Runner’s should learn a thing or two from Cyclist

After watching the elite waves set out on course for the 2018 Boston Marathon, I couldn’t help but notice how underprepared most of the athletes were. Watching thousands of participants bundle up in trash bags rain jackets, arm warmers, and gloves my cycling side of the brain was triggered by questions of “Why would you think that will work?”

After spending many winter offseasons logging outside base miles in far worse conditions, the choice of these stubborn “traditional” runner provided me a chance to offer up some logical thinking taken from the unwritten rules of cycling.

High winds and rain are nothing new to the endurance world, but why would so many athletes fail to prepare themselves for the elements in the most effective way? 26 Elites dropped out of the race due to the inability to handle the elements, the leaner runners struggled to maintain core temperature, while the thicker stronger runners prevailed.

With the conclusion of the classics season, most notably Strade Bianche we watch cyclist tackle 184KM in snowing, cold muddy conditions. During that race, you didn’t spot a single trash bag or pair socks on hands. What you do see is a practical use of technology to aid in performance.

Let’s consider options for staying warm & dry in harsh conditions.

Embrocation

Originally used in horse racing to provide protection from the wet muddy tracks, jockey’s would rub the waxy heated paste on the legs of their horse. Cycling has taken the product and introduced a more organic application to tackle the elements. Typically made with wax or oil compound the heated paste is rubbed on the exposed skin to provide a barrier.Rated to handle a variance of temperatures with various ranges of heat intensity. When the paste gets wet the athlete will notice the heat-amplifying where applied.

Nano Flex Arm and Leg Warmers

The difference between Waterproof and Water resistant have become a bit of a gray area in endurance sports. In the past, Waterproof materials did not provide the ventilation for temperature controls when warn. This was an understanding that the product followed this simple rule. No moisture in, No moisture out. Today’s fabrics utilize a high thread count of poly-phobic materials that is just as effective as a waterproof shell treated with DWR coatings but provide the versatility of a soft-shell fabric. This material allows for the skin to breath and maintains normal core temperature while providing an almost 100% dry barrier to the elements.

Dress to Impress

When dealing with cold temperatures it’s important to layer to effectively manage the conditions. Base Layer, Mid Layer, and Outerwear provide the ability to regulate the core temperature by providing ventilation to the skin. Keeping dry will reduce the chilling sensation when the wind blows over the wet fabrics.

Take a note from a cyclist who spends hours in the saddle. You should purchase well fitted key pieces that can be worn to protect the body from unwelcome weather patterns. Athletes who value shop for bargain deals will find themselves left out in the cold with apparel that will not manage to keep the body warm and dry. Make sure you try on the apparel in combinations that would be simulated in training or racing conditions. If you dress properly you will not need to discard item during the activity. As the body warms up instead you should be able to utilize the systems ability to regulate your temperature and stay comfortable.


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