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COLD WEATHER RACING

COLD WEATHER RACING

Fall is a fun time to race. The cooler temperatures, the changing colors, but the change in temperature requires a change in your racing strategy. If you are doing a cold-weather triathlon this fall, here are my quick tips:

  1. If it’s an open water swim, acclimate to the cold water. Cold water on your face can trigger you to gasp for air. Get your face in the cold water before the race, and practice turning your head to breathe as you would during the race.

  2. If it’s an open water swim, along with your wetsuit wear earplugs and wear two swim caps. Both will help your core temp stay up.

  3. Wear a two-piece tri suit. Do the swim without the top on. Water is an excellent conductor of heat, so a dry tri top to put on in T1 will be helpful.

  4. OR Skip the Tri Top and go for a heavier weight and/or wind-resistant long sleeve bike jersey/jacket.

  5. Keep your hands and feet warm while you bike and run. Wear gloves on your hands. Cold hands don’t function as well. Have a pair of rolled down gloves ready to put on in T1. And cold feet aren’t fun for running on, so keep them warm on the bike. Wear socks (wool stays warm even when wet) or toe covers or tape over the vents in your bike shoes or a combination of these. But make sure to roll your socks and gloves so they are easier to put on in T1.

  6. Keep your head warm. Wear a beanie underneath your helmet.

  7. Have warm, dry clothes ready at the finish. As soon as you can, get out of your wet, sweaty gear, towel off, and get into warm, dry clothes. Hypothermia can happen even after the race is over.

  8. Revise your expectations. Cold weather racing is hard on everyone unless you are a polar bear. Make the decision before the race starts whether you are going to race it full gas and take risks or do the race for the enjoyment of the sport and cover up.

 

Coach Jim Rowe

Playtri Level 2 Coach

UESCA Certified Triathlon Coach

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