Winter Parkour Clothing and Tips

So you want to start training outside in the winter. I have some suggestions that should make it more comfortable. As a general rule, wear multiple lightweight layers you can remove and replace to reduce how much you sweat. Wet = Cold

Upper Body

Hat - Any hat will do. I do not recommend headbands because of how cool the top of your head can get. No one is going to judge your winter hair.

Neck/Face - Depending on how windy it’s going to be, having a tight scarf (neck gaiter/face shield) works great. You can keep your throat warm and move it up to your nose and mouth if you need it.

Shirts - In order from inner to outer. (1) Skin tight breathable layer that won’t absorb sweat. (2) Tight thin fleece. (3) Thick fuzzy fleece/sweatshirt to trap heat. Zippers are always better so you can easily remove or vent if you get too hot.

Jacket - A thin water/wind resistant zip up with a hood works great instead of a thick puffy coat. The first layers tight to your body should keep you warm, not the jacket, which enables you to open and remove the jacket without drastically changing your temperature.

Gloves - Cheap thin knit finger gloves that you can buy 2/$1. They block the wind and still allow you to feel the objects you’re gripping. As a bonus, when you scrape holes in them you simply swap hands and get more use out of them without destroying nice gloves or breaking the bank.

Lower Body

Pants - In order from inner to outer. (1) Skin tight fuzzy pants. Women's (yes guys, ladies pants) tight pant/sleepwear are very inexpensive and warm, and best of all the crotch isn't so low that it restricts your legs and it's tight enough to stay up. (2) Comfortable sweatpants. (3) Optional wind/water resistant thin shell. In my experience, rarely do my legs get cold, but you can mirror the same layers as noted above for shirts as you do with pants to stay warmer. I like to be more comfortable running and jumping as multiple pant layers can be very restrictive.

Socks - If there’s a chance your feet will get wet (lots of snow) then 2 pairs of socks with the outer pair being wool works well. I usually wear one pair of standard cotton socks.

Shoes - Non-mesh upper so water can’t easily get in and aggressive traction to provide resistance from puddles and snow. Trail running shoes work great but whatever you are comfortable and warm in works best. If you can jog and jump properly in your normal winter boots then use those!

Winter Training Tips

Your body does a great job at regulating its own temperature, so let it! If you’re going into a situation that you know will be cold, telling yourself repeatedly, “it’s so cold, I’m so cold, it’s so cold...” will not help. Instead, relax into the cold and allow your body to warm itself. We can trick our body to generate more heat than it needs by exposing it to colder temperatures than the immediate environment. More about this method is discussed during outdoor winter classes.

Bring a backpack. Outdoor winter classes cover a lot of ground and use different locations, so have a backpack to hold extra items and pieces of clothing. Chapstick and water should always be packed. If you have one of those nifty insulated water bottles, it’s nice to fill it with warm water. Packing an extra pair of thin knit gloves is handy in case yours get wet.

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Parkour In The Snow?

WHEN

Starting Saturday January 4th 2020, outdoor classes will be offered for ages 10+. Saturday classes will rotate each week with the first and third Saturdays in Walworth County and the second and fourth Saturdays at Frame Park in Waukesha. Classes are from 9:30-11:00 am.  Sign up by clicking HERE.


WHERE

Walworth Location: Chase Bank N Washington St (North Parking Lot)
Waukesha Location: Frame Park Amphitheater (Between the Formal Gardens and the Baseball Field) 

WHY

Outdoor winter training is the best.  When we only train indoors with consistent temperature, light, sound, surfaces, and conditions, we get bored from our lack of adaptation. At its core, parkour is fundamentally designed to help you adapt. The indoor space in Elkhorn is great, but it shouldn’t be the only place we train.

Placing yourself in challenging environments promotes growth. Everything about outdoor winter training is harder and that challenge is what builds motivation and perseverance. By experiencing the cold we appreciate the warmer months (this also works for training in the hottest times in summer to appreciate the winter too!)

Winter parkour training has great physical benefit too. We move to stay warm and if we stop the cold sets in. Simple. Winter training is far more cardio intensive than any other condition. Your body has to work harder to generate heat and to move in more restrictive clothing. Wisconsin winter does not allow you to stand around, and so we move for almost the entire class.

Moving in slippery conditions is the best way to understand your contacted angle of momentum. Hand and foot precision and placement has to be perfect in order to get traction. Are you using your toe-push during jumps improperly? Jump on some ice. Are you landing with too much forward momentum? Land in the snow. Are you gripping incorrectly during vaults? etc.

Lastly, it really is a lot of fun. Some of you might be thinking that my idea of fun is somewhat twisted, but seriously, training in the snow is fun. There’s something wonderful about how snow makes the world quieter, and how beautiful it is to see snowflakes slowly falling, and how accomplished you feel when you realize you’ve forgotten how cold it really is.

So let’s train together outside this winter. Let’s do something new and challenging. Let’s become more resilient.

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