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Cold Weather Triathlon Tips

How To Stay Warm During Your Triathlon When It’s FREEZING Out

Call me a baby, but I would say that 51 degrees counts as cold weather. Add some rain and wind and you’ve got yourself a pretty cold day for a triathlon. Especially since you’re wet for most of the race.

Cold Weather Triathlon Tips |

These are the conditions that we raced in last weekend and today, I have a few simple tips for how to stay warm should you have a rogue rainy or cold race day.

1. Fill A Water Bottle With Hot Water

This tip kinda happened by accident but it’s probably my best tip. Before we left our hotel room, I filled up my extra water bottle with HOT water.  I didn’t have any more room in my gear bag for this water bottle, so I held onto it as we walked to the transition area. Holding onto this hot water bottle felt SO GOOD and it surprisingly kept me warm.

Another reason this tip is the bomb is because after the swim, my hands and feet were numb and cold and rinsing them off with the warm water felt amazingggg.

2. Bring Extra Socks

This is what the transition area looked like:

Cold Weather Triathlon Tips |

We had to run a good 300 feet through this mud to exit the transition area. Then, there was a HUGE puddle that we had to run through right before the bike mount line. All this to say, my feet were muddy and wet during and after the bike and I was SO GLAD that I brought an extra pair of socks. Having dry socks for the run was awesome.

3. Cover Your Extremities + Your Shoes

Because I saw that there was the cold, rainy weather in the forecast, I tweeted and asked for tips the day before our race. Here’s the advice I got:

Cold Weather Triathlon Tips |


I don’t have shoe covers, but I took Billy Tune’s advice about the bike gloves and it really helped. The bike ride was windy and cold and although my lips were probably blue, at least my hands were warm. My feet… that’s a different story.

His advice about covering your shoes in transition is also a great tip. I just used a plastic bag to cover them during the swim and thankfully, it stopped raining during the bike, so my sneakers also remained dry. Even though they got wet as I was running out of transition, there’s just something about putting on dry sneakers that makes a huge difference.

I also had some hand warmers in my bag and although I didn’t use them, I think they’re a great thing to have on hand, just in case.

4. Bring Dry Clothes

Once the adrenaline wears off and you stop sweating after you cross the finish line, you may start to shiver. Damp clothes and cool weather aren’t a great combo, so make sure you bring a dry shirt and a warm jacket. I thought I would be fine in my thin little cycling jacket, but it was damp and didn’t keep me warm. Thank God for Davey who kindly gave me his jacket. What a gentleman!

Cold Weather Triathlon Tips |

Every race has its own unique challenges and part of the fun of doing triathlons is facing those challenges head on and overcoming them. So if your next race day is cold or rainy, we hope that these tips will help you stay as warm as possible so that you can enjoy your race!


Check out this post for 24 awesome tips on doing a triathlon in the rain.

Do you have any cold/cool weather triathlon tips? Leave a comment and tell us what they are!