Winter training for cyclists: The key to staying motivated
It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not for the faint hearted, but winter training can be a great way to stay in form, keep fitness levels up, and shed the extra pounds that you may have acquired over the festive period.
Ditch the indoor trainer and get back out there
Whilst many prefer the comfort of the rollers or the treadmill in the winter months, here at Bikmo we are firm advocates of riding all year round. With a greater chance of wind, rain and low temperatures however, winter training is something that a rider needs to be fully prepared for.
If you are lacking motivation, the whole ‘cycling + suffering = glory’ thing is taken to a whole new level during winter months. Roads that you usually fly down can be transformed by a 20mph+ headwind, and tricky climbs can be taken at a canter. Throw some rain, snow, sleet or hail into the mix, and it’s a whole new ball game.
Wearing the right kit
Having the correct clothing is absolutely vital to winter training. We advise purchasing a good pair of arm warmers, as often that gap between the sleeve and the glove can be extremely distracting if not fully covered. It can also render your hands and fingers numb, which can only have a bad effect on your bike handling.
A casquette under the helmet is also a great idea, as is having a suitable jacket and gloves. One key area to take extra care of is your feet. Be sure to try to keep the ventilation good, as the feet are an all-too-often neglected part of the cyclist’s anatomy that can become injured very easily. You don’t want to learn this the hard way – we speak from experience! Be sure also to take enough food and drink with you, particularly when doing a long ride.
Try something new
The winter months are a great opportunity to get off road and try something new, and mountain biking can be a great way to rediscover that initial love for the bike, see things you’d never get to see on the road, as well as work on your bike handling skills.
Fitting in rides around work can be tricky, so consider getting some powerful lights and getting the miles in at night. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s a certain thrill to riding under streetlights and feeling the cold night air in your lungs. Obviously with this, however, visibility is a huge factor. It’s vital that you’re able to see clearly, and also that fellow road users can clearly see you!
Whether you stick to your road bike, or you decide to take up mountain biking, be sure to stay safe and stay covered. With the cold weather comes icy conditions that can be a nightmare for bike safety. We offer bike insurance to suit both disciplines.
So remember folks, if you’re out on the road this weekend and riding into a 30mph headwind, the rain lashing your face and you think to yourself, “What am I doing?”, take a deep breath and think of Sean Kelly….