At Dt we have Second Summer - a state of mind that being active and engaged allows us to experience all the summer months provide in the winter of New England. But to do so we have to transition - here are the warm and cold facts of life:
It isn't the cold that stops people from getting out there, it's actually delicious, but the shock of the weather change.
No matter how many years you've been active every October and May you forget completely how to dress. It's ok. We are truly creatures of habit and the conditioning is amazing. It'll be December but you'll still want to lay out the shorts. You have to force the change.
As the temperatures go cold simply make sure to wear one layer more than you need and wear gloves. You'll never do the one step out the door and then dive back into bed thing again.
Remember the 5 minute rule for running. After 5 minutes it'll truly be second summer and you'll be dripping sweat. Go beyond the 5 minutes.
In cycling it's a little more complex. You can cycle for 10 minutes and still feel like a popsicle. On the bike wear one more layer than you need always! Never mind that after a few miles you'll be nice and warm. A flat tire ten miles from home will remind you why you have that layer on.
Swimming - overdress to get into the car or whatever gets you to the pool. The goal is to get to the pool. After that your gym membership takes care of the rest.
When thinking about your reflective/lighting gear go obnoxious. Be so bright that a jet might try to land on you. Whether you're running or cycling passive reflection is no good. You need a light emanating from you that will distract the half-asleep-texting driver going through the red light.
Cyclists - if you can believe it more cars will go through red lights now. Yes, that is actually possible. Warning to the wise.
Yes, it's delicious! Ask any marathon runner when they'd prefer to train and they'll say winter. Sure the first 5 minutes may be harrowing but then its 70 degrees for the rest of the run! You can't overheat!
But you can dehydrate and its even more dangerous in the cold. Your body works beautifully with the nice coolant Mother Earth is providing but if you're not moving well then it's a bitch! Make sure you're carrying the same amount of liquids you would in the summer for your workout.
In the summer it was shorts in a shirt and who really cares - lots of your skin was exposed and breathing. Now, not so much. What you wear matters and we're too deep into the age of tech wear to do the cotton will kill you speech. But for completeness and to make the lawyers happy we'll say it here: non-wicking materials can hurt you in the cold. In our next training letter we'll go over the new layering rules but suffice to say wear gear that gets that sweat off you and into the air.
Black Ice. Not much needs to said after that huh. On bike stay away from anything shiny and if you've got the dough go for the ice-ready wheels (spiked or studded). On foot then likewise and make sure of your footing else you'll be waiting until our regular season in April. When the white stuff starts coming down then put on the Yak-Traks on the feet and studs on the wheels if you're hardcore. And yes you can get a taste of what hell is like by getting on a treadmill and trainer. But if you do one word: Netflix.
If you didn't prepare everything the night before you're not going to get out the next day. The earlier you get out during the day the higher probability you'll get the workout in. Nuff said?
With some exception that 70.3 you want to do next year is about to be sold out. Pay attention.
The higher profile races such as NYC will have registration open....for a raffle's chance to get into the race. Again pay attention to that special race you want to do next year.
If you're doing a 140.6 next year you've got quite a bit of base training to do along with setting aside divorce funds. Nows the time to shift into IM training mode and establish the all-the-time-on-the-road-and-sleeping-on-the-couch lifestyle you've selected for yourself.