case  52:21

Okay, so we’ve talked about writing outside, we’ve told people a bit about how to do it in a more comfortable and safe fashion. But there are definitely people out there that may not have the time or the desire, or it’s just simply way too cold to be outside in a safe way. So we need to talk about that element of this type of winter training. What can people do? What are the alternatives for those that can’t get outside?

 

Trevor Connor  52:49

But did we pick the right week to answer this question, because I have five athletes in Toronto who are all on vacation wanted to do a big training week this week. And it has been snowing and absolutely frigid every day. So most of them are not venturing outside a few did. So we have had to come up with the alternatives. And there are options. Obviously, nothing beats that good, steady four or five hour ride outside. So everything we’re talking about here isn’t going to produce as good again, but we’re trying to get as close as we can. You know, first of all we talked earlier, interval work is great on a trainer, I don’t think you’re having any loss of quality workout by being on the trainer. So we’re not really talking about that. What we’re talking about is figuring out how to get that endurance work. And there are different options. One is the the half and half day where either you venture outside and deal with the cold for two, two and a half hours and then you come home and finish it out on the trainer. So you’re not spending four hours on the trainer. That makes the trainer a little more manageable and you don’t have to suffer as long in the cold. Likewise, if it’s snowy and nasty outside, and we’re talking about endurance work, a lot of what you’re trying to train is what’s called your central conditioning, which is less sports specific. So go snowshoe go cross country ski for a couple hours and then the same thing come home, get on the trainer, get another hour or two and you get your four hour workout in a much more enjoyable way. I think about Dr. Pruitt, you know, he was a high level cyclist but he loved to ski in the winter, he would go and do his cross country skiing and then he would come home and just do 30 minutes on the 3040 minutes on the trainer. Just to keep that neuromuscular side to remind himself his body what the bike felt like. And he talked about one winter where that’s all he did. He hadn’t done a ride outside all winter. And then he had a big race I think was at the end of March beginning of April and he performed really well without having done a ride over an hour outside.

 

54:57

So Trevor, we’ve

 

Chris Case  54:58

talked a lot about that. Riding outside. And I know in this day and age, when there are so many options for riding inside with, with zwift with be cool with the other products, the other online systems where you can engage with others ride with others. And frankly, push yourself with others. How do you balance that what is too much when it comes to training on a trainer in your basement in the winter,

 

Trevor Connor  55:24

so this reminds me of the hole. There, there’s probably it’s probably an urban legend about Eddie mercs that he used to have a trainer in his basement, facing a brick wall, and he would go down and do six hour training rides, staring at the brick wall to make himself mentally tough. That’s really cool for Eddie mercs, I don’t suggest that for anybody else. My personal feeling about trainers is I do think all these these tools, and let’s talk about them in a second like like swift and trainer studios make it much more enjoyable. But I personally will never give an athlete a workout over three hours on their trainer. And even that I try to be somewhat selective with you know, might be, we could probably do a whole podcast on trainers, the pros and cons of them, the the big pro of trainers is it gives you a lot of control, especially if you live in the city if you need to go out and let’s say do 510 minute intervals, that’s really hard to do with any sort of quality in a city where you can do it on a trainer. So there are benefits to the trainer. But when it comes to the endurance ride, again, I think it is mentally draining. And there is definitely a point where that mental damage is not worth the gains. Another thing and I won’t go deep into the science here, but a trainer is different. So when you are out on the road, the wheels determine your inertia, you see these big wide wheels, or big circumference wheels, when you’re on a trainer inertia is determined by the flywheel of the trainer which is much much smaller. So you have far less inertia on the trainer. And your body is aware of that. So your muscle firing patterns are a little different, that is a little more fatiguing on you. And I personally believe it’s more fatiguing, but without any greater gains. So the cost benefit of the trainer is not as good as being out on the road, which is part of why if I can be outside, I will be outside. So just bear that in mind. I know a lot of I’ve seen a lot of really committed athletes who their coach gives them 14 hours of training one week, and it’s miserable conditions and they just go, I gotta show my dedication and they hop on the trainer for 14 hours and they burn themselves out. Be careful about that. You can’t do the same thing inside that you can do outside. So when it comes to the endurance ride, if it just looks like I’ve got a couple of weeks with my athletes where they can’t get a good ride in outside, I will look for alternatives like doing the half and a half get outside or part of it do part of it on the trainer. But if they are just stuck on the trainer, what I like to do, which again, I don’t think is as good as a steady endurance ride. But we’re not, we’re not looking for as good we’re looking for next best. And I think a two and a half, three hour ride most of it zone one, zone two and then throw in 220 25 minute intervals at more of a sweet spot intensity is kind of the poor man’s endurance ride. I will also kind of finish this by saying I do think some of these new tools that are out are absolutely fantastic. So up in Toronto, we have a lot of these trainer classes where they just have a studio set up with trainers. And athletes will all get together in the morning or in the afternoons and train together. I think that social aspect helps mentally. I think those are great. And they’re available most places, things like swift sufferfest, I think make it a lot more enjoyable. And it’s only because of these things that I’ll even now recommend going up to a three hour ride.

 

Chris Case  58:57

What’s the danger with them in terms of the tendency for people to ride too intensely, because it’s a competition in the sense.

 

Trevor Connor  59:06

So I’m not going to give any names here. But I have a friend who knows my opinion about always doing intensity in the winter. And for some reason we keep getting on swift at the same time. And every time I get on he is in a training race on Swift. And so I will just kind of give him a thumbs up just to let them know I’m there and five minutes later he’s off Swift. So you do have to be careful. I will quite often even when I’m using Swift, I will still you I do have a trainer that can control wattage, I will use the controller for the trainer and program in my workout to avoid that temptation to race people. Basically, I have no control over the power. So I will still say even when you get on zwift sometimes hopping in that training race like once a week. It can be a lot A lot of fun when you are doing intervals on Swift, keep it under control, avoid that temptation to race people do do the intervals, right? I had the opportunity a few years ago to interview three time national cyclocross champion, Tim Johnson about riding on the trainer, being from Massachusetts, which gets pretty cold and snowy in the winter, he knows a lot about the ins and outs of the trainer.

 

1:00:23

I think the times when people just sit on a trainer, and they don’t really do anything, there’s not really much effort, there’s not really much speed, that that’s kind of a waste. Sometimes, I think it’s a waste. When happens a lot, I’ve seen it throughout, throughout my career that I know people that that get into the sport, and they take it, you know, full gas. And they will do three, four or five hours on a trainer on some random winter or spring day. And they’re just, they’re literally emptying out any kind of motivation in huge buckets and throwing it out there, throwing it out the window. So that same person in July or August or September is, you know, has basically quit the sport. And it’s like that, to me is a waste you there to do manageable pieces of a workout or fitness. But I think anytime I’ve seen people do those kind of, I think I’d probably call them panic workouts, it’s a sign that something else isn’t going right. They’re like, their expectations are completely off. Maybe they’re trying to prove themselves to someone else or to themselves, whatever it is. But those are the kind of people you want to grab by the by the hand and kind of walk them off of a trainer and say, No, I’m sorry, but this isn’t good for you right now, you shouldn’t be doing this. So you’re not a fan of somebody a winter area, and they really can’t get out on the road, you’re not a big fan of doing 15 hours a week on the trainer, it sounds like you’re saying more do this specific interval type work on the trainer works great, but don’t do the big volume. Why, you know, if you don’t have a life or a family or job, and you want to, you want to just empty yourself out on your trainer, I mean, by all means go for it. But if you do have the ability to do specific work, and then have the ability to, to do other things like if it is jogging or skiing or or Nordic skiing or hiking or or anything else that’s active, then you have plenty of a chance of having a social life. And or, you know, some kind of a I don’t know, like a reserve of your energy for later. Got a couple athletes on Canada and I give them intervals on the trainer. But I tell them I’d rather see a mountain cross country skis and doing five hours on the no good. Awesome. Yeah, no, totally. And this is I mean, I’m a lifelong cyclist. And I’ve been introduced through seating and running through my life over the years, but it certainly hasn’t been a lot. I mean, it’s a it’s a learning process. But I think that tips and tricks from people that have that have been in this for a long time are more useful than the people who are like, Well, my, my power to weight went up, you know, point 5% because I haven’t eaten and I’ve done 50 internal workouts this week, you know, and it’s Oh, by the way, it’s March, you know that? I think that’s the horseshit that you need to kind of separate from them.

 

Trevor Connor  1:03:35

Tim certainly doesn’t mince his words about the trainer. Let’s finish up with Chris and I given our final suggestions.

 

Chris Case  1:03:42

We’ve talked about a lot today, I think it’s worth going back and giving our own top three most important tips of the podcast at this time. So why don’t you Why don’t you start.

 

Trevor Connor  1:03:53

So I think my three are kind of more some of the the broader themes or principles to remember when dealing with cold weather. One is to remember that it can be remarkably cold out and you can still get a somewhat enjoyable workout. It all comes down to the preparation. So you underdress you have the wrong bike. You don’t bring the right type of food and it’s going to be miserable. You You dress appropriately, you have a good winter bike. And you’d be surprised what you can tolerate. The second one which is a your this won’t be the last time you’re going to hear this from me as always remember, when you overdress you’re a little uncomfortable when you underdress you are doing damage, always err on the side, especially on cold days of overdressing. And I would say my final point is we need that endurance work. This belief that you can just do high intensity to compensate in the winter and you’re gonna end up at the same place when you get to the race season. I just don’t buy it and I don’t see it in the research. So if you will To be at your best, you have to get that endurance work. But what we tried to present here is ways of getting that dealing with cold weather, which can either be really bundling up and just going outside and gritting your teeth, or doing things like half and half, get outside for part of it be inside for part of it. Or if you’re inside alternative workouts that aren’t as good, but are going to get you most of the way there.

 

Chris Case  1:05:25

I’m a I’m a Yeah, I’m a little less of a masochist, I would say then you, Trevor, I use and I also wrap up my cyclocross season around this time of year. So, for me, my winter starts with taking some time off, which is good, but I get back into it. And I like to keep things fun. So I’m not necessarily going to get on the road bike right away, I will mix it up and try to get on the mountain bike more, stick to the cross bike, stick the trails, where things are naturally going to be less cold, because the windchill factor is less severe. So that would be one of the thing that I would emphasize is do things to stay slow. Because speed in this sense is your enemy in that the Windchill can make a cold ride a just miserable ride, if you’re not well prepared, like Jefferson, another one that I would emphasize is a good one that came from our friend keel. You know, there’s nothing worse than getting out on a long ride and you don’t really turn to the bottle, the water bottle that is all that often. But when you do and you reach down, and it’s just a block of ice, it’s terrible. So the trick of adding a little bit of your favorite booze, shall we say, is a good one. Don’t overdo it, obviously,

 

Trevor Connor  1:06:50

actually went there. That was one of your top three pieces of advice. Because

 

Chris Case  1:06:59

you gave it to you pitched it to me, I couldn’t think of anything else. So don’t use it. Don’t use it.

 

Trevor Connor  1:07:06

Enough, you you won’t notice the call? No, we’re using that.

 

1:07:09

Hmm.

 

Chris Case  1:07:10

Secondly, I would say remember the mental aspect.

 

Trevor Connor  1:07:13

Thirdly, thirdly,

 

Chris Case  1:07:15

secondly, I would say remember the mental aspect. First of all, it may be cold outside, it may seem like you’re gonna freeze, if you’re well prepared, that’s great. But also go into it with a bit of positivity, and things will seem better than they might otherwise seem. If you’re just sort of cranky about it and grouchy about it and just not into it, it’s going to be a lot easier to turn things around if you stay positive and enjoy it. If you’re training for a big race, six months into the future, just know that what you’re the work that you’re doing now, in the winter is all a part of preparing for that race. Keep that in mind. And that’ll help you get through all those miles. Third, I would say a little bit of investment in the right equipment is a good thing. Now, I’m not talking necessarily about the bike, I think, like Trevor said, but your emphasis on get the crappiest bike you can for your winter bike. That’s great. I almost agree with that. I mean, if you if you don’t have that as an option, you don’t need that. And certainly, you know, a nice bike for winter rides. Nobody should fault you for having such things. But I’d also say that investing in a little bit of the right clothing, the right base layer, some nice gloves, they’re going to go a really long way in making all these winter rides a lot more enjoyable. You don’t have to go out there to suffer. That’s really not the point. And that’s not necessarily going to make you stronger or tougher, or a better cyclist. Don’t be stupid, and invest in the right equipment for the job. Certainly, Trevor and I have some good experience and we’ve hopefully shared some things that you’ve learned from but I bet there are a lot of listeners out there that have plenty of other tricks and tips and we’d love to hear from you. We always love to hear feedback from our listeners. Send us a note. Tweet us share it on Facebook when the episode goes live or post a comment on Soundcloud when you see this episode, and we’ll be sure to collect all of those tips and share them back with all of our other listeners.

 

Trevor Connor  1:09:21

That was another episode of Fast Talk. As always, we’d love your feedback. Email us at Webb letters a competitor group com. Subscribe to Fast Talk and iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment. While you’re there. Check out our sister podcast developer news podcast which covers news about the weekend cycling. Become a fan of Fast Talk and facebook@facebook.com slash velonews and on twitter@twitter.com slash velonews. Fast talk is a joint production between velonews and Connor coaching. The thoughts and opinions expressed in Fast Talk are those are the individual for Chris case. Dr. Steven Chung, Dr. nego saw Milan, Tim Johnson and kill reinen I’m Trevor Connor. Thanks for listening

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