It’s cold, it’s raining, it’s dark and the reasons for pulling on your Lycra and getting on your bike are diminishing by the day. Thank goodness for pro paratriathlete and Bikebox buddy Andy Lewis whose words of wisdom will keep your triathlon training on track.
“It’s really important to have a focus, especially during the winter. Having a goal or something to aim for – even if it’s a small goal – will help to you get you out. For me, I think about what my rivals are doing. Are they out training? I’m sure they are so that spurs me on to do it too. Winter is definitely the time to get the miles in and covering the distance so stay focused on completing as many long, aerobic, high-mileage sessions as you can.”
Change your mindset
“There’s no such thing as bad weather only bad equipment. It’s essential that you have the right equipment and clothing to train in all weathers. The roads can be icy or slippy and dark, so you need to assess the situation and make sure you have the things you need to keep you dry, warm and safe. Invest in the best equipment you can afford, including decent head torches, and if the weather is that bad, it might be safer to stay indoors on the turbo trainer.”
“A lot of pro triathletes and runners head abroad during the winter months to avoid the harsher weather (I spend a lot of time in Lanzarote and Portugal), but I know that isn’t possible for most people. This is where training partners really help. It’s much nicer to get up in the morning knowing you have someone to train with. Try and find someone with the same mindset as you or shares similar goals and aspirations. Zwift is a good programme if you don’t know anyone locally or you’re looking to upgrade your indoor cycling. I’m a pro triathlete and perfectly happy to run, cycle or swim on my own but honestly, I would be stuffed without training buddies – they’re a big part of my success.”
“Don’t be afraid of putting on a little extra weight during winter (and particularly after Christmas). I always go from 65-66kg race weight to around 68-70kg in winter. The fat not only helps to keep you warm but also makes you stronger as you’ll be pulling all that extra weight around. You’ll find that when you strip back to your race weight, you’ll be faster. Eat what you enjoy (within moderation) and you shouldn’t have too much difficulty losing the weight in spring.”