Winter training is not easy, lets be honest its so much easier to put the miles and hours in when the sun is shining. However, I have found that a good winter training can make the difference when it comes to the following year and when you start to look at what races you may compete in.
A few tips I would give to anyone:
- Cycling miles: From a cycling point of view try to get at least one long, over 30 miles, cycle in once a week. It means your body still remembers what it is like to be on the bike for a period of time, meaning coming the spring months it doesn’t become as much of a shock.
- Winter kit: When I started cycling and running, I tried to buy cheap kit for the winter months, an expensive mistake as I ended up buying the cheap stuff and then having to buy the good things on top, i.e. double spend. A few recommendations:
- Waterproof or windproof jacket: This will make the difference on cold and damp days. Goretex offer a range of good cycling jackets that are both windproof and waterproof.
- Cycling jersey: Go for a windproof and shower resistant cycling jersey, Castelli Gabba is great. Some argue it is a bit expensive however I have both the long sleeve and short sleeve jersey and I couldn’t fault them. For the autumn a set of Castelli nano flex arm warmers paired with the short sleeve jersey is perfect. I have worn both for the entire winter, washing them each time, and they are still as good as new.
- Cycling bottoms: Get a long pair of cycling bottoms, again windproof and shower proof.
- Overshoes: I have struggled to get a set of overshoes that are fully waterproof. In the end I have bought expensive ones, over £60, and cheap ones, less than £30, and none have offered full waterproof even though they were meant to be.
- Baselayers: Invest in a couple of merino wool base layers, they don’t have to be cycling ones, find a discounted set on cotswolds. Also sealskin offer fantastic wind and waterproof socks, they are worthwhile especially as the overshoes are never going to be the best.
In addition to the clothing, it is important to winter proof your bike to make sure it gets through the harsh winter. If you don’t have a second winter bike this is even more important. A great video is GCN’s on doing this:
There is a cost to the above however if you buy right, they will be fine for a number of winters!