Winter is when these riders focus on building base miles and overall fitness for the coming race season. Here they look at motivation, gear, and nutrition pointers for winter training and riding.
Hosey on Motivation:
- Get a training buddy; it will give you an extra kick out the door and it’s nice to have someone to talk to.
- On a day when the weather isn’t so great and I have a lack of motivation, I just think how bored I will be sitting on a trainer.
- Listen to your body! If you have a workout and are feeling tired, rest! You don’t want to dig yourself in a hole early into your training.
- Don’t begin your early season riding to hard and for that matter too slow either. In your base period you need to train your body, muscle, and mind for endurance, but you can’t be putting along all day either.
- Find other activities that compliment your cycling. I like to rock climb in the evening or on my days off.
- Keep your rides fun and explore new routes. If you’re not happy riding then there’s no reason to ride.
Gore on Motivation:
- If you don’t have anyone to ride with, try to hit a trail or trail system that has people at it frequently. Meeting new people is always cool, and sometimes you can find awesome new friends.
- Supplement your familiar training rides with new routes. Don’t be afraid to explore local roads or trails that are off your beaten path. Winter base mile training gives you more latitude for things like this.
Tsering on Motivation:
- It helps if riding is one of the most enjoyable parts of your daily life. Spend time developing your other assets to remain well rounded and it always will be.
- Having a coach or an experienced buddy to help keep you on track, accountable, and moving toward your goals.
- Don’t forget the adventure that every training ride is. Keep your favorite adventures for nice days. Then when you really need to motivate for a wet ride use one of your favorites.
Hosey on Gear:
- Wash your bike! When the weather turns south all sorts of grime build up in the drive train. Keep it clean and your bike will perform like it should, plus it will not wear out as fast.
- Check the weather forecast. When I was living in Colorado as everyone knows out there the meteorologist are never right so don’t trust them if you live there. More importantly dress for the occasion.
- The most important piece of gear I found when riding in freezing conditions is a balaclava.
- Remember when it’s cold you still get hot and sweaty on long climbs. Keep an outer layer in your pocket or unzipped to reduce wetness. It’s the moisture that really chills your bones on the descent.
Gore on Gear:
- When it’s cold, dress in layers. I generally use a thick base layer, a lighter one, a jersey, and a jacket just in case.
- If you’re going on a really long mountain bike ride in wet, cold conditions, pack a spare pair of gloves in your pack. Putting on warm, dry gloves halfway through a ride can be a wondrous thing.
- One thing I’ve been using religiously is embrocation. Chamois Butt’r makes a great warming cream that seals out water and cold from exposed skin. Anytime I’ve got skin exposed on my legs, or even if it’s really cold and wet, I put a thin layer on.
Tsering on Gear
- When you really begin to ride a lot it helps a lot to have good riding gear. So many people will spend for an XX drivetrain, but not think to invest in a good jacket or bib shorts. If you are going to wear it for 4 hours at a time, you want it to be comfortable, functional, and it doesn’t hurt if it looks good.
- Learn how to judge the weather with the workout. Dress a little lighter the higher the intensity.
- Be prepared with good lights and clothing for those rides where the sun drops on you during the short winter days.
Hosey on Nutrition
- Eat from all the food groups and stay hydrated. Lean meats, pasta, rice, vegetables, fruit are mostly what I consume. Don’t get obsessed though, it’s alright if you eat something “bad” here and there. Cook your own food as much as possible!
- Make sure to eat while you are riding. It’s crazy how fast I go through a case of GU Chomps. They taste so good and keep you going. Along with my GU chomps and GU energy gel I usually bring a banana with me on rides and a little cash if I want to grab something on the road.
- When I get home from a long ride I’m thinking recovery; it’s sort of a multitask. I mix a bottle of GU recovery brew, stretch, and make something to eat. Flipping a skillet and stretching can be done at the same time!
- Sometimes if necessary I doze off for a bit after washing up.
Gore on Nutrition:
- When eating in the winter, it’s best to use this time to dial your nutrition for race season. Winter is time to experiment with eating and drinking on the bike. I often find a new product or fueling style that makes me faster and more efficient.
- Sometimes on a long, cold base mile ride I bring along some hearty food. One of my favorites is cold pizza in tin foil. It fits in my pocket well, and is rich in calories.
- Your body burns lots of calories trying to stay warm, as well as while churning out long miles. You may find that you need to eat more during winter training.
- With more layers, you can sweat more when doing hard training in the winter. Don’t let the cold temperature fool you – you need to drink lots of electrolytes and calories to get the full effect of your training.
Tsering on Nutrition
- As the weather gets cold or inclement it is helpful to boost your immune system. Supplementing your diet with cod liver oil, vitamin C, and spirulina is an effective remedy.
- I find my body often craves what it needs most. The challenge is interpreting this into healthy food choices that will result in fulfillment of your needs.
- Proper hydration will really help with recovery after rides. You need to drink about a bottle an hour and mix food or GU with water. It will help your body digest it.
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