Cycling in the winter not everybody’s idea of fun
However, if you’re using your bike for sport, or thinking of having a go at entering some events in early 2019, you will need to be packing in some high intensity workouts in a short space of time..
On top of that, if you want to improve your strength and speed, you’re going to need to push the boundaries of what your body can do.
Embrace the weather
Winter in the UK can feel like a long time, if you have some early competitions 2019 just get out there and ride. Don’t be deterred by the rain either – once you’re wet, you’re wet, and it’s not all that bad if you’re wearing the right kit.
Embrace the turbo trainer
Not to contradict tip 1… but if you’re really not feeling the cold why not take your training indoors, Winter is often seen as turbo time, as icy conditions mixed with rain, wind and generally unpredictable conditions makes heading out on long rides no fun. Choosing to turbo is a safer and more time efficient riding option. Avoiding bad weather is a good enough reason to use a turbo, but the real benefit is to use it as an effective method of training, if you want to improve your strength and speed, you’re going to need to push the boundaries of what your body can do. To do that, occasionally you need to put your head down and grit your teeth – and that is sometimes better done away from traffic and distraction.
Maintain high intensity speed sessions
Often riders choose to opt for ‘getting the miles in’ over winter, keeping the intensity low and increasing volume. Come March, it’s often the same riders that get a huge shock to the system when they hit early season races. Maintaining speed work and high intensity sessions during winter continues to benefit short term muscular endurance, working alongside base fitness.
Wear the right kit
As the saying goes – ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing choices’. Check the weather reports regularly, and dress accordingly. Don’t be that rider in shorts in December when it’s 3 degrees!
Stay fuelled for your rides
In colder weather it’s often easy to neglect drinking enough fluids or eating enough food during your rides. Along with this, sometimes thick gloves can make it difficult to reach into jersey pockets for food and before you know it you’re blowing up on that next big climb and seeing stars for the rest of the ride.
It goes without saying that lights are an essential piece of kit which enables riders to highlight their presence to other road users. In winter, this is arguably more important as the days are shorter and the sun is at its weakest. Small, light and rechargeable LED lights are perfect for those dark, winter nights and can be commonly found at most cycling and sportswear shops – just remember to keep them charged!