Winter is almost upon us. The mornings are darker, colder, and it’s at this time of year that the motivation to get on your bike starts to slip. Don’t let the excuses get hold, there are some really simple ways to keep yourself on your bike.
My first winter as a cyclist back in London was a chilly affair, and only conquered due to choosing the correct clothing combos for my rides. While we feel all the cold differently, layering means you can undress as the ride progresses, or relayer if the weather turns nasty. Some key kit items to add to your cycling apparel are:
If you plan to ride in the morning, get EVERYTHING you need ready the night before. Lay out your kit and nutrition. This includes your bike ready with tyres pumped, lights charged and fitted, and bottles filled and in their cages. Being prepared stops the excuses from under the dooner when the alarm goes off.
3.INDOOR TRAINER SESSIONS
A necessary evil when it comes to winter training, these sessions mean you can continue to increase your aerobic fitness, strength and improve cycling technique when the weather outside isn’t appealing. You can either join an indoor cycle studio (ensure it is specific enough to your chosen goals), or buy yourself a turbo trainer and download sessions from the internet. Set yourself up in the garage with your buddies and take turns setting the sessions for each other, or join the many using online cycling platforms such as ZWIFT.
4.RIDE WITH FRIENDS
One of the key things that keeps us cycling is the social aspect of riding. Arranging to ride with friends on a weekly basis is a key motivator to many. It doesn’t matter if it’s your regular Sunday ride, a hill strength session in your local neighbourhood, or a joint commute to work with friends, knowing your friends are waiting for you is a good kick up the bum when the alarm clock goes off in the morning.
5.SET A GOAL
An obvious but important motivation throughout winter is to set a spring cycle event or benchmark. Setting yourself a goal to train for means you are less likely to come up with reasons to not head out on your rides. This goal could be an event that lights that fire in you to train (make sure it scares you just enough!), one that you have entered into with friends (don’t be the weakest link in your team), or if events aren’t your thing, how about creating your own cycling milestone for which to train.
6.BE A BETTER RIDER
If you are fit and strong going into winter, then the only way to hold onto that or improve is to keep training. For every week you don’t train your fitness levels drop dramatically. Keeping up regular training is key for your continued cycle fitness and there is nothing worse that getting into spring with that ‘I wish’ feeling. Keep in training, keep on improving, keep on riding.
7.GET A PLAN
If you have a plan for your training over the colder months, you are more likely to want to tick boxes, get involved and be results driven. Employing the services of a coach to train you throughout winter is the perfect way to keep you on track. Coaches not only help guide you towards your goals, they are also the monkey on your back when it comes to hitting the snooze button! Big brother is indeed watching.
So…. as we wait for the grip of winters chill, get things in place now that will help you stay on track with your training, sustain your motivated, and ensure those pedals keep turning. Trust me, you never regret getting up for a ride, the sunrises are worth it, the coffee tastes oh so good, and the feeling of getting the job done in chilly temps with your face frozen into a large grin, makes you a proper HERO!
If you need a training plan to keep you on track over winter, talk to us about our Athlete Training Programmes
Join us on our spring cycle training retreats for that added incentive to train throughout winter.