Triathlons are intense physical and mental tests for athletes, challenging their strength, endurance and discipline. Training for a triathlon takes months of preparation, determination and athletic skill, but training for a triathlon in the cold takes even more resolve and additional preparation as well. Swimming, bicycling and running each have their own difficulties when the weather feels good, and each of them has their own dangers when the weather turns cold as well.
Colder temperatures make it more difficult to focus and can cause muscles to contract, both of which can lead to potential injuries. Your body responds to cold weather by preserving the energy it has to keep the body warm and to ensure that your organs are functioning properly. But when you begin to workout, that coveted energy is being expended by the muscles. Hypothermia is obviously a factor to consider when working out in extremely cold conditions and avoiding this potential danger, as well as other cold-weather-related injuries, will take a little more planning than usual.
Despite the risks, it's possible to get a good triathlon workout in the cold. On the next few pages, we'll explore some of the dangers of triathlon training in the cold and discuss some precautions you can take so that you don't inadvertently harm yourself while you're trying to strengthen your body. In some cases, it's as easy as adding a layer or two of clothing, or drinking the right type of drink, while other situations may involve cutting back on certain types of workouts or adjusting the length of time you're outside in the elements.
Keep reading to find out more about the dangers of training for a triathlon in the cold.