220’s Winter Training Advent Calendar (Part 11)

Did you know that petrol stations can be a useful place to go if you're caught outside and it's cold? No? Well check out day 11 of our Winter Training Advent Calendar to find out why...

68 Warm Up Properly
With blood flow being directed to the centre of the body when it’s cold, you need to warm up more thoroughly in the winter to get the red stuff out to your extremities. Start warming up inside if it’s really freezing, and dress such that you can open vents and discard layers as you reach optimal temperature.
69 Use Petrol Pump Gloves
Caught out in the cold and rain on a long ride? Pick up some plastic gloves from a petrol station forecourt and stick them under your cycling gloves for extra protection.
70 Buy Wicking Fabrics
Try not to wear cotton next to your skin; when it gets wet it rapidly saps the heat from your body. Instead, use merino wool or a technical fabric as a base layer.
71 Use Hand Warmers
If it’s really cold, pop a couple of chemically activated hand warmers in your pockets (get them from fishing shops or outdoor stores). You can snap and activate them if your hands go numb when out for a long session.
72 Do Some One-Sport Weeks
Too icy to go out cycling for a few days? Put in a big week of steady running miles. Pool closed while you’re off work over Christmas? Use the time to do a few back-to-back days of long rides. The odd injunction of high-volume in one sport will stimulate your body in a different way to the usual mixed routine and, from time to time, is a refreshing change.
73 Store Your Wetsuit Properly
That is, on a wide and supportive clothes hanger or lying flat under a bed. Not screwed up, damp and smelly, in a kit bag or the bottom of a drawer where it will rot, fester and crease until May when you drag it out again.
74 Layer Up
A baselayer and a windproof will be enough on milder days, and you can add a thermal layer such as a thin fleece when it gets really cold and a waterproof in the rain. Go for garments with zipz that allow you to vent as you warm up.