I sent this to the past and current Train Smooth athletes and thought I would share on the blog.
I have had a lot of comments from the US, UK and Canada athletes about how cold it is to train outside at the moment. I do get it as I live in Tasmania and it is crazy cold for eight months of the year where I live and for a lot of athletes it is more of a battle with motivation and what is going on through your head than it is with training out in the cold.
Let’s break things down a little.
Now first up for the athletes who are knee deep in snow well this will not apply to you so much as your issues are more a safety concern so training indoors on the bike and treadmill is really the best options for you.
I know I have been carrying on a lot lately about oxygen and how it can help with sports performance but it can also help greatly with regulating body temperature so you can manage the cold like the Iceman.
I recently read Wim Hof’s book “Becoming The Iceman” and he has created a method that is also backed up by a lot science.
We have all experienced that cold morning when it is just bloody cold and we are in a nice toasty warm house with shirt and shorts and you need to go out to the shed for firewood or to get something or to empty the rubbish bin, etc. It is simply easier to brave the cold by going out, doing what you need to and get back inside the house quick, smart and in a hurry just to realize that it really wasn’t that bad outside for that split minute. Now we are talking about the power in the brain. One moment it feels cold and when outside in the cold with just shirt and shorts it really wasn’t that bad……..
Taking this mindset of “fuck the cold” and add in Wim Hof’s breathing methods of 30 deep breaths through the mouth and exhale through the mouth and on the last hold your breath till you can’t hold anymore and you NEED to take a breath, suck in some more oxygen on top of what you already have and hold and exhale.
Now you are set to make that cold weather your bitch. During warm up in training and maybe longer if needed, inhale and exhale through your mouth (very differently than what you should be doing most of the time as nasal breathing is by far the best option in just about every other case).
Keep that mindset that you are warm as toast and everyone else in your age group is tucked in next to the heat-pump.
It is this method that you can simply swim in ice water for a couple of hours without it causing too much of a drop in body tempter (This is now scientifically proven) and you can run a marathon with just shoes and shorts in snow using this method (again, proven over and over).
So next time you need to ride for 4-5-6 hours in below zero, use this method and make the weather your bitch.
There is a lot of science behind this method (changing testosterone levels, Ph. levels change, etc). I do recommend reading the book to get a greater understanding of his methods and the proof behind it.