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Want to stay warm this winter? Better layer up!

How to layer for cold weather, nutrition myths, fastest 70.3's

Good morning everyone,

The other day I was back in the gym to do some panic lifting ahead of my upcoming race in Chile. It was a good reminder NOT to take too much time out of the weight room as there are muscles that I’m pretty sure I didn’t know existed which are now quite sore!

I’m sure by the time the race rolls around in a couple of weeks the DOMS will have just gone away 🤣💀

In today’s edition:

  • 🧥 How to layer up to stay warm and fast during winter rides.

  • 🤥 Nutrition myths that need to stay in the past.

  • 🐇 The fastest (and slowest) 70.3 races.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Riding Outside This Winter? Time to Layer Up!

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, please ignore this and continue to enjoy riding in your incredible weather. For the rest of us, it’s probably cold, or going to get cold.

  • But you don’t have to slink onto the trainer, resigned to your indoor fate until late March-ish.

By learning to layer up properly you can enjoy more time outdoors on the bike and the fitness gains that come with it.

How to layer well

The key to layering well is understanding the context of the weather you’ll face. Wet conditions will require different layering demands than windy ones. Wet and windy? You’re screwed…

  • Jokes, you can handle any type of condition, with the right layering 💪

All about that base (layer)

The base layer is often overlooked, but it might be THE most important layer! The qualities of a good base layer include:

  • Being tight to your skin.

  • This helps move moisture to outer layers where it evaporates.

  • Proper fabric. Good: Polyester. Bad: Cotton or wool

Mid-layer momentum

Moisture wicking is still important, but so is bringing in some warmth. The mid-layer requires a bit of nuance. Lightweight jerseys, heavier base layers, and long-sleeve jerseys can make up this layer.

  • Easier ride? A warmer and heavier mid-layer will do.

  • Hard intervals? You might want to keep it lighter, with some moisture-wicking properties.

Outstanding outer layers

Dryer days are a lot easier than wet ones. Breathability is key along with a vest or jacket to keep the wind at bay.

Wet days? They’re complicated: You want breathability, but not permeability. The reality is no jacket is perfect for these wet and cold days, especially if you’re trying to ride hard.

  • Many modern jackets and outer layers will have breathable panels built into trailing layers so some moisture can escape.

Don’t forget the hands (and feet)

Is there any experience more excruciating than icy hands and feet during a cold bike ride? Surely not!

👋 To keep your hands warm, ensure your core is warm and pumping warmer blood to your extremities.

  • Layering also applies to your hands! Trying using a thinner glove to line a heavier one.

🦶 If it’s simply cold and windy, and lighter shoe cover should do.

  • Heavy rain and cold? A neoprene shoe cover could be the difference between aerobic ecstasy and foot-numbing agony.

Quick considerations

An aero helmet usually doesn’t have many vents, which is great for staying warm!

  • Expect to start your ride a littler chilly, don’t worry, you’ll warm up into it.

  • Vents in the bottom of your shoes releasing precious heat? Tape them shut!

  • Want to get out in the cold on a budget? Check out this list. 

Happy (and comfortable) riding!


🤥 Nutrition myths: It’s almost 2024, surely can we agree to leave popular nutrition myths like “plant protein is incomplete,” and “all fat is bad,” in the past? Here are 10 that absolutely need to go (looking at you high and mighty plant milk). [New York Times]

🐇 Fast + slow halves: Looking for a Half Ironman PB in 2024? Here’s a list of the fastest and slowest 70.3’s in the world. [Triathlete]

🏊‍♂️ Cold water swimming: When COVID hit athletes around the world were faced with closed pools, so they turned to the open water. And some of it was freezing! Athletes are still braving the cold water to this day, but is it worth it to improve as a triathlete? [Triathlon Magazine Canada]

😆 Rookie cycling mistakes: The end of the year is a time for reflection - and these hilarious rookie cycling mistakes were definitely the lowlight of the year for these riders! [Men’s Journal]

🍩 Are more carbs better? Higher carb consumption is trending HARD at the moment. But according to physiologist Alex Hutchinson, it isn’t actually proven consuming more carbs will make you faster. But you’ll definitely be burning more. [Outside]


This equally applies to Triathlon 🤣


Throw the book: A Long Island woman was indicted for hitting an athlete while they were competing in a local triathlon. [Patch]

Profits falling: Despite an increase in sales volume, popular bicycle manufacturer Canyon saw a dip in profits over the first nine months of 2023 vs the year before. It mirrors what other companies have been facing. [Cycling Weekly]

Incredible athlete: Ghani Souleymane, a Togolese triathlete, competed an incredible 30 Ironmans in 30 days while raising money for charity. [BNN Breaking]

Ironman Japan: Ironman is returning to Japan with the newly announced Ironman Japan South Hokkaido which will take place on September 14th, 2024. [Endurance Sportswire]


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