Tuesday 6 November 2018

Tips from the pro cyclists: Staying fit and warm in winter

It's that time of year when the days are colder, darker and wetter.....hardly the conditions that make you want to go out.

A few top riders I met at the recent Rouleur Classic have given their tips on staying fit and warm over the winter:

Lizzie Deignan, Trek Segafredo

"Layering is really important. It's always better to wear a few thinner layers that you can peel off than one thick heavy jacket, which you wouldn't be able to remove when you get hot.

When riding I never go out without a gilet, and I really love wearing my Santini tights as they are so comfortable as well as keeping me warm.

Keeping fit over the winter is just about setting yourself realistic goals of when you can get out on the bike. 

Meeting up with people helps because then you feel you have to get out because you don't want to let them down. That’s the best way to get out I think.

I would never ride when it’s icy or when it’s really really cold. Also, I don't ride if I have a sore throat, which you can often get in the winter.

I listen to my body more in winter than I do in summer because if you ride with a sore throat you get a cough and then you’ll have it for three weeks and there’s no point, so you just have to accept that sometimes it’s not possible." 

Coryn Rivera, Team Sunweb

"Being in California it never really gets that cold. At most I will wear arm warmers and a vest, probably!
However, when I come to my base in Holland and am preparing for the Spring Classics I train in some of the worst kinds of weather, having to adapt to the cold, the wind, and pouring rain, and deal with all that.

I got sick last Spring, from being in the cold weather, and learned that it's all about keeping your body warm and as dry as possible if it’s raining.

I’ve learned to change my jackets once I start sweating too much and it’s getting wet and cold. But definitely, I think the crucial things are hands and feet. If you can keep your hands and feet really warm that helps. 

Sometimes I ride with two sets of gloves in training, and I will start off with a heavier pair to warm up my hands but as soon as it begins to get a bit sweaty I’ll switch to a lighter glove to let it find that balance of my hands being warm and just kind of cooling rather than pooling sweat and once it gets too wet it becomes kind of difficult to warm up again.

So I switch between two sets of gloves when it comes to my hands and then for my feet I just wear a kind of windproof booty that is fleece lined. It makes it nice for your toes and sometimes when it’s really cold I’ll put some toe warmers on top of my shoe and underneath my booty to keep my feet warm and still be able to feel my feet.

The longest ride I do will be about for around four hours. That’s a pretty long time in cold weather. If it’s really bad weather I’ll do like two smaller loops and break it up and in between, switch to a dry undershirt and then head back out for the last two hours. Put I think that’s important to stay dry and not spend too long in wet clothes when you are doing a longer ride.

My favourite item of clothing is definitely my neck buff and the little scarf that I can put over my face, and my ears.

My head gets warm when I’m riding so I usually don’t like a skull cap or a head band, but when my ears do get cold I pull up the buff over my ears and my face and it keeps everything warm."

Alice Barnes, Canyon-SRAM Racing

I live in Manchester so Summer and Winter I’m just in Manchester. For the kind of races I do – I prefer the Spring Classic races – I don’t need long mountain climbs. I kind of need the Peak District where the weather can be bad.

When we get really bad weather I go on the (turbo) trainer or I go to training camps between December and February. 

I wouldn’t risk going out in really bad weather, as in ice and snow, because especially with things like Zwift now, there’s no need to. If you’re doing a 2-hour ride on a turbo trainer it’s probably better for you than doing three hours on the road in terms of pedaling and because it’s still really tough. 

If you are going out and it’s really cold I’d just say to layer up. There’s so many different clothes out there to buy. I quite enjoy having more thin layers rather than thick clothes. Put on mudguards too. I’d advise riding with a light all the time because you can never be over-cautious with safety.

My favourite piece of kit is actually bib-less longs. It's just because I always need to stop for a wee on a ride and at the end of the day if it’s raining or cold, with the bib-less longs you can just whip your bibs down rather than needing to take off your coat and your jersey. And because I want to wear my bib-less tights everyday, I end up washing them every day and then they wear out and get a bit thin. 

mountain biking is very good to do in bad weather because it’s safe whether it’s snowy or icy because it's off-road and you’ve got more grip. Also because you’re climbing so hard, but you've got less speed there’s not so much wind chill. When I went out mountain biking the other day it was actually pretty cold but we were all boiling just because it was so much more demanding. So if you need to go out, you can go mountain biking I guess. 

Related posts

No comments: