The highs and lows of winter training in the UK. It’s cold, like really cold. All the time. I swear it wasn’t this bad last year? Was it? Or maybe I just got used to the warmer climes of Mexico and Thailand. Seeing your friends training and racing abroad so early in the season is HARD.
Meanwhile it’s raining again.
Ok so it’s not ALL bad, as my best bud said to me last weekend ‘Winter miles = Summer smiles’ but here are my top 10 highs and lows of winter training in the UK as experienced in the past few weeks.
- Cross country. YES. It’s on. The stripes are out for Fulham RC once again. 6km of glorious mud, cowbells and normally followed by much celebration. This Saturday is the final race in the Surrey XC league. And with both Men’s and Women’s teams set to move up a division its going to be EPIC.
2. Ice. Its annoying, its dangerous and did I mention its FREEZING here? Not only does it stop you going for that long ride at some ungodly hour on the weekend (there is method to this madness, promise. Mainly afternoon naps. Win) it also turns the track into some kind of death trap ice rink. Not cool. But out come the alternatives….road running (if they’ve bothered to grit) and turbo turbo turbo.
3. Marathoners. You guys are legends. No way I’m doing one of those again for a while. And now there’s an endless supply of running partners all training for spring marathons. Lately Arash from work who is training for his first EVER marathon in Brighton on April 9th is dragging me out for lunchtime runs.
4. Watching your coach train in Thailand. Enough said.
5. Darkness. It’s dark when I leave for training, it’s dark when I finish work. Ok so its annoying but if you catch a beaut sunrise/sunset it make you feel SUPERHUMAN. So I’m counting this one as a high.
6. Long hilly rides where you feel like you might never get to the top. And your so far behind those you should normally be level with. This was me last weekend. Dieing somewhere in Kent. Wishing it could all be over and thinking how did I get so bad at cycling? But…..
7. Long rainy freezing rides with awesome people chasing down some great speeds only one week later. Funny how things change? In just one week. Either I was more rested or got my nutrition right but I was feeling so much better. AND I actually enjoyed the rain. OK so the downhills weren’t great but we are getting there!
8. Turbo, turbo and more turbo. Last year this would have been a low. It was a love hate relationship. Something so easy in theory, all I had to do was drag my butt downstairs and sit on that bike sometimes became so hard. Not so anymore! Now I’m training at DoEndurance at least once a week. Beasting the boys on the power to weight ratios for some sick group turbo sessions down in the pain cave 🙂
9. Winter. The return of soup. And stews! And porridge!!! No longer does porridge make you feel like your face might fall off when trying to eat it in summer. You can legitimately eat two breakfasts of the stuff pre and post training. Win, win.
10. Swimming, just generally. It’s the winter saviour. Its warm and cosy. And theres a sauna close by. Loving my Saturday afternoon swims and chill time right now!
What are you winter training highs and lows? Love or hate the rain? Favourite winter fuel? Let me know!
Feeling super hyped for XC on Saturday now! Lets go criminals!!