Its hard to keep things going through winter and get out there and I feel this! Some days, in fact many days I just want to stay under a blanket with my fleecy socks and PJs on. However if I don’t stay active then it affects my mood and I end up not feeling good about myself, not to mention I do want to come out of winter with just a little bit of fitness. So here are my top 5 tips for staying active in the colder months!
Make plans with friends
If I have said I will be there, unless there is a good reason… I’m there! And so making plans with friends is one of the best things I can do to get myself out there. Whether it’s a planned route, joining a club ride or just riding out for coffee, a little recent example of this is the below clip where making plans got me out! Equally I often ride with friends on a Tuesday evening and we have kept this going through winter too, good kit and decent lights have meant we can get out still throughout the darker months
2. Good kit…
I had some really good kit additions this year from Endura which I have loved, my favourite being the Endura Gilet as its just so warm and cosy! Its one for the colder days for sure. Other good bits of kit to add are over shoes, mud guards and good base layers. These are things which make getting out easier, more enjoyable and the mud guards will keep you a little more popular on the group rides! Decent kit has kept me riding through the bad days. Kept me more comfortable and even meant I have continued some bike commutes too, but I do need to get more of those in.
3. Indoor set up
I prefer riding outside but training indoors does have its place, I followed a bit of a plan for some turbo sessions. I used trainer road, but others are widely available; Zwift or suffer fest or lots of plans online too on British Cycling or Training Peaks. I do my training after work and so do what I can to have everything set up so I can just come back home and get on with it! I don’t need any distractions or it just ends up with me not in the mood with the sofa and fleecy socks calling again!
4. Book a training camp
Nothing beats getting out to warmer climates to ride a bike. Last year I did a very early season training camp in Lanzarote and that was great. The roads were amazing, there is a nice mix of terrain, I caught a few sun rays and had excellent company. A little clip of this is below.
I have however since this made the decision not to fly to try and lower my carbon footprint over the past year. My trips have instead involved trains, driving (car sharing where possible) and even a one way train and a ride back (Lands end to Leicester). I have a trip planned in the Pyrenees in the summer with the Whole Health team and it took a lot of considering before saying yes, just because it will involve a short flight to get there and back. Its not ideal and I have many mixed feelings about it but I made the commitment to join the trip and will offset the carbon emissions to be able to join. I haven’t worked out exactly how yet, but this is something that I will be doing and would encourage others to consider their options and offset emissions where possible.
5. Don’t feel bad about days off!
I have to balance things up to myself sometimes… I do this for fun! I’m never going to be a top pro athlete and I just do what I can, but even the best top pro athletes need days off. Equally, I want to do a good job of things I have planned and having a good level of fitness helps. So it’s a balancing act, but sometimes I just have needed some time to myself at home to catch up on life and that doesn’t involve being on two wheels. So do be fair to yourself and try and get a good healthy balance!
Lucy Sturgess | Love Velo CC