Real ‘winter’ training

Monday 20th December 2010

by MikeC

I was recently inspired by reading Mr Leadley’s blog (http://www.velo29cyclingteam.co.uk/2010/12/18/not-a-great-start-to-the-festive-month/) and realised it had been some time since I had put fingers to keyboard. The end of the racing season went really well for me, with weddings, pubs and parties galore alongside a good 7kg weight gain. That’s a pure guess but judging by how tight my jeans got it is probably a good one. Motivated by the need to fit comfortably into my jeans (and not buy any new ones) I started some form of autumn/winter riding.
A mountain bike group ride with some friends from out of the area gave me the buzz for off-road riding again, going sideways down a steep, muddy schute is grin inducing fun. This was followed by a get together and a few beers, re-counting racing war stories from the past season. Winter training in the last few years has consisted of steady miles in grey, cold, wet and windy weather but it would seem that the UK is getting a taste of real winters for a while. The heavy and prolonged snowfall at the end of November took everyone by surprise and meant that the cross tyres came out earlier than normal. Bike riding soon became a form of transport rather than training. I certainly felt very smug riding past all the cars stuck in gridlock through Nunthorpe and down Marton Road. I know some people (ok, most people) think I’m insane riding my bike in these conditions but I take extra care, light myself up well and smile at other road users. It is certainly more reliable than the public transport I normally use. So, my Sunday training ride this week got me thinking, you know it’s real ‘winter’ training when: 1. Your more focused on the pain in your hands rather than your legs, because its so frikin cold. 2. You set out with 2 full 750ml bottles and they are both frozen solid in 30 minutes and 3. Rather than focus on your HR monitor to stay in your ‘endurance’ zone your pedalling fairly briskly just to stay warm. Saying all that, I actually enjoy it, sunshine hours are above average, and the scenery has been spectacular…………and I hate the turbo! But all this riding isn’t really training, why, well I simply I love riding my bike. So get out and enjoy this great winter we’re having.

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