Cold weather riding

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

hey folks,

I just bought a new klein Aura V in august and really got hooked on riding, during august and september I would put on about 130 kms a week, usually doing a metric century and a couple of short rides.

I did my last metric century on October 8th and then started training indoors on the trainer, usually doing about an hour a night.
with me doing no riding in the last two weeks (trainers are hot and boring). I've been doing weight training for about 30 to 40 minutes a night for a couple nights a week.

I went riding today and yesterday and found that I was having trouble breathing in the cold air and would get exhausted much faster than is
normal. the temperature is about 5 deg c here which isn't too bad, but it is very windy

one possibility is that I'm pushing lower gears than usual, when I ride my trainer I usually don't ride as hard as I would on the road, typically using a higher cadence.
I was wondering what my problem is and why I can't ride as hard as before?
Jack of all trades, master of none.

by Weenie


homegrown
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:57 am
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by homegrown

Your body may not be used to the colder temps yet, also, it will take your body longer to warm up. One ride isn't a good determinant of how you're doing. There are internal states that can affect how you feel, maybe you just weren't "on" that day. You could also be tired from weight lifting (especially if you weren't used to it.) I know on some days my legs just can't keep up with my lungs, it happens, but it passes soon enough. In the end, its the off season so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just ride base level for awhile to make sure you're recoverying from lifting and look out for any sickness symptoms.

keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

hey thanks, those all sound like good suggestions,
I'll give it a go on monday and work on getting warmed up and riding at a lower cadence. It's actually not too bad a time of year to ride cause no one is on the trails. I had a cold a couple of weeks ago which basically stopped all of my exercise, so I'm trying to pick up again and I'd much prefer to ride outside.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

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Adri
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by Adri

Also keep in mind that your heartbeat ranges should be lower at those temps..
You should detuct about 5 heartbeats from each zone when the temp goes under 10 degrees..
when the temp goes over 20 degrees C, add 5 beats.

So when your normal recovery-ride heartbeat is (lets say) below 134, at less than 10 degrees, it's at 129 bpm..

This also means that your anaerobic and aerobic tresholds move with the same amount of beats (theoretically)

basically this means that you should drop the intensity of every ride when the temps drop..
Auribus teneo lupum

keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

that makes a lot of sense, cause my anarobic rate was around 180 bpm and I would say that it's at 175 now, maybe even less.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

Weisse Luft
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:44 pm
Location: All over Texas

by Weisse Luft

I have an excellent fleece hood that you can pull up to "recuperate" some of your exhaled humidity/heat. It offers almost no resistance to breathing but really helps the lungs. And with a helmet cover, you should be able to ride in sub zero conditions comfortably. I don't need a helmet cover down here as it doesn't get cold enough.

Its microfiber so it transmits vapor, keeping the skin dry. I wish I knew where I got the thing but check ski shops and the like. Seirus is the brand name and it has dual adjustable pull cords. You can snorkle the thing to nothing, completely covering the face!

keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

I did about an hour on thursday outside, apart from the problem with breathing I think that cold weather riding is some of the best riding all year. I haven't been covering my mouth when I ride which could be part of the problem. I plan on riding on wednesday if it doesn't snow or rain. I'm in exams now so I don't get the chance to ride that often.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

big fellow
Posts: 1288
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:05 pm

by big fellow

Keithster,

A few things to keep in mind regarding cold weather riding from a physiological perspective:

* always warm up sufficiently with a low cadence prior to going hard, mainly to allow the synovial fluid in your joint to get moving ans help lubricate your knee joint as it functions otherwise you'll injure yourself

* normally when you breathe in, air is warmed up by your body prior to entering your pulmonary system - this can be difficult when air is at lower temperatures - again, allow yourself time to warm up

* in terms of lower heart rates, there is no hard and fast rule (such as subtract 5 beats), it varies with individuals so find your differences

hope that helps... :wink:

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Adri
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by Adri

I had a wonderful singletrail ride yesterday average temp -2 degrees C.
Like big fellow says, warm up at relaxed pace until you are used to the cold. After that try to keep the revs up and keep the force down.
Once on the singletracks , the slower speed keeps the windchill down so apart from watery eyes (even with glasses) I was fine for 1h30..
It's been gradually getting colder here the last week , but unfortunately they predict some rain and higher temps in the next days.

hereis an excellent website with tips that might be useful when it really gets cold
Auribus teneo lupum

big fellow
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by big fellow

what an awesome website!!!!!!!!! :twisted:

Micke
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: Stockholm Sweden

by Micke

Adri wrote:Also keep in mind that your heartbeat ranges should be lower at those temps..
You should detuct about 5 heartbeats from each zone when the temp goes under 10 degrees..
when the temp goes over 20 degrees C, add 5 beats.

So when your normal recovery-ride heartbeat is (lets say) below 134, at less than 10 degrees, it's at 129 bpm..

This also means that your anaerobic and aerobic tresholds move with the same amount of beats (theoretically)

basically this means that you should drop the intensity of every ride when the temps drop..


Where did you find that info? It seems to me like a huge diffrent i pulsrange.
Here in Stockholm we often have to train in -10 to -15 C. I have not notice any diffrences regarding my anaerobic threshold or in other way diffrenses in tempo. okay, smaller diffrenses i have find. but that is when I compere -12C and +30 C.

Last winter was my coldest trainingsession 5 h and 30 min in averange -12 C. :)
//Micke

keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

I went riding today to dissipate some stress. it was somewhere between -5 and -10 deg C. Before riding, I spent about 10 minutes on the trainer.
I also wore a scarf over my mouth but found that it eventually inhibited breathing. normally I average about 29 kph on the route I was on. Today I could only do 23.88 which isn't bad considering I have extra clothing and have to dismount on bridges etc. I was also using lower gearing than normal to keep the cadence up, I tried to average 87 to 95. my lungs didn't hurt as much as the other times I rode. my feet were very cold though. I had on two pairs of socks, a sports set and a wool pair, the problem there might be circulation.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

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Tippster
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by Tippster

keithster wrote:I went riding today to dissipate some stress. it was somewhere between -5 and -10 deg C. Before riding, I spent about 10 minutes on the trainer.
I also wore a scarf over my mouth but found that it eventually inhibited breathing. normally I average about 29 kph on the route I was on. Today I could only do 23.88 which isn't bad considering I have extra clothing and have to dismount on bridges etc. I was also using lower gearing than normal to keep the cadence up, I tried to average 87 to 95. my lungs didn't hurt as much as the other times I rode. my feet were very cold though. I had on two pairs of socks, a sports set and a wool pair, the problem there might be circulation.


I'm not riding at anywhere near your temperatures, but one of my best buys has been a pearl izumi balaclava. Makes such a difference. The other best buy, was a pair of altura overshoes. Shield you from both the rain and wind. Dont forget that windchill factors are increased when riding a bike at speed.
"Ride it like you've just stolen it!"

keithster
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

by keithster

it's a little warmer today, but I doubt the trails are clear cause it snowed yesterday. reading that website about Ice riding, my cleats are SPD so that would be part of the reason why my feet are cold. I'm considering the balaclava and maybe the booties, alternatively, I suppose I could switch to the mountain bike. it needs clips or clipless pedals and isn't nearly as much fun to ride as my roadie.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

by Weenie


crewman
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Ontario, Can.

by crewman

Keithster, I live around the lake from you and riding during the months of Dec, Jan and Feb are brutal. The added trouble with lake effect snow and strong winds this time of year. I try to get out and go for a 1 1/2 - 2 hour ride 3 times per week. to average 6-8 hrs riding time. Don't be worried about speed, and cadence just time.

As for clothing I have two types of jackets one is a Wind-Tex fabric that cost $160 CDN and the other is a Giordana Yukon Jacket. I use the wind-tex version down to -5C, but layer underneath it with a Craft long sleeve base layer and a long sleeve Jersey. For those days that are below -5 I bring out the heavier jacket and layer accordingly underneath. The hardest part are my hands and feet. I invested in a box of toe warmers from one of the local shops. I also bought some nice dual layer gloves from Marks Work Warehoues as well as a belaclava for those days that are below -10C.

If you need more info just PM me.

Below is a good article about riding in the offseason

http://www.trainright.com/page.asp?page_id=content&page_content=A-8&CategoryID=104&ArticleID=27#article
"It's all about the Tempo"

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