Although we haven’t hit winter yet, the weather has definitely been giving us a little taste of what’s to come. Flooding, rain, fog, cooler weather and with 3 months still to go until the official start of winter. Australia being a huge country has different types of Winter but no matter where you are, the drop in temperature often comes with a drop in motivation and training.
But it doesn’t have to be the case!
Here are some ideas to keep you in the saddle even when the weather is battling against you!
Join a Winter Competition
There are loads of online cycling competitions that you can join to keep you on track. Some are based on kms travelled per week and others elevation. Make it exciting and have a crack at training for an Everest or simply joining some challenges in Strava. You can even ride for charity and get your friends and family to donate. Win-win.
Make sure you have the right gear.
Winter is coming. . . A great excuse to check out your local bike stores or your favorite online shop for their runout sales and winter gear. Make sure that you have the appropriate gear for your climate. You can google average temperature/ rainfall for your area depending on the month and go from there. If you see some electric boot warmers and you like them, now is the time to splurge!
Race Race Race
Bundle up those kids and drag the bikes onto the car and hit the road. Many smaller regions have winter series racing. Generally, there is a race on every week or two and you can make it fun for the whole family. Kids racing is usually first followed by an Men’s /Women’s race. These races are a good way to make new friends, challenge yourself on a new course and potentially have a shot at winning a series!
Sick of riding in the cold?
Head to warmer weather. Auscycling has been releasing some awesome races in the NT and Norther Queensland lately and what better time than to head to warmer weather and give your boots a chance to dry. You can find all of the races per state listed on their website. Instead of just searching for races close by, try ticking the other boxes to see what’s around Check it out here: AusCycling | Events
Take advantage of everyone else’s off season.
Now is the time to put in some hard training and even hit the gym for some cross-training. Many athletes taper down in winter to base training but there are still some awesome races that you can compete in during the winter months. Now is the perfect time to work out a training plan including gym sessions, hone down your nutrition, get some racing in the legs and just enjoy the freedom of getting out and riding in nature.
Reap the benefits of cold weather training.
1. You ride harder to get the body moving and warm up. Your basal metabolic rate is slightly increased during cold weather and therefore you burn more calories.
2. Cold, dark weather is known to increase depression and decrease mood. Getting out on the bike during these bouts of miserable weather greatly increases mood! Not only are you getting a natural antidepressant by exercising, but you are also working on your overall health too.
3. Cold-exposed and cold-adapted athletes have increased immune system activity when exposed to cold weather.
Training in the cold weather also has other benefits come race day. You will know how to fuel your body as you have been training in the cold, you will know how to handle your bike in the wet weather and what you need to wear during these bouts of cold or rain.
Remember other countries have it worse.
In terms of daylight hours, rain and maximum temperatures only hitting 25 degrees celcius yearly it is incredible that the UK and Europe have the Top 10 Best all time cyclists in the world (Top Ten All-Time Best Cyclists in the World: Champion Cyclists (sportsgoogly.com). Maybe it’s time to put our weather in perspective and realise that we have it pretty good!
Pull out that bike trainer
Yes, its hard to get motivated when it’s pelting down outside, but it’s a great excuse to pull out the dusty bike trainer and do some indoor training. It is always better to train outside but if the visibility is unsafe sometimes it is necessarily to training on the stationary trainer. Get yourself set up properly so that you have a place that you can train that is stimulating. Pull out an old tv or set up your phone so you can watch cycling on YouTube or Global Cycling network. There is always live racing on and it might just be what you need to keep the legs turning. If you find you are enjoying training indoors it may be worth investing in Zwift or similar. If you can’t do the TV setup you can always listen and learn. Podcasts and audiobooks can be great when you are cycling. You are more focused and less distracted, and the information tends to sink in a bit more.
Set yourself some goals
Simply put, goal setting is a great way to keep on track. Write down your training sessions and where you want to be in the short and the long term and slowly tap away at your goals. Make sure they are achievable and seek help if you want to use your time wisely and get results. At PCS Coaching we cover goal setting and have spoken about how having a training plan can really benefit you when the motivation is low. We have a free online training available for anyone to access Check it out HERE: Free Mountain Bike Training https://pcscoaching.com.au/free-mountain-bike-training/ or speak with PCS about your goals and how you want to train through winter and we can make a training plan to suit your lifestyle. Book a breakthrough call here :Book A Breakthrough Session – PCS Coaching
High Performance Mountain Bike Coach
My speciality is helping serious and recreational mountain bikers break through plateaus to attain higher levels of performance so that they can get fitter, faster, stronger and win more races!