Training in winter or Autumn in the cold can be either miserable or fun, and one of the main contributors to this is how comfortable you are in the weather.
And before we do anything else, we should think about our skin with skin lubes and winter defence creams. If you are not already doing this, read our earlier blog post Why everyone should be lubing up.
After we've taken care of our skin, the following essential item to sort is your base layers. The layer that sits right next to your skin. And should act as a constant ‘second skin’ throughout your day.
They provide insulation while absorbing and evaporating moisture (your sweat) to keep you warm and comfortable.
To ensure maximum performance, your base layer should fit tight against your skin while allowing you to move. Nearly all brands will design their base layers with this in mind, so don't be tempted to buy a smaller than your usual fit size.
The definition of the word wicking means to move moisture from the inside to the surface, which is precisely what wicking fabric does. It wicks away sweat and moisture from the body, keeping your skin dry.
It is crucial to have wicking fabric in sports clothing as you produce more sweat than usual. If left wet against your skin, it will cool you down, give you a chill and make the fabric chaff your skin.
Those of you with laughter lines like me will remember the happy days of Smelly Hanson, which, no matter how many times you washed it, managed to retain a fragrance all of its own. Well, happily, materials have now moved on with Hollotech fibres, merino and smart wools, all helping to keep garments fresh and warm for multiple wears without washing.
Our base layer garments are produced with wicking fabric, but some materials are more effective at wicking than others. Our in-house designed VeloRunner baselayer using high-tech fibres is perfect for hard run sessions or underneath cycle jerseys. And better still, they wash well. One tip I was given many years ago was never to wash any outdoor kit with fabric fresheners or conditioners, as these are designed to sit in the garment and work by absorbing moisture, which is the opposite of what we are trying to do.