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6 RULES FOR WINTER TRAINING


1. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST Winter brings all kinds of weather conditions and you need to know what you’re up against. Weather conditions change what kit you need and affect what route you should take so it’s absolutely key to take this step first. Check the forecast for the week and consider changing sessions around to avoid the worst of the weather and then check on the morning before your ride to make sure you’ve got the right gear on. Finally...make sure it’s an accurate forecast and check the locations you’re heading to not just where you are starting. The Met Office generally provides the most accurate forecast.


2. LAYER UP There’s no such thing as bad weather just bad kit choices. Invest in a wide range of kit to suit all conditions. It’s important to layer up as well in case conditions change and you need to cool down or add an extra layer. Essentials: Waterproof overshoes, Winter socks, Tights, Base layer to suit temperature, winter jacket, rain jacket, buff, headband, glasses, 2 pairs of gloves so you can change during the ride if they get wet.


3. PLAN YOUR ROUTES If the weather is unsettled or it’s sub-zero make sure you plan a route to avoid the worst conditions. After completing rule number 1 you should have an idea of which areas will be best to avoid. Generally avoid higher grounds if the weather is unsettled and stick to gritted roads if the temperature drops below zero. Most conditions can be overcome with the right kit but if there’s the option to spend a few less hours in freezing rain...why not take it!


4. ADAPT YOUR PLANS IF NECESSARY Treat your training plan as the ‘ideal scenario’. If your steady 4/5h Sunday spin happens to coincide with sleet/wind and sub-zero conditions consider shortening the session and increasing the intensity or swapping your training sessions around. It might be drier on the Saturday so complete a longer ride then and move forward a rest day. The reality of living in the UK is that you’ll have to ride in tough conditions at some point over winter but moving a couple of sessions around or dropping a couple of hours here and there will often have a positive overall affect.


5. LOOK AFTER YOUR BIKE Riding in winter is harsh on bikes and if you don’t take the time to look after it your training sessions will be compromised. Take 10 minutes after every ride to hose down the frame, de-grease and re-lube the drivetrain and WD40 anything that hinges. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but will save you money in the long run and prevent you compromising your training by having worn out/broken equipment. It’s important to get your bike regularly serviced as well to prevent more serious damage so drop down the Backyard Bike Shop to get everything checked over.


6. HARDEN THE F*CK UP Riding through winter teaches you how to train and race when conditions are tough and what kit you need to wear and when. It means that on race day you can be 100% prepared regardless of the conditions. It’s surprising how quickly you adapt to the conditions and after a couple of rides cruising around in the cold will feel comfortable.



7. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES

Winter provides some of the most unique and picturesque views of any season. If you are adequetly prepared for the conditions you will be rewarded with some amazing scenes and form for when your event comes around.




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