In the UK it’s that time of year when short days, low daylight and bad weather all affect motivation to get outdoors to train. Most of us work and have family commitments so it’s common to only have one day in the week to get outdoors in the daylight to ride. Only to discover on that chosen day the weather is too bad to ride.
So how do you avoid missing these training sessions?
- Plan in advance.
- Know what the purpose of your planned workout is so that you can understand what a substitute might be.
- Check the weather forecast – look out for night time temperatures below zero and also wind, heavy rain and fog to help you decide if it’s safe to ride and what to wear.
- Check the car, pavements and road for frost and ice when you get up.
- Start your ride at a different time to catch a weather window. Eg earlier to avoid the rain or later in the day if when ice is more likely to have melted.
- Avoid country lanes where there’s a greater danger of black ice
- If you really want to ride – use a route that uses main roads that are more likely to be safe. Plan this alternative route in advance and have it ready in your back pocket for that icy day.
- Consider riding several laps on a safe route or doing a shorter faster, harder ride. But be ready to change your plans or come home if the weather changes.
- Winter proof your bike – winter tyres, mud guards, lights, reflective strips
- Winter proof your clothes – waterproof gloves, socks, overshoes, base layers, water proof jackets etc. Have extra layers/jackets in your back pocket.
- Go off road on a mountain bike
- Do an alternative indoor training session instead eg a 2hr turbo or a bike & run brick. Again have it planned in advance as your bad weather alternative (Ask for sessions).
- Never take a risk. One small fall can end your season before its begun. Remind yourself that your season is made up of several months of cycling so missing one ride is not a disaster.