How to Train When It’s Cold, Wet and Miserable Outside


We have a world-wide audience here at Tribal, so weather-related posts may not apply to you, but as the weather has recently taken a turn for the decidedly colder here in the UK, I’m blogging about how to train when it is wet and cold.

As you know, we promote the P5 formula – Personal, Physical Wellbeing, Productivity, Performance and Plan, an holistic approach to training guaranteed to give you YOUR best possible results and great health concurrently.

Training in adverse conditions is therefore a topic that is suited to the P5 Formula. Let’s take a look at  pillars and look at how you can make the most of your training when the temptation to curl up on the sofa beckons…

Personal State and Motivation.

Start with why. An event on the horizon can be great extrinsic motivation that’ll get you moving, however, Tribal promote a more developmental approach. How do you develop your why for the off-season when an event is not looming? Treat your triathlon and lifestyle development as a transformation- a change that you are going to be proud of achieving and will fuel your intrinsic motivation for developing your capacity and resolve. Start by completing the Tribal Triathlete Performance Profile, you can gain access by filling in the boxes on the right of the page, it’ll help you identify the key areas that will transform your performance for the coming season, usually this will be aspects of your lifestyle or performance that are lagging a little on your strongest practices, disciplines and skills.

Without an event on the immediate agenda as extrinsic motivation, mindfulness plays its part. Living in the moment takes a thought such as “I’ll exercise in a few months’ time because it is warmer”, and re-words it with “I want to exercise because I love the way it makes me feel”, or “I want to workout as I know it will serve my transformation”. Be present and embrace the moment, however cold or wet develop an approach that serves your development.

Physical Wellbeing.

A clinical review published in The British Medical Journal suggests that vitamin D insufficiency is common in the UK population. Deficiency of this vital vitamin has been linked to musculoskeletal pain, bone disorders and many other health issues, including CVD, type-2 diabetes and auto-immune conditions.

In the UK, our skin isn’t able to make vitamin D from winter sunlight (November to March) as the sunlight hasn’t got enough UVB (ultraviolet B) radiation. To ensure we have enough vitamin D during the winter months, we should make sure we get 20 minutes a day of unprotected exposure to sunlight during the summer months to boost our body’s stores and include oily fish, eggs, mushrooms and grass fed, outdoor reared meats that contain vitamin D in your diet.

Productivity, Skill and Efficiency.

Different weather conditions work for different people. There are those who race better in cooler temperatures, but in general wet, cold and windy weather is going to affect performance. Adapt your goals to fit.

Colder and wetter weather is a great time to look at your productivity and skills – start strength training, take up Yoga or Pilates to balance your stress load and develop stability, mobility and your breathing strength, also, use your time swimming in the pool, on the turbo or running on a treadmill to work on your skill, via the Pose Method you can implement drills (included in the members area) that will help you prevent injuries, gain greater efficiency and speed up ready for the new season.

Another great idea is to gen up on your knowledge of the human body and triathlon. Become a student, read all about it on our website and the other great forums that are out there.

Performance Training.

Your performance can often improve if you incorporate the appropriate rest and recovery. As well as leaving the appropriate recovery between strength and interval sets- there is a need to have some easy periods in your year, think, rest to peak.

Many triathletes push themselves hard and ignore the body’s need for proper recuperation until they break. Aim to have a few periods of the year when you don’t schedule an early swim set and get out of bed whenever your body wants to. Also, sometimes the body is going to tell you to stop, remove the guilt factor when bad weather turns you off exercising, maybe its your body calling for a break.

Planning Time and Racing.

Tribal are huge advocates of including strength and self-care in your training week. The winter may be your perfect time to implement strength training so that by racing season, this practice is integrated and progressed enough for you to feel the great benefits that strength training brings.

Once you become a Tribal member you’ll have access to ‘The Indestructible Triathlete’, a resource that helps you start your strength training with the appropriate steps to ensure its specificity, effectiveness and safety.


Join Tribal Triathlete and your membership will unlock the door to a vast library of learning and motivational materials, including time-pressed approaches to endurance training. Membership costs just £19.99 a month and includes ten days of free video content and great email advice to get you started. 

Paul Roberts