The new adidas Climaheat collection drops tomorrow and I was tasked with road testing its performance somewhere freezing. In August. Mission accepted. I'm never one to back off of a challenge, especially when it means going to the ends of the Earth, literally, to try to withstand the elements. I'll also never sacrifice gorgeous nature because of a little bit of bad weather (I'm a Northeast girl after all), but nothing quite prepares you for the insane weather machine that is Iceland. Forget what everyone tells you about the jet stream and how Iceland is actually not super icy, this place is damn near freezing. Because I'm an athletic overachiever, I booked a trip to the 66 degree North parallel to really see how these pieces hold up in extreme conditions.
The first few days were lovely. We had somewhat mild weather and some great sunshine, but as we drove past the hipster horses with wild hair and saw Katla looming in the distance, the weather began to deteriorate pretty fast. In Ayurvedic terms, my excess Vata means that I'm super sensitive to cold weather and wind so layer up I did in some of the most high-tech performance gear you can find. First stop was a run on Reynisfjara beach where the wind whips like fire and rogue waves have been known to take out tourists. I got this.
Imagine the earliest settlers of Iceland, Norse warriors coming over to settle this weird volcanic terrain. They wrapped themselves in fur and got on with it. No excuses. The Climaheat hoodie has fibers that are inspired by natural fur to trap heat but also helped keep me dry. Staying dry is one of the most important things to consider if you're hiking or running somewhere remote in winter. Wet skin, sweat and cold weather are not a good mix if you're unprepared.
Onward we went and left blue sky behind for an ominous cloud that hung over the glacier in the distance. My main goal was to experience the glacier lagoons and I was tipped off by a friend that the more impressive sight was Diamond Beach. Giant chunks of glacier break off into the lagoon and then get washed away into the ocean and pushed violently back onto the black sand beach. It's the most amazing sight too see, honestly. I thought it would take my breath away until I realized it was so cold that I could actually see my breath. The weather was the most extreme I've experienced, with freezing rain pelting down while dense clouds and wind bit through the air. My pants are fleece lined which was incredibly warm and my whole body felt insulated like I was wrapped in a giant blanket.
I challenge you all to get outside this fall/winter and push yourself to fill your lungs with the crisp, cool air of the season. Let icicles form in your veins and push the limits of what you think it possible for yourself. Let's not fall victim to the lazy winter routine.
Tips on Working Out in Cold Weather
- Make sure to have a proper warm up. Stretching is key in cold weather. Some kind of cardio warm up and a stretch will prevent muscles from freezing up, literally, leading to injury.
- Focus on high intensity. I love doing high intensity workouts in the winter because it really warms the body up and keeps the joints juicy. Jump squats, high-knees, side-shuffles...all are amazing ways to heat the body up. If you're into yoga, add a lot more sun salutations into your practice to stay warm throughout.
- Layer, Layer, Layer. When it comes to the elements you want to have the freedom to strip down then layer back up post-workout.
- Look for the details. Details like extended sleeves with thumbholes, hoods, side-adjusters to keep in heat, all of these things are the tiny details that make or break a comfortable outdoor winter workout
- Use the surroundings. I love to get creative and use the landscape as the gym. Costs nothing too ;-)