After a long stormy February, we’re hoping that the weather will start to pick up, but we may still be in for a few more cold snaps before we get some ideal training weather!
Maybe you’ve been gritting your teeth all through winter, training hard or maybe you’ve had a couple of months off over the festive season and are starting to get back into fitness – either way motivation can be few and far between, even amongst the most hardcore cyclists! Whether 2020 will see you take on your first event or you’re a seasoned event pro, here’s some winter training tips from Sportive HQ to keep your motivation levels up in this last stretch…
Shake it up! – If the weather isn’t quite right for cycling then try different activities that you wouldn’t normally do, this will keep you fit and active and help build strength which will help your overall fitness – go for a run, try some yoga or even your local trampoline park to get the heart racing.
Relax! – Take the pressure off, relax & have some down time, we all need some rest and this will help your body recover better. When the weather isn’t great, take the time to reconnect with friends (over cake of course!), your body will thank you for it and you will reap the rewards later in the year! Don’t beat yourself up for resting up!
Just paint one wall… – Now bear with us, as this may seem like a weird one… Building up the motivation to jump on your bike or get out for a run on a winters day is much like any DIY project (which you’ll do anything to avoid) Once when my DIY motivation was low and Netflix was calling… I said to myself “I’ll just paint one wall in the bathroom, at least I will have made a start”… once I had the roller covered in paint and my scruffs on, it was pointless stopping after the one wall – I had the whole bathroom painted in a couple of hours! The same applies to cycling, once you’re in your kit and give yourself small goals to kick start your motivation, you will almost always surpass them and end up doing longer than you first planned.
Preparation, preparation, preparation! – Getting ready to go on a ride or for a run on a cold dark morning is much like attempting the school run with no prior preparation the night before – almost impossible! Make sure you get your gear out the night before to make it that bit easier to peel yourself out of your bed and resist hitting that snooze button! There’s nothing worse than scrambling around in the dark looking for your kit!
Training on your own is hard – In winter there is no better motivation than having a buddy to train with, you don’t want to let each other down and rarely end up cancelling – even in the wind and rain! If you don’t have cycling friends, why not join them for a run or fitness class and mix it up a bit – it all helps to build your overall fitness and strength.
Why not join a club? – If none of your friends are game then why not join a local cycling club or find your nearest parkrun to train with other like-minded people? You can find local clubs on the British Cycling website.
There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! – We all know that we don’t get many sunny days at this time of year so making sure you’ve got the right kit will make your training more bearable and mean you’re less likely to dread your next ride. Keeping your hands and feet warm will make a huge difference and doesn’t have to cost the earth! For high quality cycling apparel at sensible prices check out D2D clothing’s range….
Why are you training? – Everyone has their own reasons for training, whether it’s a goal event or for general fitness – keep reminding yourself of these reasons and focus on that when your motivation is low – perhaps pop a photo of your goal on your fridge or inside of your wardrobe door!
Bad weather improves your performance – training in the wind or rain is not only character building but it also helps build your strength and can help with your bike handling skills – if you can master the bike on a rainy windy day then you can be stronger and faster on the finer days!
Keep cosy inside – contrary to the above point, nobody really wanted to go out in storm Ciara Dennis or Ellen so on the really bad days, look at indoor alternatives for training – go to the gym, get set up on the turbo or simply do a yoga or fitness class at home.
An apple a day – this time of year sees colds and coughs soaring through households, there’s nothing worse than illness putting you out of action for a few weeks – make sure you’re eating well, sleeping enough and keeping hydrated!
Fuel your body… Training in bad weather can drain your energy levels quicker, make sure you’ve always got nutritious and healthy snacks on hand and some gels when things get tough. For the world’s best sports nutrition for the world’s best endurance racers….check out Mountain Fuel’s range…
Set yourself goals and plan your training – we can always find something better to do when the weather is bad, but if you set yourself weekly goals and a weekly routine, it makes it easier to get out training. If Sunday is your day out on the bike, you’re more likely to stick to that day and go out, even if the weather isn’t favourable. Or if you set yourself a weekly mileage goal, you won’t want to miss it.
Virtually challenge yourself – sign up to the monthly challenges on Strava, set up with your friends and this will give you the motivation to push through the miles!
If in doubt eat cake – on the days where you manage to drag yourself out in the wind or rain, be sure you make time for a cake stop or if you’re short of time take some delicious treats in your pockets!
Give your training more focus with an event – Getting an event booked into your diary gives you a reason to train and helps give you routine to your training. structure and a sense of accountability. Think what an achievement it will be to cross that finish line and remember that everything banked now will help you take a step closer to your goals.
Don’t have any events planned yet? Check out our upcoming events for ideas…