A good friend used to remind me that champions are made in winter. He was, of course, referring to the training that needs to be done in the less pleasant months of the year, in order to build up a good base of fitness for race season. I don’t think this is a secret, but it takes an extra level of dedication to lace up the trainers when it’s dark and snowing outside, or to wear EVERY item of cycling kit you own to survive a sub-zero training ride.

The physical gains are perceptible around this time of year, as races resume after the winter hiatus, and marathon season usually kicks off in a few weeks. But what interests me most are the psychological gains, particularly in a winter that was spent in isolation and lockdown.

This Spring, I’ve come out fighting fit on both fronts: my resting heart rate is in the 40s, and my power output on the bike is getting up to being as strong as used to be. I’m also accustomed to the early start after a broken night’s sleep (new parent). I’m accustomed to cycling in freezing temperatures on my commute to my (mainly deserted) office, rather than ensure public transport. I’m used to pushing myself on the turbo trainer even though it would be easier to lounge in the sofa like so many friends.

So I’m ready for race season, whenever that will be. My next virtual race is a Zwift lockdown series invite-only on Saturday. I don’t know which physical ones I’ll be doing as this year’s race season is so topsy turvy, but when I toe the start line I’ll be mentally and physically ready. Game on!

Keep pushing yourself

Won’t be long till we can race outdoors together!

One thought on “Train hard race easy

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