Training when you pain cave is 2 degrees or less

So in the UK over the last week or so, it’s been a bit chilly… today I was doing half monty, it was 2 degrees in my garage when I started… for to 3.5 when I finished… just wondering when looking at my results how much does that really impact me…

My results were ok, considering lockdown and winter fatigue…

It definitely can impact you but indoors with no wind and rain you should be able to manage it pretty easily with layers.

I think first ask, we’re you reasonably comfortable? If so, then I doubt there was much impact.

Don’t get too comfortable! Those goats will find you.

1 Like

My garage is often at about 5 degrees C when I start my rides. It warms up a bit during the workout. I’ll wear a jacket, hat, and gloves to start with. They’ll come off as (if) I warm up. I don’t think the cold affects my results too much, if anything, it probably helps avoiding overheating.

1 Like

Same temperatures here. i train on our balcony, which i wind shielded with plexiglass. Currently i start with jacked and ski mask which i take off later. Around mid-training i turn on the ventilator. During FF i even had to take off the jersey.

Plus hot tea.

I solved that problem by training next to the house boiler… Even the inspiration videos give me holy water on the training mat.

Though 3 years ago I did train in the garage. I wore leg warmers and arm warmers with a summer jersey and light cap. Since I was out of direct wind and elements it was tolerable. Yet I did evening workouts so I was up all day. Morning very cold workouts are tough for me.

My lowest is 2.9. I sometimes wonder whether it’s harder on me or the equipment - are smart trainers rated for temperature ranges? :smile:

I prefer it when it’s this cold! I put the trainer outside and don’t need a fan for the shorter rides. The only problem is the freezing toes …

I was only curious when raising the question… generally once warmed up it’s not that different from normal, even if occasionally cold toes… last winter I did train in the garage in -5 wearing full winter kit…

I think it’s just more difficult to modulate temperature of having a fan on with efforts to not wanting a fan on between efforts…

Outside is a different ball part, I’ve done 2-3 hr rides in sub-zero and it really is hard work…

I live in Aberdeenshire and it has been below freezing in my pain cave for weeks now. I have a big mug of hot tea before a workout and wear a hooded fleece while warming up, I leave the garage door open and by the end of the first interval I’m usually warm enough to strip down to bib shorts, might even need the fan. I find the cold air makes me feel a bit breathless during threshold and VO2 max efforts. If I’m doing an easier session mostly in z2 I put on a thin pair of tights to keep my legs warm but will still need to fully unzip my fleece. I don’t have any bar tape on my trainer bike so I lay a towel over my bars which provided plenty of insulation for my hands.

1 Like

Definitely agree with you on modulating with/without fan. Doing the first stage of TOS I thought I’d do it all without a fan, then after 30 min I set up the fan, then waited an hour before turning it on – I didn’t want to risk freezing my fingers off just to cool the rest of me.

I would guess that in terms of performance, once you’re past the warm-up there’s probably no impact (unless you’re shivering and/or can’t feel your extremities).

It was 1C when I was doing Stage 1 yesterday. My toes went numb and lost circulation. All the wrong sort of suffering at the end. It tricky, I alternate with and without a fan, sometimes use a long sleeve top and use a fan, or take it off entirely and no fan. Bit warmer today so easier to control the temp.

Cold in my billiard room today. +3C.
Feet were cold by the end, but still needed a fan.

I think the key is to plan which clothes to wear for ease of removal because even if you’re shivering when you start you soon overheat. My favourites are:

  1. Beanie
  2. Gloves
  3. Arm Warmers
  4. Hoodie

I never got the hang of getting leg warmers off whilst cycling. Don’t know how the Pros do it. They must have different ones. I couldn’t get mine off with shoes on.

Overshoes should theoretically work but I haven’t tried it for cold.

I’ve wired up my fans so I can start them with my watch & on a timer. That helps & is surprisingly cheap.

The toes are the worst bit …

I was reading a different thread and a saw a bunch of suggestions, I tried a few today for stage 1 and while my toes were still cold by the end, it was much better than usually. I put my shoes and and socks on the radiator for a while before starting, and also borrowed some overshoes. Highly recommend! I’ve ordered some merino wool socks, too (perfect timing, now that the cold snap is over :roll_eyes: )

Love this thread! I got to the end of the second block of cobbler and realised my right arm was numb. Had the fan on in the garage, sleeveless jersey and yes freezing in the uk!

Had to put a hoodie on and shake my arm like crazy to get feeling back into it.

How the pros descend from the Stelvio in the conditions they do, well chapeau!

One (possible/maybe) outcome in colder air (when training indoors in particular) is maybe slightly better results.
This is due to the amount of heat management the body has to do - if we’re producing ‘n’ watts at the pedals then we have to produce something like x2/x3 watts (can’t remember the multiple) and then we have to disperse that energy. One of the coaches write an article on this somewhere and if I can find it I’ll post it. And it may have been an article about other aspects than this subject precisely.

What I’ve never seen is any tested evidence at the ‘cold’ end of the spectrum … as I know performance drops once we can’t handle the heat build up.
So maybe once we get below a ‘certain point’ it makes no difference. Or maybe it’s better.

And then when we reach frozen :cold_face: :cold_face: bodies and we can’t physically turn the pedals, well I guess it goes all wrong at that extreme too.

My cave is the garage which is not warmed.
Yesterday -8 C outside and around 0 inside.
I usually start my training with a jumper and I take if off after 10’ when I’m warmed up.
I do not use any fan and I think performances are not impacted by pedaling in such cold conditions because the lack of the impacting cold air.

My own experience is that I get exercise induced bronchoconstriction/asthma in very cold air or very humid air (when the Haar rolls in of the sea), which affects my performance more often than overheating in my local climate, (20c is a considered a hot summer day in NE Scotland, my kids will be in the paddling pool if it gets above 16c!)

I did a quick search and found there is a lot of research done at the cold end of the spectrum mostly focused on cross country skiing which was kind of predictable as most other endurance sports are summer rather than winter events.

This study was done on an ergocycle and showed VO2max was affected by air temperature

1 Like

Thanks for posting this article.
Yeah - I suffer that too (though I’m not temperature dependent I think I’m just living in a sick(pollution) city for too many decades.

Off to read that …