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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Advice on training on cold evenings

One of the many rugby coaching website ("Better Rugby Coaching") has just produced some useful advice on training on cold days. Some of the most interesting points are:

Good news about cold weather training

Regular cold weather training reduces likelihood of illness Research from Japan shows that if you train regularly during cold weather periods you are less likely to pick up illnesses, such as colds and flu, than if you train on the odd occasion. This means a gradual introduction to the cold weather is better than huge one-off sessions.

Keep up the water intake

Though you don’t sweat as much in cold weather, you still require rehydration. Cold weather makes people want to pee more and the cold air affects other parts of the
breathing system.

The cold reduces the desire to take on water, causing further dehydration. Therefore it would be good to take on water before training, and then hot drinks afterwards.

This used to be the case in the old days after a game, when a hot cup of tea with plenty of sugar was a staple for the muddied oafs in the changing room.

Dry shoes on hard surfaces

The cold weather often drives training off the pitches if they are frozen. A top tip from the manufacturers (and not surprisingly) is to have two pairs of trainers, since if a pair becomes wet, the absorbency of the sole is significantly reduced. For mere
mortals though, run on hard surfaces in dry trainers.

Don’t overdress –
use hoodies and zippers

Choosing the right clothes to train in can be difficult, use hoodies and tops with zippers, because there needs to be a balance between warmth, sweating and movement. Hoodies are excellent because they can be used at the start of the practice to keep the head warm and then the hood brought down when the players heat up. If there is a break in play, then the hoods can go up. Do not wear them during contact where they could be grabbed, or stuff the hoods inside the neck. Tops with zippers allow you to regulate heat – too hot so undo half the zipper on the jacket to let warm air out from bottom of the jacket.

Avoid getting wet

Wet clothes lose their insulation properties quite significantly. If at all possible avoid contact with the ground with clothing in the early stages of the session.

Keep your cheap shirt on

Cheap rugby shirts can be better rather than cotton/ woollen – more effective at staying dry and even when wet, keeps you warmer than cotton shirts.

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