Image: Werner Moser via Flickr
Image: Werner Moser via Flickr

When I spoke to Ed Clancy and Yanto Barker recently, they told me I had to commit to a plan rather than wait to feel motivated by one. I find it really hard to get out in the colder weather, let’s say I have felt less than motivated during these colder months. I’ve put a lot of thought into what might change that for me. Warmer kit, definitely. And a healthier lifestyle – like many, I ate and drank my body weight in chocolate and all bad things over Christmas and I have certainly seen the impact of that in my skin and my energy levels.

So January has brought a definite need to commit. And I think I’ve made a decent start with new things for the new year.

First things first – thank you Le Col!

Firstly, warmer kit has most definitely helped! I have to say a massive thank you to the wonderful guys at Le Col for reading my Christmas wish list and so very kindly sending me the fabulous bib tights I listed on there. Father Christmas really did come early and I am absolutely thrilled with them! They are amazing! Fantastic quality and a great fit – exactly what I have come to expect from Le Col clothing and I have to say the brand is quickly becoming one of my firm favourites and top of my recommendations!

Le Col  Sport Ladies Tights 2014
These beauties! Thank you Le Col!

For all you Rapha fans out there, if you’ve not yet tried Le Col, you really should. Designed and founded by a pro cyclist who knows exactly what cyclists need in terms of design, quality and comfort. I don’t think you will be disappointed. My husband is a huge Rapha fan but having seen the Le Col kit that I have he’s pretty convinced about how great it is!

Warming Up

So, the bib tights and some Sealskinz overshoes that I got for Christmas have gone a long way to helping me find cycling more pleasurable again. Sadly though, both of my little ones have had viruses since Christmas so I’ve not really been able to get out – plus the weather in Notts has been all over the place, like much of the UK, snow, rain, ice and strong winds. So, the turbo trainer is set up and I’ve downloaded Yanto and Ed’s top three cycling tunes to help get my legs pumping! It feels pretty good cycling to the same tunes some of my cycling idols train to! I’ve also added my own personal favourite…Titanium by David Guetta! I’m not a dance music fan usually – it’s one I’ve done a few Spin classes to and I normally hate it when in the midst of the pain of spin but at home it’s brilliant and instantly gets the adrenaline flowing!

Healthy eating for a healthy me – supposedly!

I’ve cut back on chocolate – no mean feat for me – and instead I’m eating more dried fruit, cranberries, raisins, apricots that kind of thing…not exactly exciting, but it’s helping to reduce the sugar cravings. I’m also trying the Ovivo Organic Olive Leaf Infusion which is a new anti-oxidant drink. Did you know olive leaf extract is considered the ultimate natural defender of your immune system? No neither did I, but it has several hundred per cent greater antioxidant capacity than vitamin C and many more polyphenols (antioxidants from plant foods) than extra-virgin olive oil! Apparently this supplement drink contains significantly more antioxidant power than both green tea (no, I’m not a fan of green tea) and the many noni, goji, mangosteen and acai ‘super-juices’ you hear so much about, so it’s worth a go to try and give me a boost! And so far so good. OK, it doesn’t taste the best (I actually hate olives, but like olive oil and there’s no denying the olive flavour of this drink). I’ve been mixing it with some fruit juice and it’s all good! So this is another great thing you should try if you’ve not already done so.

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion

New research suggests that the olive leaf has even higher levels of healthy antioxidants which protect against heart disease, blood sugar problems, brittle bones and other serious conditions, making it suitable for everyone. It costs £13.99 for seven doses (one drink a day for a week – obviously!). With all the viruses going around in my household at the moment, this is just the boost my body has been calling out for!

Yoga for Cyclists

Oh, and another new thing I’ve been trying and loving is Yoga for Cyclists here in Nottingham! I’ve not done yoga for years, and I do mean years…about twenty actually and then I only did a couple of sessions. A little while ago I did some pilates which was really great but I’ve been quite poor at sticking to it (there goes that commitment again!). Just before Christmas, my back started giving me a bit of trouble – I’m guessing because I’ve been out on the bike far less lately – so when the opportunity came to give this a try, I couldn’t wait. It’s an hour long session once a week and for that hour my body is stretched in all ways but in a lovely calming manner. I walk out of that session feeling light and tall and uncurled and that feeling lasts for a couple of days before I start to feel tension creeping in again.  What’s completely amazing is the sleep I have on the night of the class. I sleep like a baby!! Worth every penny of the £6 it costs. My local library re-opened this week so I’ve been and grabbed some yoga books so I can do some more yoga independently at home – I’m not sure one hour a week is quite enough! Cyclists get super tight muscles (and being hunched over a laptop for numerous hours a day doesn’t help either!) – you’ll be amazed how great you feel when everything has been stretched and uncurled. And the fifteen minutes of peace, quiet and darkness for relaxation at the end of the class is wonderful!!

What new things are you trying for the New Year? Any new fitness trends, or healthy eating options that you’re giving a whirl? Or any new kit to shout about?

Now, to think about the cycling challenges I want to set myself for 2015…




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