Winter riding can feel like a bit of a slog, but put the miles in over the chilly months and come the summer you’ll be ahead of the pack. Here are some top tips to help.
1. Zero tolerance to excuses
Let’s get the tough one out of the way first! Finding reasons to get out and ride in winter weather is the fastest route to getting the miles in, getting fitter and let’s be honest, feeling really smug in the process. If it’s icy, take to the turbo instead — but a bit of rain and wind just builds character, and there’s nothing better than a post-ride thaw.
2. Get your winter routine down
Having a schedule is critical in the winter months. The windows of opportunity are smaller, so reducing deliberation and planning time is a must. It’s handy to have a regular, reliable group to head out with on dark evening rides — both for safety reasons and for that much needed motivation!
3. Decent winter kit equals more hours to train
Spending on summer kit is often a luxury, but in the winter it’s mandatory if you want to open up training opportunities. Get an epic set of reliable lights, ideally get two of each (front and rear) so if one fails you have a spare on the bike. Once you’ve got illumination, a breathable waterproof and some decent overshoes, the darker world is your oyster, whether pre or post work.
4. Turn your living room into Le Tour
With the likes of Sufferfest and Zwift at our fingertips, the turbo no longer needs to feel like punishment. Whether you’re training indoors because you really can’t stand winter weather, or using it to supplement your outdoor riding, there are some unrivalled benefits to going stationary: there’s no freewheeling so you work harder, you can pretend you’re a pro, you can easily squeeze in quick sessions for time saving and you’re never far from a snack…
5. Less hibernation, more motivation
Despite the lack of daylight, there is actually loads of time to ride in the winter. Why? Because there are fewer opportunities to spend evenings soaking up cider and BBQs. Whilst your friends are all hibernating, you can be out in the elements making the most of the winter season, and come the summer — you’ll be glad you did.