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Looking ahead to your target events for the year can be a little daunting and they can feel a long way off with a seemingly interminable winter of training ahead. But with some planning and a goal-focused schedule, you can give yourself the best chance of this season being your best yet.
Training goals and personal milestones
Whether it’s the first race of the season in March or a local sportive in June, a key part of a successful training plan is identifying goals and the steps required to achieve them. This can cover warm-up events as well as your day-to-day training regime. By having individual milestones you will be able to structure your program. British Cycling has some great advice about training plans online.
The right kit for the right conditions
There’s no getting away from it – it’s February and you’re going to need some reliable equipment so that you can concentrate on the job in hand. When training, you’re likely to be working pretty hard, so breathable base layers and water-resistant outer ones will keep you focused on the job in hand and comfortable at the same time.
Nothing puts the skids on a decent workout than cold feet and hands. Keeping your extremities warm can be the difference between a half-hour of misery and an effective workout.
Keep safe and keep going
When you’re out on the bike in winter, even during the daytime it can be gloomy and dull. A rear light designed for both day and night use is essential, along with a strong front light to ensure you stand out from the crowd. With this setup, you can be confident that you’re visible while putting in the efforts.
Protecting your bike from the vagaries of the weather is just as important. Winter grime can really damage components on your bike and a set of mudguards as well as a decent weekly clean will keep your machine ticking over – you really don’t need the bike to let you down when you’re ready to step up the training. Remember to apply a little winter chain lube once you’ve cleaned your bike – it protects the chain and keeps it running smooth even in the worst weather.
Mother Nature’s worst
Sometimes the weather really can turn against you. If it’s icy and dicey on the roads it makes sense to avoid training outdoors – one slip can be sore at best and lead to a season-ending trip to A&E at worst. With modern indoor trainers and online training assistance from the likes of Zwift and VirtuGO, you can maintain your build-up no matter what Mother Nature throws in the way. We’ve plenty of advice about indoor training here.
Keep the tank full
Fuelling is a crucial part of getting fitter. Before, during and after the ride, what you eat is just as important as how hard you work. The likes of Science in Sport, Torq and High5 have developed the fuel you need to ensure you won’t run out of gas.
Learn from your mistakes
It’s a good idea to look back on previous seasons to identify what worked and perhaps more importantly, what didn’t. This might cover nutrition regimes, bike set-up and sleep patterns right through to what kit you wore or how long prior to the event you signed in at HQ. By eliminating past mistakes you can ensure you give yourself the best opportunity of success going forward.
Having a bike set up perfectly, in tune with your body and maximising your potential, is not just for the professionals. We’ve been providing bike fit services for over 10 years and our Precision Fit technician will work with you to tick that last box so that 2019 is your best season ever.