The British winter is fast approaching, whether we like it or not! This is the time of
year for triathletes, cyclists, runners and other endurance fanatics, to change their
training plans to the shorter and colder days. Here’s a few tips to help make your
winter as fun, successful and injury free as possible.
Firstly, get healthy. A full season of racing always takes its toll, whether its
squeezing sessions in around work, school, family and even for the professionals
racing across the world. The missed sleep, constant fatigue, inevitable niggles and
big race days all add up and your body will thank you for a more relaxed attitude to
exercise. This doesn’t, however, mean lying on the couch and eating junk is going
to do you any favours. It’s a great time to do some light movement and some new
activities that you don’t always have the time for. Walking, yoga or bouldering are
all great to keep the body moving in a fun way whilst still letting it recover.
Its the off season, if you had a big summer of big goals then spend some time
enjoying the sport again. Don’t count the hours so precisely, arrange more rides
with friends, stop at cafes on the bike, get out in the hills to see new routes and
sides of the sport. For sure its great to conquer goals and prove what you’re
capable of, but take some time to have fun in the outdoors.
Avoid specific training for the early winter months. Winter training in the UK is very
tough on the body, don’t dive into flat out track sessions in November. Give your
body some time to get moving. It’s very easy to get back into great shape in
December but, chances are you’ll be injured or broken by April. There’s plenty of
things to work on that will give you the same endorphins as those top end race
Take some time to mull over new goals. Allow the dust to settle from the season,
then think about what might inspire you next year. Whether that just staying fit and
healthy, or getting the elusive Celtman blue t shirt, its all worth pursuing and
showing yourself what you’re capable of on your best, and worst, days.
A great way to enjoy the winter is racing. There are plenty of cyclocross, cross
country and road races around this time of year, if you miss the summer races then
get out in the mud on the weekends. Its a great way to stay sharp without having
to motivate yourself through cold, lonely sessions. Its also a great way to stay
socially involved in the sport, racing is always a social affair and a nice way to keep
in touch with friends.
These are all loose ideas of what can help you out in the winter. Everyone is
coming at the sport with different goals, time constraints and abilities and some of
the above might not apply to everyone.
Happy and healthy winter training!
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