Beat the winter training blues

Our resident coach MIKE POSTHUMUS is back as he tries to convince us to keep the pedals spinning during the cold winter months.

The key to ensuring continued progression from season to season, or simply year on year if you are merely a recreational rider, is to remain consistent year-round. This means that you have to keep riding and training throughout the year. The biggest obstacle most of us face is to keep ourselves motivated through the winter when it is cold, dark and wet. Here are four tips to ensure that you maintain your mojo year-round.

1 SET GOALS
“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.” — Norman Vincent Peale. If you want to be motivated to train hard, you have to set yourself a goal. A key goal event during the latter part of the year is the best way to ensure that you don’t make excuses to get out there and tackle the cold, wet and dark head on.

2 MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein If you want to achieve your goal you have to plan how you are going to achieve it. A training program should path your way to achieve your goal. You have to make yourself accountable to the plan you have created. Joining a dedicated riding group or placing all your rides on Strava are good ways to have your peers assist you to feel accountable. If this is not enough, a cycling coach will assist you to make you accountable, ensure you are training hard throughout winter, and to top it off should provide you with an effective training program. If you are not quite ready to employ a coach, but interested in learning more about a training program design, why don’t you consider completing the short course mentioned in the test box below.

3 INVEST IN APPROPRIATE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Riding in the wet, cold and dark does not have tobe a miserable experience. Investing in a quality set of winter clothing will have you actually enjoy your winter rides without getting too cold and wet. Ensuring that you have a good quality front and rear light will also help keep you safe if you have to ride in the dark.

4 LEARN TO LOVE INDOORS
“If it was easy, it wouldn’t make you stronger.” – Unknown
There is something to be said about the benefits of training indoors. Whether it is the fact that you are
able to keep the intensity without stopping or slowing down for traffic or traffic lights, or simply that you are able to ride at a controlled intensity, training indoors may have huge training benefits, especially during the winter months. So, use your time wisely and get some quality sessions done indoors. Investing in a smart trainer, or simply joining a local indoor training studio is a must to make sure that you never miss a
training session.

Science to Sport and The Sports Science Institute of South Africa have partnered to produce a CATHSSETA accredited online short course: Cycling Science – The essentials of cycling physiology and coaching. This short course is for any cyclist or coach wanting to learn more about evidence-based training methods and
principles. The course also supplies a 16-week training program for beginner, intermediate and advanced cyclists.  For more info see www.ssisaed.com

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