How to survive winter as a triathlete

So 10 days ago I was cycling in short sleeves in Lanzarote; I’m now wrapped up in several layers about to head out on a run in the snow! What on earth is going on? I’d convinced myself it was spring yet now it feels like the run up to Christmas.

OK freezing temperatures and icy conditions don’t make for the best training environment but I think I mind them less than most.

So it got me thinking – how can winter training as a triathlete be fun?

  1. Make hay while the sun shines. If it’s nice weather outside sack the turbo for a road ride. That way when you have to use the turbo it has some kind of novelty value.
  2. Buy a mountain bike. I used to think mountain biking was for unfit cyclists – until I tried it. It’s hard work, lots of fun, you get far less cold and it means you can train outside in pretty much any weather. Try mountain biking in the snow – you’ll love it!
  3. Buy some good quality gloves and overshoes.
  4. Make turbo sessions as interesting as possible. If possible find someone to do it with (easier said than done in my experience – maybe my friends know it will never just be an hour!) or use a motivational dvd to keep you focused. Can a 2 hr turbo ever be fun – try the sufferfest dvds and I think you’ll find they can!
  5. Make lots of soup. There’s nothing quite like coming back from a cold run to a hot bowl of homemade soup and it’s cheap as chips to make!
  6. Enter some off road running races. They’re a great way to motivate you whatever the weather and will translate into better running off the bike in the spring.
  7. Embrace the cold! It doesn’t last forever so enjoy its novelty value whilst we have it.
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