We asked European age group triathlon champion and World Triathlon Champs silver medalist Claire Hann for her top ten tips to keep the training going this winter...
When Andy asked me to write a blog about my top winter training tips I was sat in my cold office looking outside at the miserable day while tucking into a large box of quality streets, so definitely not feeling particularly athletic and inspiring. However, I have already mapped out exactly what I want to do next summer, so luckily my motivation for training is not as low as my willpower in the face of chocolate.....
With that in mind, my winter training tips are:
1) Plan goals for the next year
Plan goals for next year to keep you motivated. If these events seem to far aware to provide motivation, have smaller intermediate goals that help you progress to your main summer goals
2) Train with others (and eat more cake)
Head out on long rides with good company to take your mind off the cold and wet weather. I find working a long ride around a coffee and cake stop helps my motivation and enjoyment no end!
3) Work on skills and technique
I definitely have room for improvement with respect to my bike handling and bike skills, so I am currently spending a lot of my training time on the bike. Lots of riding, learning from other people and focusing on things like descending well on every ride.
4) Keep working on your strength through winter
Lots of hills on the bike and run. Paddles and strength work in the pool.
5) Wrap up warm
In particular, invest in good gloves and shoe covers on the bike. Being cold and wet is miserable.
6) Address weaknesses
I am prone to running injuries so, with the help of my coach (www.escoach.co.uk) and physio (www.tri-physiotherapy.com) , I am working on strength and conditioning exercises to strengthen weaker areas to try and avoid future injuries.
7) Service your bike.
There is a lot of crap on the roads this time of year, this ends up on and in your bike. Things (technically speaking) need cleaning, tightening, replacing etc. As may be evident from this description, bike maintenance is not a strength of mine, so professional assistance in keeping my bike roadworthy is helpful.
(note from the editor:- Half Price Silver Level servicing continues at Bike Science Bristol throughout December - BOOK ONLINE HERE)
8) Do something different
Enter a single sport race, just for fun. Or this could give an intermediate and more short term focus to your training.
9) Work on your bike position early in the winter
Don't leave it until the last minute to make changes to your bike position. A professional fit can make all the difference to your performance on the bike. Getting the fit done early in the winter will help you adapt to the position before ramping up the mileage and intensity during the summer months.
(note from the editor:- Save 20% on Level 2 Retul bike fitting at any Bike Science throughout December - BOOK ONLINE HERE using coupon code "xmas20")
10) Spend more time with friends and family
My poor husband put up with a lot during my summer of racing last year. Friends and family may also have been slightly neglected, so take the opportunity to spend more time with them while there is slightly less structure in your training.