Winter rolled in this morning, blasting my part of Houston with 43 degree temperatures – and it’s not going to be much warmer for the rest of the week. As with most CrossFit boxes, mine is a converted garage sans climate control. In the summer, we’re sweaty messes even before 3…2…1…GO! And when the temperatures drop, we’re shivering.
So I’m taking some of the lessons I learned about layering while living in New England to the box with me. I’m dusting off some of the running gear I thought I would only need once or twice in the winter. If this is your first winter CrossFitting, here are a few tips to stay warm before (and after) the WOD.
Love the Layers
You may know that you’ll be peeling down to your tank top mid-WOD, but before that, the last thing you need is to be shivering while reviewing technique and congregating around the whiteboard. My foolproof 40 degree morning outfit consists of capris (the slice of flesh between the bottom of the capri and top of my socks isn’t going to freeze), a tank or t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt (if I’m doing the tank and hoodie option), and a hoodie or fleece. Then the real fun starts: a hat or ear warmer headband and gloves.
Prepare for a Longer Warmup
It’s inevitable that the rowing machine will come out. There is no place in the box where the gloves and hat and fleece get shed faster than a good, hard rowing session, so it’s likely your CrossFit coach is going to have you pull up a rower and get going. (Now’s a good time to review rowing technique…)
Now is not the time to take a burpee nap. It’s the time to keep moving, bang out those wall balls, and not stop. You want your blood to keep flowing. If you’re waiting for the GO, do some air squats.
It’s easier to remember to hydrate when you’re dripping sweat in 100 degree weather with 90 percent humidity. In 40 degree weather, not so much. Hydration won’t necessarily keep you warm, but it will keep you healthy.
Re-Layer After the WOD
Depending on the WOD, you’re probably sweating a lot, and your layers are chucked next to your barbell or plyo box. Don’t even think about just stuffing them into your gym bag. Put your layers back on, even if you’re just dashing to your car for the drive home. You will quickly be cold, and you will be opening yourself up to getting sick.
What are your must-haves for cold-weather workouts?