Some people may be able to escape the colder months by jetting off to warmer climes but for most of us in northern Europe its a matter of being prepared. Here are my top tips for surviving the winter.
Eat well. Winter training is normally made up of long steady riding. This base training is the basic building block of your summer fitness so don’t waste all those hours on the bike by not eating properly. It’s always important to eat regularly and make sure you’re properly fuelled for both your training and recovery.
Always have plenty of snacks in your pockets and enjoy your cafe stops!
Drink well. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink. Your muscles are still working and they need still need water to make energy. You’ll also be breathing out water on you breath and you might not notice it but you’ll still be sweating to some extent.
Remember to keep drinking and maybe consider an insulated bottle if your drinks get too cold/or freeze otherwise. I really like taking a Thermos flask in my bottle cage during winter and stopping for a sip of hot fruit squash at regular intervals.
Layers are key to surviving the winter. Better than just one thick piece of clothing, layers trap air in between and also mean you can add or take away depending on the changing conditions or the intensity of your training.
Taking spare gloves and socks are also a good tip for long rides when you might get very wet. Fresh gloves and socks at half-way can make all the difference 🙂
Look after your bike and make sure your bike is well maintained. There’s probably nothing worse than having your bike break somewhere on a frozen back road miles from anywhere.
Be visible. It’s all well and good being like a ninja and yes, the cars should be looking out for you, but give them no excuse! Make sure they have no choice but to see you!
Mud guards are also good. Even if you don’t mind getting filthy and having to clean your bike loads, it’s much nicer for your friends if they don’t have to eat sh*t too.