For many, winter is like Marmite – you either love it or you hate it. It’s cold, wet and dark; which aren’t exactly the most ideal weather conditions for anyone, let alone cyclists. So it should come as no surprise that you may find a considerably less amount of cyclists out on the road throughout the winter months, than you would in say spring or summer. However, poor conditions shouldn’t be the sole deterrent that prevents you from hopping on your bike, especially for those that have been regularly training all-year round. As such, here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t lose sight of your goal and why you should continue to refine your winter cycling training plan – rather than abandon it altogether.
Train hard, ride harder
If you’re working to a training plan that’s working for you, then why stop just because it’s winter? Providing that you’re well equipped for the changes in temperature, weather and lighting, then you shouldn’t be put off from winter cycling. In fact, it will likely help you to prepare better for the subsequent spring and summer months, since you’ll be training in harsher conditions. As such, if your current training regime is a little too taxing for winter, then you should look to refine your plan rather than postpone it altogether until spring. Ultimately, if you stop cycling for winter, it’ll make it much harder to get back to the performance levels you’re used to, so it’s best to stay active throughout this period.
Layer up for winter cycling!
If being cold is one of the main reasons that you’re reluctant to get out on the road, then a quick fix is to simply layer up! Cycling clothes such as jerseys, gilets, gloves, baselayers, and neck/arm/leg warmers are sure to maintain your core body temperature and make you feel more comfortable in the saddle too. Moreover, when cycling in the rain, you should look to equip yourself with waterproof and windproof clothing to prevent your clothes getting wet and making it a much tougher ride. To keep yourself dry, you should look to wear waterproof clothing items such as overshoes, trousers, socks,
Be safe, be seen
As possibly the most common warning issued to bikers before the introduction of the darker days of winter, being as highly visible as possible to motorists can literally reduce the risk of accidents. When riding in low light conditions, though, you should always ensure that you’re wearing High-Viz or brightly coloured clothing to heighten your visibility to other motorists no matter the season. In addition, a good set of bike lights and reflectors are essential to increasing your visibility out on the road, while a set of mudguards or cycling glasses are a good idea to prevent water flicking up into your face in wet conditions.
In short, the winter months shouldn’t put you off continuing training and reaching your goals. Whether it’s a PB on your regular route or preparation for a competition in the new year that you’re aiming for, there are a myriad of products that are designed to alleviate the burden of winter cycling and training in poor weather conditions. Consequently, equipping yourself with the right items to do this will ensure that you won’t lose sight of your goal this winter. Good luck everyone!
*This post is in collaboration with Aqua Blue Sport Clothing