Training in a detached wooden garage in the UK - tips?

If your recovery drink hasn’t frozen it isn’t that cold.

Love hearing on the podcast and reading on here about people using multiple fans, yet back in December I remember wearing a base layer, a long sleeve jersey and toe thingies and still being cold.


Our last house had an uninsulated and unheated conservatory that I used for training. During winter months it was usually 0-5C inside. Now that I’ve moved indoors in our new house, I miss the cold environment.

Heating was never a concern for me, I would still get too hot in there. But the start of the workout sucked because of the fan at full speed, pushing cold air onto my cold body. Layer up. I used to start with a jersey and arm warmers over my base layer, then ditch those over the first 10 minutes. Sometimes used to wear knee warmers because my knees would never manage to warm up enough to feel comfortable.

I have the opposite problem and train in the spare bedroom of a tiny flat which is always too warm!

Shivering in a cold wooden shed is what I dream about :sweat_smile:

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Has anyone tried using an electric heated fan?

Sounds counterintuitive I know, but it was 0°C this morning, and it’s the flow of air I think that’s more important than the temp.

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In the winter I do the warm up and “openers” with the fan off.

20secs then to get off the bike and switch the fan on before the main workout.

I must say that I am enjoying reading this thread. Keep it coming, peoples…

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Two tips for fan use in a cold garage/shed:

  1. Get a remote switch for that moment when you’re ready for cold air.

  2. Have the fan close to you and able to be directed at just your head. On very cold days I never have airflow directed at my body, it makes me too cold with the wind chill, but my head NEVER gets too cold even with an 18inch industrial fan literally a foot from my face.

Much the same as everyone else, single skin garage, no heating or insulation. Dress warm for the first few minutes of the warm up and then after 10 minutes its shorts and shirts with a fan in my face. Overshoes work for me to keep my feet warm.

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I’d also recommend a big LCD temperature display so you know your garages temperature and from there make up what you like and don’t like to train in… I guess it comes down to what we individually class as a cold garage. I like to train in a temperature of between 10-14’c (50-57’F). Would this be classed as cold or warm… doesn’t matter I guess, I just don’t like freezing air and the wind chill that comes from that, I’ve done layers, gloves etc but my choice is to knock off that chill and it costs me about £30 in red diesel per year to avoid.

I also have an 18 inch fan some 10 inches from my head, switch to hand, also a Aircon unit for my legs to the side, great in summer, again something easy in reach.

When it’s below 10’c and I haven’t allowed enough time for the diesel heater to do its thing, I go with the hat, before removing when it ‘warms’ up and hitting the off on the remote…

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Curious. What is Red Diesel? I figure the red is a dye they put in it - but what does it indicate?

Our farm diesel is purple to indicate off-road only.

Just tax free diesel for agricultural vehicles isnt it?

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Red or pink diesel is a fuel that is used in off-road vehicles, machinery and heaters. It is used in many industries, most prominently construction and farming. It’s the same as regular diesel, but with a red dye added to it to prevent it being used on road-going vehicles as it’s taxed lower and therefore is around 20% cheaper than a garage forecourt.

UK diesel marked with a red dye for agricultural or off-road use only. Kerosene is also similarly coloured and is used for home “oil” heating systems - it’s what we have for our house since we are out in the country and away from the mains gas (natural gas not gasoline) network.

There’s different taxes on dyed and undyed diesel, basically there’s not much on dyed fuels, currently in the UK kerosene is around 50p per litre (I think our last delivery was 48p), red diesel is around 58p per litre while undyed or white diesel at the filling station is £1.30 per litre. So a big incentive to “cheat” :wink: but it’s not the taxman who you’d be dealing with but customs and excise (fuel tax is actually several taxes one of which is a “duty” and governed by different regs). C&E arose from dealing with the old smugglers and as such have a lot of legal powers - basically if they knock on your door it’s a case of “of course you can come in” - you might not have a door otherwise!

Paying 99p a litre for limited small quantities I’m using per year. Last month I went to fill up my container they now required name, address, registration of car when purchasing, even when it’s only 30p difference for me, I guess people are still willing to save a few pennies.

And merged with the taxman as HMRC several years ago. So now the taxman can kick down your door etc…

I prefer the cold garage! Tried indoor indoor training and just boiled, even with multiple fans. Main thing is being able to turn the fan on whilst riding… start wearing a hoodie, 5 mins in hoodie comes off, ten mins in turn the fan on.


I bike in a detached garage as well, usually gets down to the 30s F, or 0-5 C. I have a fan attached to a smart plug and tell Alexa to turn it on once I warm up. I wear layers of clothes and slowly strip them off to regulate heat.

Today I decided to wear a merino wool base layer that I use for skiing and it was a game-changer. Kept me warm initially, and then when I started to sweat it kept me cool. Never had to take it off. The amount of moisture that it wicked off my skin onto the outer layer was insane, it was all beaded up. Going to keep wearing wool from now on!


I have mine in an uninsulated garage, start off with layers and peel off. By the end, I’m down to just my bib.

One thing I’ve learned is to keep my riding shoes in the heated house and bring them to the workout space or my toes stay way too cold the whole time, which gets in the way of delivering power. Crucial learning.

I also have full finger riding gloves, and a set of Pearl Izumi lobster-style winter gloves (that aren’t all that warm, but better than the uninsulated variety). Again, keeping them in a heated space helps. I normally start with insulated, switch them out for the full-finger gloves after a few minutes before I sweat in them, then I end up taking those off. You do sweat a lot indoors, even in the cold, and it runs right down your arms.

Also keep towels on my top bar and handlebars. I have a Y-shaped towel suspended from handlebar to seatpost, and then drape a sweat catching hand towel over the handlebars.

Can’t beat Merino for any activity, be it hiking, running, riding etc… got around 10 merino t-shirts, tops, hats, inner gloves, trunks…socks… if you can buy it and there is an option of merino/100% wool, might be more expensive, but its well worth the price.

Another benefit is they don’t smell like cotton and all those “technical” fabrics. after use and like you say keep you warm when cold and cool when warm or sweating. Also good if doing multiple day activity and carrying extra clothing isn’t an option…I’d recommend the brands Smart wool, ice breaker, in fact I’m at the office now and all under layers are merino, feels like silk!

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Suprised by a few comments on extending the warm ups. I’ve never felt that this was necessary to be honest. I take the warm up for what it is.